S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Aviation Humor Page keywords = aviation humor air plane rail road Cradle museum historical Berliner Joyce EEMCO ERCO Ercoupe Aircoupe Paul Mantz Cole Palen Rhinebeck aerodrome twin boom fuselage 38 81 82 111Z 189 Gigant SE-5

Updated:   23 Sep 2016; 11:00  ET
[Page created 11 May 2006; converted 22 Jul 2011

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/aviatnha.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/aviatnha.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Aviation Humor

See also the Aviation Page, et seq.

World War I Eberhart SE-5E
(American-built Version of the Royal Aircraft Factory's SE-5a)
Image from USAF Museum Site.


For aviation matters in general, see the main Aviation page.

On this Aviation Humor Page:
    Good Chute!.
    Clutch-Starting a Jet!.
    Good Stretch!
    Kulula Airlines
    Just Plain {Plane?) Silly "News" (so-called)   new.gif (23 Sep 2016)

Nota bene - I am a passenger; NOT a pilot!  Although I logged many hours in the Link trainer at NYC's late (and, by many, lamented) Museum of Science and Industry, I only had the command controls once, ca. 1980, in the right-hand seat of a Cessna 210, when our pilot seemed determined to B-25 the Empire State Building and I conned us away from that fate.

You might visit my other pages which are replete with aviation-related historical information, such as railroads, Emile Berliner and his son Henry A. Berliner*), Chrysler and SS and Jaguar, the ordnance page, and the Fairchild Aerial Survey page.

I created this page to highlight some of the funniest "war stories" I have ever heard!
I am also adding a few other gems that have come my way.


{moved from Aviation Page 3 on 11 May 2006}

A fellow railroad enthusiast, George P. Elwood, who runs the fantastic (and gigantic) "Fallen Flags" RR photo site, was also a C-130 jockey in SEA and tells this hysterical yarn about rigging a drag chute from an F-4 inside the bird, slung from a cargo hook.  On landing, they would open the cargo door, pop the chute, and stop as though that tiny chute made any impression on the lumbering beast.  If that visual image isn't enough for you, one time they pulled this stunt at Saigon and the Vietnamese ATC told them, "Spare 619 . . .  Spare 619, you have a good chute."  Ya gotta love it!

  Another Good Chute Story (not strictly aviation, but airborne):   added.gif (20 Jul 2012)

While going through paratrooper training a paratrooper collided in midair with another trooper, whose chute collapsed as a result.  He grabbed the other fellow in a bear hug, and they rode the one good chute to safety.  "I commend you for your quick thinking and for placing comradeship above all!" said his commander.  "We had only one good chute between the two of us, sir, and I was not about to let go to see if it was mine."


[John Farris, an old friend, former colleague at Pall Corp., and pilot, sent this gem.]

= = = * = = =

The F-100 had an interesting ground starting option, a large chamber that received a large gas generating cartridge*.  When ignited by electrical current, the expanding gas from the black powder-like pyrotechnic cartridge drove a starter turbine which brought the engine up to a self-sustaining rpm via a drive system.  This eliminated the need for heavy and bulky ground starting units, but the starter cartridge spewed out a characteristic dense cloud of choking black smoke, which was often mistaken by inexperienced ground crews for an engine fire.

The powder charge for the ground start came in a big sealed can, and on opening and extracting the cartridge, you'd find two small metal tabs on the bottom of the cartridge.  These tabs were the electrical contacts that fired the cartridge when the pilot moved the throttle outboard on start, before bringing the throttle forward.  As soon as a tiny RPM registered on the tach, you brought the throttle around the horn to feed fuel and engine ignition to the rapidly-building engine speed.

Sometimes the big metal receptacle that held the gas generator cartridge would get so dirty from repeated use that the metal tabs wouldn't make contact.  Then the cartridge would refuse to fire, and the crewchief would give the starter receptacle a good healthy whack with a chock, usually curing the powder charge of any reluctance to fire.  We'd often take a can holding a starter cartridge with us as an alternative starting means on cross-country.

The story is told, one of few that I didn't witness, of John Green going into Memphis, Millington NAS or MCAS, in an F-100 back in the very early seventies.  He was met by a couple of young Marine ground crewmen, who asked what kind of plane he was flying.  "F-100 Super Sabre" in reply only got him further puzzled looks.  One of the ground crew said, "Sir, I don't think we have tech data on this bird.  What do you need for start, a huffer or just electrical"?

"Neither one", John came back. "If I can get, oh, about six guys to give me a push to start me rolling, I'll just pop the clutch and get the engine started that way."  More and more doubtful looks! "Yessir" was the comeback.  What else would a young Marine say?

The Hun was pretty finely balanced on the two main gear struts.  When you tapped the brakes, the nose strut compressed so much that the nose took a dip, just like the hood of a car used to when being clutch-started.  So now six Marines are standing at the ready, still doubtful but not about to question an Officer on procedure.  "Just get me going at about a fast walk", John instructed.  "I'll wave you all clear when we're fast enough, pop the clutch, and be on my way.  Thanks for the good turnaround!"

Six Marines pushing, they quickly get the bird up to a brisk-stepping speed.  John waves his arms, and the Marines warily stand well clear.

The nose dips as John "pops the clutch", there is a big cloud of choking smoke as the engine whines to life, and off goes Captain Green to the takeoff end of the runway, leaving six puzzled Marines in his wake.

And I would have loved to hear the conversation when, if ever, the next F-100 taxied to the transient line at Millington for a turn!

  * - this is the Coffman starting system:   added.gif (25 Mar 2013)

= = = * = = =

[We called this "push-starting" when I was a kid.
For those who don't know how to push/clutch-start a standard shift auto,
ask Grandpa, Dad, your old uncle, or your older brother (oh, how sexist)
or ask Janet Guthrie (Indy '78) or Sarah Fisher (NASCAR) or Danica Patrick (Indy '05)!]


To complement "good chute", above, here's another "golden oldie" (also courtesy of John F.):

A C-130 was lumbering along when a cocky F-16 flashed by.  The jet jockey decided to show off.

The fighter jock told the C-130 pilot, "watch this!" and promptly went into a barrel roll followed by a steep climb.  He then finished with a sonic boom as he broke the sound barrier.  The F-16 pilot asked the C-130 pilot what he thought of that?

The C-130 pilot said, "That was impressive, but watch this!"

The C-130 droned along for about five minutes and then the C-130 pilot came back on and said, "What did you think of that?"

Puzzled, the F-16 pilot asked, "What the hell did you do?"

The C-130 pilot chuckled.  "I stood up, stretched my legs, walked to the back, went to the bathroom, then got a cup of coffee and a cinnamon bun."


['Nuf said?]


    [from an e-mail]

Kulula is a low-cost South-African airline that doesn't take itself too seriously.  Check out their new designs on two of their planes!  And, after looking at the photos, be sure to scroll down and read about their Customer Relations:   new.gif (20 Jul 2011)

    [I don't usually forward e-mails but this one caught my funny bone and I did - here it is for your delectation, as well.]






kulula-6 kulula-7 kulula-8

kulula-a kulula-b


Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg.  Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining.  Here are some real* examples that have been heard or reported:

[* - so it says here! - SB,III]

On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"

On another flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights.  This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings.  If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."

"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."

"Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."

As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"

After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo, a flight attendant on a flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."

From a Kulula employee: "Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth.  To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight.  It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."

"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling.  Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face.  If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs.  If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favourite."

Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive.  Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines."

"Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."

"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings.  Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants.  Please do not leave children or spouses."

And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry.  Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"

Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump and I know what youíre all thinking.  I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."

Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town, on a particularly windy and bumpy day; during the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it - after an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City.  Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"

Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard.  The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline.  He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment.  Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane.  She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?"  "Why, no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?"  The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"

After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg, the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate.  And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."

Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today and, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."

Heard on a Kulula flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."

- - - * - - -

Ooh!  There's no end to this (hopefully):   new.gif (16 Oct 2013)

A plane was taking off from Durban Airport.  After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom,  "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.  Welcome to Flight Number 293, non-stop from Durban to Cape Town,  The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight.  Now sit back and relax - OH, MY GOD!"  Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier.  While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap.  You should see the front of my pants!"  A passenger then yelled, "Thatís nothing.  You should see the back of mine!"

If these don't tickle your risibilities uncontrollably, nothing can!

Actual (it says here) exchanges between pilots and control towers (these are ancient, but such fun):   added.gif (25 Mar 2013)

Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles!"
Delta 351: "Give us another hint!  We have digital watches!"*

Tower: "TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees."
TWA 2341: "Center, we are at 35,000 feet.  How much noise can we make up here?"
Tower: "Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?"

From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: "I'm f...ing bored!"
Ground Traffic Control:"Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself  -   immediately!"
Unknown aircraft: "I said I was f....ing bored, not f...ing stupid!"

O'Hare Approach Control to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, Eastbound."
United 329: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this... I've got the little Fokker in sight."

A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight.  While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked, "What was your last known position?"
Student: "When I was number one for takeoff."

A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long roll out after touching down.
San Jose Tower Noted: "American 751, make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able.  If you are not able, take the Guadalupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport."

A Pan Am 727 flight, waiting for start clearance in Munich, overheard the following:
Lufthansa (in German): "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"
Ground (in English): "If you want an answer you must speak in English."
Lufthansa (in English):"I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany.  Why must I speak English?"
Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent):"Because you lost the bloody war!"

Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 124.7"
Eastern 702: "Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure.  By the way,after we lifted off we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway."
Tower: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7.  Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?"
Continental 635: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Eastern.  We've already notified our caterers."

One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the active runway while a DC-8 landed.  The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee.  Some quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said,  "What a cute little plane.  Did you make it all by yourself?"
The Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger:  "I made it out of DC-8 parts.  Another landing like yours and I'll have enough parts for another one."

The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short-tempered lot.  They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them.  So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206.
Speedbird 206: "Frankfurt , Speedbird 206!  Clear of active runway."
Ground: "Speedbird 206.  Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven."
The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.
Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"
Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground,  I'm looking up our gate location now."
Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?"
Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark -- and I didn't land."

While taxiing at London's Gatwick Airport, the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727.  An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming: "US Air 2771, where the hell are you going?  I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway!  You turned right on Delta!  Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between C and D, but get it right!"
Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically:  "God! Now you've screwed everything up!  It'll take forever to sort this out!  You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to!  You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour, and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you!  You got that, US Air 2771?"
"Yes, ma'am," the humbled crew responded.
Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771.  Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind.  Tension in every cockpit out around Gatwick was definitely running high.
Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone, asking: "Wasn't I married to you once?"

Oldies but goodies.

* - that one reminds me of the old time checks somewhere in Europe or perhaps at Gatwick or Heathrow:

"Tower, this is British Airways requesting a time check."  "British Airways, Tower; the time is now 14:06."

"Tower, this is American Airlines requesting a time check."  "American Airlines, Tower; the time is now 2:06 PM."

"Tower, this is LOT Polish Airways requesting a time check."  "LOT Polish Airways, Tower; the big hand is now on the two, the little hand is just beyond the one, and the sun is still up but just starting to head down."

Politically incorrect as all get out these days but still funny none the less.

Just Plain {Plane?) Silly "News" (so-called)

American Upbeat offers on-line sensationalism which includes a series of thirty captioned images luridly entitled "Flight Crews Reveal The Horrible Secrets Of Flying".  It's mostly innocuous, focused largly on how filthy the onboard tap water is and such, but these three "flight industry secrets" really caught my attention (emphases mine):

26.  Aircraft Hijacking Signs - "If a plane is being hijacked while still on the ground, pilots often leave signs that act as 'code', telling watchers that thereís something going on.  A common 'code' used is leaving the wings up."  Sounds like a really good plan to me!

15.  Human Organ Flights - "Human organs are transported all of the time. They may even be on the same flight as you.  The same goes for diseased people.  The only reason why you donít know about them is because theyíre all hidden safely under the plane in the cargo."!

13.  Pilot Food - nothing special about the caption but the illustration shows a glass and bottle of wine:


I don't think so - or hope not!

As you are obviously air-minded (take that as you choose), you must see the Lion Air site!  I'd be Lion if I didn't warn you to keep your tongue in your cheek on this one!

On a more serious note, if you like aero engines, see Steve Vardy's Aero Engine Central.

Also, pilot Paul Freeman has an absolutely fascinating Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields site.

See also the main Aviation Page, et seq.:
frstpage.gif    prevpage.gif
of this series of Aviation pages.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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