19 01 2011

A few weeks ago, I moved offices within our aquarium. I slid down a floor and over to the opposite side of the building – airside. On my Facebook profile I wrote: “Moved offices today…and am very pleasantly surprised at where I ended up. Not only can I sit here and watch airplanes all day, I can also listen to all the aviation radio communications on my ICOM (without static or interference)!!”

To which one smart-ass FB friend wrote back: “remember my dear, it is called ‘work.’”

Really? And all this time I honestly thought I was being paid to look out the window.

Nevertheless, there are times when one must just find ways to entertain oneself around here before one dies of a bore-out. So, I finally fired up my ICOM the other day just to listen in on what was going on out there… To attach real world information to the choreography of aircraft down below.

Zurich airport: home, sweet home.

And this is just a snippet of the radio communications I heard over the course of ten minutes around the busy lunch hour. On a disturbing note: all but two of the voices were male, which speaks volumes about the unfortunate state of gender diversity in the commercial airline cockpit in the second decade of the 21st century.

Hotel alpha whiskey, wind one zero zero, three knots, runway one-four clear to land, proceeding seven three seven ahead about to vacate.

Hotel zulu yankee, wind calm, QNH 1027 depart on discretion heliport.

Departing on discretion zulu yankee.

Swiss six-five heavy wind zero niner zero degrees, two knots, QNH 1027, runway one-four clear to land.

One-oh-niner charlie cross runway two-eight, on the other side contact apron one two one decimal seven five zero, goodday.

Twenty-one x-ray contact apron twenty-one decimal seven five.

Swiss one two six seven holding short runway two-eight on juliet.

One two six seven, cross runway two-eight, contact apron one two one decimal seven five.

Lufthansa six echo november expedite on fourteen you have traffic behind. If you can keep taxi speed vacate on hotel two, if not, hotel one please.

Two two five yankee grüezi.

Hotel charlie whisky, clear to land, QNH 1027 for heliport.

Singapore three four five wind zero eight zero three knots clear for take off runway one-six. Singapore three four five connect departure, byebye.

Speedbird seven one one, line up and wait runway two-eight.

One one seven seven wind zero seven zero degrees, four knots, clear to land runway one-four.

One one seven seven to land, hotel two clear?

Affirm, hotel two clear.

Hotel kilo golf enter control zone via sierra, QNH 1027 expect landing runway two-eight.

Hotel hotel x-ray, enter via sierra, QNH 1027, expect landing runway two-eight.

Golf romeo sierra contact departure.

Hotel kilo golf, are you able to hold short of runway one six after landing?

Hotel hotel x-ray proceed downwind runway two-eight, number two behind another Cessna.

Iberia three four six one on foxtrot, hold short of runway two-eight, landing traffic.

Swiss five six three hold position.

Hotel hotel x-ray wind calm runway two-eight, clear to land, expedite.


Ahhh. Music to my ears.

I have been called many things in my lifetime, but the name I wear like a badge of honor is “Flight Geek”. (Thanks, my friend – you know who you are.)



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