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Like so many of the stories circulating on the Internet, this is supposed to be a true story. Maybe you'll believe that.... This story was originally cribbed from USENET by Norman Yarvin's yarchive.net.
The German controllers at Frankfurt Airport were a short-tempered lot. They not only expected you to know your parking location but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (PanAm 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground and a British Airways 747 (radio call Speedbird 206) after landing:
Speedbird 206: Good morning Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of the active runway.
Ground: Guten morgen, taxi to your gate.
[The British Airways 747 pulls onto the main taxiway and stops.]
Ground: Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?
Speedbird 206: Stand by, ground, I'm looking up the gate location now.
Ground: [mit impatience] Speedbird 206, have you never flown to Frankfurt before?
Speedbird 206: [coolly] Yes, in 1944. But I didn't stop.
Here, however, is an air-traffic control conversation which I am absolutely sure really happened. I was flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles on United, and the captain of the 'plane I was on had chosen to put the ground radio channel on one of the `in-flight entertainment' channels....
Ground: Delta 123, please follow the 737 in front of you.
Delta 123: Roger that, tower.
[Some time passes....]
Ground: Delta 123, where are you going?
Delta 123: Following that 737, as you asked.
Ground: [irritated] No, Delta 123, that's a 777.
And, to prove it could happen, here are the pictures:
(Images are copyright by The Boeing Company.)