For smooth transits
Whilst ferrying a Beech 200 from the US into Africa, we were enroute Malta, to Luxor, in Egypt. All clearances were approved for the whole delivery but on first contact with Luxor ATC about 150nm out, the Controller said "you have no clearance - go somewhere else". I replied that I had clearance because we DON'T FORGET that kind of thing. He then asked for permit number which i did not have immediately to hand. Again, I was told "no permit number, no landing approval, you must divert."
At this point I advised that I had a VIP on board and, after a pause, he asked who it was. I replied "Mr Johnny Walker". Although still 100 miles out at the time, a quick reply came back. "You are number one and cleared to land". After shutdown, I opened the stair door and the controller was standing there with his hand outstretched for the bottle - which luckily i did have. Another smooth sector!
Are you sensing a trend?
I was delivering a Cessna 310R we had sold and was enroute from J'Burg, SA to Perth, in Scotland. After a delay on departure from SA, Nairobi GA airport was closed and I had to use the International one. On landing I was met by a plain clothed local who failed to introduce himself and wanted to see my passport. He escorted me to a small office where he began to interrogate me. I explained I was merely delivering an aircraft to Scotland. At this point the interrogation switched to scotland and Whisky and I could see where this was going. Eventually he said "come with me" and led me to the duty free shop where he picked out a bottle of The Famous Grouse.
At the checkout I gave the cashier cash in USD and asked for the change in local currency as i needed it for the taxi to my hotel. The cashier said "if you are not departing now, I'm sorry but you cannot buy this". Just then a large arm appeared over my shoulder and its owner said "it is for me" and promptly picked it up, There was no further objection from the cashier and 30 minutes later I was on my way to the hotel
Lear 60 - Pocket rocket
I was co-pilot flying a Learjet 60 to Nice, France. The Captain, a very experienced US pilot, was known for not suffering fools gladly. He was flying that leg and when we were transferred to French ATC, he asked me to request direct Point MTL - Montelimar. I duly asked the question but the reply was a stark "NEGATIVE". The Captain asked me to question this reply, which I did, and an immediate blunt response was "TRAFFIC". The Captain then took over the radio and in his inimitable and direct style said "BULLLLL....SH**, THERE AIN'T NO TRAFFIC UP HERE AT 540". After a few moments of complete silence the words "CLEARED DIRECT MTL" in a much softer tone.
Sometime a picture tells the story more clearly than any text. One of our most exciting sales was a group of former Soviet Military Aircraft. This is Captain Geoff Rosenbloom climbing aboard an L29 Delfin for a test flight after the 3 aircraft were assembled after arriving in crates.The aircraft were subsequently sold in Canada