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Old 03-15-2006, 12:23 AM
jcoloccia jcoloccia is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,110
Default How NOT to get a call sign

There's a couple of us going through test flight crew training at the moment. A co-worker of mine had this conversation with the test flight director this morning:

Co-Worker: Are we doing the dunk tank tommorow? Man, I'm going to look like a big fat soybean in that sopping wet, green flight suit.

Test Flight Director: Soybean......hmmmm......You don't have a call sign yet, do you?
John Coloccia
Former builder, but still lurking 'cause you're a pretty cool bunch...
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Old 03-15-2006, 12:43 AM
walter's Avatar
walter walter is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Mansfield TX
Posts: 339

On my first flight I kept saying "Cessna 447RV". What a dope.
Old habits die hard.
Walter Tondu
Flying RV-8A - Fastback, IO-390, G3X Touch, 74 HRT
Prior RV-7A Build Log
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Old 03-15-2006, 09:11 AM
painless painless is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Peshtigo, Wisconsin
Posts: 770

My class ('82) at Northwestern University Dental School was well known for our knicknames. There was Wolfie (lots of back hair), Nipple (extra nipple), Rick Six (he liked his beer), Mother (his last name was Bucker, so we called him Mother Bucker). The list goes on.

With a last name of Orear, and a group of twisted friends that I had in school, I was dubbed Rectum. Needless to say, I have not put that one on my business cards........

I preferr the handle my fellow hangar rats have given me lately... Painless.


Painless...AKA Rectum
Jeff Orear
RV6A N782P
Peshtigo, WI
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Old 03-15-2006, 08:51 PM
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osxuser osxuser is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,485

I got "Squawk" from the Mt SAC flying team. Apparently squawking 3 items on one flight is frowned upon at some flight schools.
Stephen Samuelian, CFII, A&P IA, CTO
RV4 wing in Jig @ KPOC
RV7 emp built
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:22 AM
RobLyman RobLyman is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Orange Park, FL
Posts: 18

Soybean isn't too bad. Being an instructor at the SH-60B fleet replacement squadron we got to hear and assign quite a few callsigns to new pilots.

The worst was a guy we called "Digger". He had a bad habit of picking his nose and did it at the most inappropriate times. I remember a "Snapper", a "Lingus", a "Dick Squared" (his name was Richard Dick) and a "Frog". The tough sounding names almost never stuck. You simply can't give yourself a tough sounding nickname. The only one I can think of was an old vietnam veteran we called "Snake" because he flew Cobras before coming to the Navy as a Seahawk pilot.

Mine was fairly sublime. My first name starts with "L" but everyone called me Rob or Bob. When someone asked what the "L" stood for I said "Bob". They called me "L. Bob" which later got changed to "El Bob". Not too exciting of a nickname, but better than others.
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:36 AM
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AX-O AX-O is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,484

Some from my squadron:

Name/Call sign
LT Smart/Not so
LT Mclean/Lick
LT Windfree/Ohpera
LT Bryla/Buba (Big Ugly Blond Aviator)
and many more..

Mine, that I picked up at Test Pilot School is "Ass Clown" (long story).
RV-4 fastback thread and Pics
VAF 2020 paid VAF 704
The information that I post is just that; information and my own personal experiences. You need to weight out the pros and cons and make up your own mind/decisions. The pictures posted may not show the final stage or configuration. Build at your own risk.
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Old 03-16-2006, 06:17 PM
Jekyll Jekyll is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 625

Picture a young, hot headed USMC pilot wanting the call sign Blue Falcon and someone noticing the initials also fit Butt Face. It stuck! We had 3 other nimrods without callsigns so they became Butt Face 2, Butt Face 3 and Butt Face 4. Once they matured, you could sometimes hear something like this on the air: "Butt Face flight check in - Butt Face 2, 3, 4".

Had a man accidentally discharge his side arm in a crowded office and the 9mm ricocheted around the concrete walls. He was the only casualty, sustaining a small cut on his cheek, likely from concrete. Callsign till death: "Ricochete Rodriques".

Another pilot had the callsign of Bullet. One day while preparring for a combat sortie, he shot the deck of the carrier as he "preflighted" his side arm. He didn't really earn a new callsign from this however, "Bullet" sure was cemented after that.

Yet another Marine, standing at a bar fairly drunk. Oblivious to the world, he stuck his hand down the back of his trousers and began scratching his butt. He instantly earned the callsign "Scratch". A year later, in a drunken stupor, Scratch grabbed a waitress smack in the middle of the crotch. After his callsign became "Muffy" he decided that Scratch was not so bad after all. Muffy may be sober now but, he's still called Muffy!

Jekyll (USMC callsign)

Last edited by Jekyll : 03-16-2006 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 03-16-2006, 07:28 PM
tonyjohnson tonyjohnson is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 812
Default Genius

As a young marine just arriving at my assigned infantry unit in Vietnam I was unhappy to learn that our shower consisted of a 55 gallon oil drum filled with water and held above head level on a wooden frame. You reached up and held open the tap and cold water poured down on you. I hate cold showers, so my I decided to make a water heater by floating a 5 gal can inside the barrel and use gasoline as fuel to have a fire in the can, thereby heating the water.

My earliest attempt at developing a drip system to drip gasoline into the can resulted in the flame running up the stream of gasoline dripping from the C ration can that I was holding. When I realized that I was in trouble I threw the can of gas in my hand so as not to be holding it when the flames reached it. Gas from the small can covered both my arms and ignited.

I ran into the GP large tent that I shared with my platoon, with both arms on fire. The rest of the platoon looked up from their card game non-plussed at the antics of the FNG. I was known thereafter with the rather sarcastic nick of "Genius". After I finished the design and the guys actually had hot showers, the name stuck but some of the sarcasm went away.

When I get an email that starts, "Hey Genius", I know it is from one of my vietnam Marine buddies.
Tony Johnson
RV8A "Badboy" N12TJ
Treasure Island Florida
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:30 PM
treeez treeez is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 83

Treeez! Don't ask.
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:37 PM
jarhead jarhead is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 264
Default Callsigns...

Once upon a time, a certain Marine sergeant with numerous designations and several hundred flight hours under his belt was crewing a flight with a newly-designated crewchief. The crew turns up, but gets a high vibration reading on the swashplate, so they shut down and re-grease the swashplate bearings (the authorized corrective action at that time). Turn-up again, vibes check good, last long time...
So they lift off to head outbound, and the following radio call is received:

"Hustler 404, Willow Grove Tower; be advised the crash crew observed an object depart your aircraft."

The pilots lets Tower know they'll stay in the pattern and full-stop to their line to check the aircraft, while the enlisted crew in the back is checking things out already. They're turning final when the following radio call is received:

"Hustler 404, be advised the crash crew recovered a greasegun from Delta and the parallel." (The intersection of taxiway Delta and the parallel taxiway was our squadron's normal takeoff position)

That's how that highly-experienced Marine sergeant earned the callsign "Greaseman"... Did I mention that the HAC (Helicopter Aircraft Commander - the pilot) on this flight was our new Commanding Officer? Oooops... way to impress the new CO. Took over 6 months for everyone to forget about that incident and get back to calling me "Mo".

Wait, did I say "me" back there? Noooo, that wasn't me... musta been some other guy I know...

Helicopter mechanic (A&P)
USAFR KC-10 Boom Operator, on final approach to retirement
My RV-9/8/7 dream may be on life support, but it ain't dead yet!
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