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Air Traffic Controller

I was an air-traffic controller stationed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan. One morning we picked up a Montana National Guard passenger aircraft. Instead of identifying the plane by its five-digit tail number, its pilot radioed, “Selfridge Approach, this is Pig Sty One.” As we were taught to refer to aircraft by whatever call sign the pilot used, the controller thereafter called the craft “Pig Sty One.” Just after touching down, the pilot contacted the tower.

“Selfridge,” he said, “our call sign is not ‘Pig Sty one.” It is ‘Big Sky One,’ and we have the governor of Montana on board!”

Contributed by Carl M. Tucker, Reader’s Digest

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