My pal, Jerry, and I were talking on the phone the other day. It seems that we had each had several incidents dealing with other pilots who, in our opinions, had their heads wedged in their nether regions.
There is hardly a flight goes by that I don’t see some Whuffo doing something stupid. It’s usually in the pattern. It may be simply flying a huge, ridiculous pattern that tends to suck my student out of the far more practical short pattern that I teach. Perhaps it is an oddball leg that makes no sense but that requires that we watch the guy. Sometimes it’s strange, unintelligible radio transmissions that accomplish nothing other than interrupting the dialogue between student and teacher (don’t get me wrong: I commit more than my share of stupid mistakes!).
Jerry and I regaled each other with the descriptions of such shenanigans on the part of flying Whuffos. After listening to each other’s accounts of having been put out mostly in landing patterns by these characters, something occurred to me. I think I remembered an old audio recording by famed ventriloquist, Edgar Bergen. In that
skit, Bergen advises his dummy, Charlie McCarthy, that if McCarthy started to stretch the truth, Bergen would use the code word, “Dinkey-Divey” to warn him that he was pushing the truth.
I suggested to Jerry that, since he and I obviously knew what we were doing, maybe we should adopt such a code word. If one of us should say “Dinkey-Divey” on the radio, all those in the know would realize that the transmitter knew what he was doing and should be left alone.
Jerry laughed. Obviously, he kinda liked the idea and at the same time knew that it would never happen.
But there is just a bit of wisdom to this silly idea. For years I have recognized the phenomenon that air traffic controllers learn they can trust some pilots. Either they recognize their voices or their usual “N” number and provide them with a bit more leeway because they know that the guy is not going to do something stupid. They trust him. Maybe if that controller and pilot utilized a code word such as “Dinkey-Divey”, their entire little routine could be streamlined and simplified (“Tower, reference the seven thirty-seven on final, eight four victor requests short approach. Dinkey Divey”.
“Eight four victor, roger your Dinkey-Divey, short approach approved. Break, Southwest 321, don’t worry about the 140 who just turned in front of you… he’ll just be a second”).
Jerry used to be an air traffic controller and the Tower Chief at an airport in Florida. He knew exactly what I was talking about. Maybe the reason Jerry and I communicate so well is that without actually using the word, we both understand “Dinkey-Divey”.
Nah, our use of the code word will never happen, but the spirit is there. So if you ever hear me in the pattern and want to make sure I know that you and I are on the same page, just say, “Dinkey Divey”.