While taxiing out in sequence behind a Lufthansa airliner at Frankfurt, a C-130 crew noticed an orange “Remove before flight” streamer hanging out of the Lufthansa nose wheel well (their nose gear locking pin was still installed). Not wanting to cause too much embarrassment by going thru the controller, the 130 crew simply called the Lufthansa aircraft on the tower frequency: “Lufthansa aircraft, Herky 23.” No reply.

They repeated the transmission and again there was no reply. Instead, the Lufthansa pilot called the tower and asked the tower to tell the Herky crew that “the professional pilots of Lufthansa do not engage in unprofessional conversations over the radio.”

The 130 pilot quickly replied, “Frankfurt tower, can you please relay to the professional pilots of the Lufthansa aircraft that their nose gear pin is still installed?”


  1. It’s a very old story – I read a very similar one published at least a decade ago in Airways Magazine. At the time, it went something like this (SABENA to KLM):
    – “KLM holding number four, please come up on Unicom”
    – no response
    – “KLM holding number three, please come up on Unicom”.
    – still no response.
    – “Tower, please tell KLM ahead of us to come up on Unicom”.
    – KLM responds: “Tower, please tell SABENA that the professionals at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines don’t use discreet frequencies when they should be monitoring the tower”.
    – SABENA: “OK, Tower, but can you please tell the professionals at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines that their gear pins are still in place?”
    – KLM: “Tower, KLM 3030 needs to return to gate”.


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