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November 01, 2019 2 min read


We were taxiing out of Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii, next stop San Antonio (Texas). My copilot (coey) was reasonably junior and hadn’t done a whole lot of US flying before.

In the states, at military airfields only, you’ll sometimes get a very enthusiastic SEEEEEYA! over the radio when you get switched from a military control tower to a departure frequency. It’ll catch you off guard if you haven’t heard it before, so I thought I’d word him up just incase.

“If you get a SEEEEEEYA after takeoff from the Tower”, I told him, “make sure you give the Tower a big old SEEEEEEEEYA back - they expect it, it’s a US military thing”.

He laughed. “Oh, so I just yell SEEYA?”

“Just make it enthusiastic”.

He nodded.

On departure from Kaneohe the military tower switched us to the civilian departure controller, but no SEEEYA. I could sense the Coey’s disappointment - he was primed and ready. Maybe next takeoff! We checked in to the next frequency, and were cleared to cruising altitude.

We cleaned up, sped up, and began our slow climb up to flight levels for the long flight East. Seatbelts off, autopilot in - nothing left to do but wait for the frozen meal to cook.

About 10 minutes later, the civilian Departure controller handed us off to the next frequency.

“Aussie 624, contact Honolulu Centre on 127.8”,

and then in a calm, sensible and very subdued civilian controller voice,

“see you later”.

The Coey was triggered, and there was nothing I could do to stop him.

“Contact Honolulu Centre on 127.8....


....Aussie 624”

I scrambled to turn down the headset volume as the outrageous SEEEEEYA boomed directly into my ears. I looked up to see a beaming copilot, not yet realising that he had probably just scared the hell out of a civilian controller who was most definitely unaware of the close-hold military radio tradition.

Those damn Aus-sies!

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