Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 03-06-2015, 05:50 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 2,202
Is "negative ghost rider, the pattern is full" a BS statement?

In Top Gun, Maverick is shown enjoying buzzing the Air Traffic Controller tower, presumably to confirm his commitment to being a, well, maverick.

But, despite showing an affinity for being rebellious, he at least has the decency to ask first. Whenever he requests such permission, he's denied by a blasé controller with the admonition "negative ghost rider, the pattern is full", which he promptly ignores, causing coffee to spill and hilarity (and homo-erotic volleyball) to ensue.

Now, I have some hours as a student pilot (although I didn't get my license) and little about what ATC says makes sense.

I get "negative" - it means no. But he calls the aircraft Ghost Rider. Why? That's not his call sign. And (based on my experience in general aviation) I would expect the terminology to refer to the aircraft, rather than the pilot. Do military jets not have tail numbers?

And saying that the pattern is full just doesn't make sense. The pattern refers to the rectangular flight path around the airport. Normally, ATC instructs aircraft how to enter the pattern (i.e. enter left downwind) or when to make the next turn to line up with the runway (i.e. I'll call your base [leg of the pattern]). If the pattern is so busy that they want an aircraft to wait to enter, they might instruct to hang out for a bit, perhaps by instructing to make a big 360 degree turn.

But just saying that the pattern is full doesn't really tell the pilot anything. It certainty doesn't answer why it's bad to buzz the tower. Something more appropriate might be "You're busting class Bravo airspace [i.e. the protected airspace around the airport] without authorization."

I am hardly a piloting expert, and I have absolutely no military experience, but isn't this line a bunch of gibberish?
#2
Old 03-06-2015, 05:59 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,349
Well, Maverick initiates the conversation with, "Tower, this is Ghost Rider." Not exactly sure why, but it makes sense the Tower would reply with the same. My guess would be that "the pattern is full" is basically BS from the Tower, meant to provide justification for the denial whether it's true or not.
#3
Old 03-06-2015, 06:19 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: On the outside looking in
Posts: 9,941
Ghost Rider is the aircraft's callsign that day. its fairly typical for military aircraft to use such callsigns though in my experience a group of aircraft flying that day would have the same word followed by a number to distinguish each one, Viper 1, Viper 2, Viper 3 etc. So that bit is not BS. The "pattern is full" bit might be, I don't know.
#4
Old 03-06-2015, 06:20 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,349
And a little further research seems to indicate that Ghost Rider is a callsign for the unit and is sprinkled throughout the script.
#5
Old 03-06-2015, 06:41 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,649
Mavvvrickkk!!!
#6
Old 03-06-2015, 07:26 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 2,202
I should have recalled that Maverick referred to his aircraft as Ghost Rider. It still strikes me as odd, given that civilian aircraft have a tail number. I didn't realize that military aircraft were given a code name instead.
#7
Old 03-06-2015, 08:05 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: On the outside looking in
Posts: 9,941
It's not just military aircraft. There are civilian callsigns that convey information about the nature of the flight. For example, in Australia we have:

POLAIR
FEDPOL
AMBULANCE
RESCUE
FIRE SPOTTER

and many more that are used when conducting certain types of flight operations.

Not to mention airlines that use flight number callsigns, e.g., QANTAS 676.
#8
Old 03-06-2015, 09:33 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 9,474
First of all, Maverick calls the tower and gets a Commander. (or Lt. Commander). Typically it's an enlisted person on the radio, not an officer. Second, there were more pilots than airplanes and someone was always ready to take your seat. If you screwed up and did something stupid, you were screwed. If a superior officer really did tell him no, and he did it anyway, he'd be screwed yet again.
I knew (know) several Navy pilots and they take aviation and their careers very seriously. Nevermind the Tailhook scandal, but that wasn't in the air.
#9
Old 03-06-2015, 09:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 9,474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Pearse View Post
Ghost Rider is the aircraft's callsign that day. its fairly typical for military aircraft to use such callsigns though in my experience a group of aircraft flying that day would have the same word followed by a number to distinguish each one, Viper 1, Viper 2, Viper 3 etc. So that bit is not BS. The "pattern is full" bit might be, I don't know.
When I'd hear them call Miramar tower it went something like this.

"Miramar, flight of 2 Fox 4s inbound (location)." They didn't call individually, nor did they identify their aircraft other than type (F4) That may all be different now.
#10
Old 03-06-2015, 09:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 2,202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Pearse View Post
It's not just military aircraft. There are civilian callsigns that convey information about the nature of the flight. For example, in Australia we have:

POLAIR
FEDPOL
AMBULANCE
RESCUE
FIRE SPOTTER

and many more that are used when conducting certain types of flight operations.

Not to mention airlines that use flight number callsigns, e.g., QANTAS 676.
Thanks!
I should have been more specific earlier. When I was taught to refer to the aircraft by its model and then tail number (i.e. I flew in a Cherokee Warrior, so I'd announcement, for example, as "Warrior November 867 Delta"). And I've heard commercial airliners on the radio refer to the airline name, as you describe.

I guess the anomaly in Top Gun, then, is that he gives a call sign, but no number. Is this authentic naval military jargon? You said upthread that you'd expect a number to follow.

Additionally, it occurs to me that if in fact the "pattern is full", then two things are true :
1) he just jeopardized the lives of all of the pilots trying to land.
2) The ATC should be a lot more busy
#11
Old 03-07-2015, 07:17 AM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Fortress of Solidude
Posts: 9,382
I know absolutely nothing about aviation, and even less about military aviation, but under what circumstance would "buzzing the tower" be permissible?

I assume that "buzzing the tower" means flying fairly close to the air-traffic control tower, in some sort of a show-off manner..?
#12
Old 03-07-2015, 08:07 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: On the outside looking in
Posts: 9,941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
I know absolutely nothing about aviation, and even less about military aviation, but under what circumstance would "buzzing the tower" be permissible?

I assume that "buzzing the tower" means flying fairly close to the air-traffic control tower, in some sort of a show-off manner..?
When the people in the tower are happy to be shown off to?

I've sat along the perimeter fence of an Air Force base and watched all sorts of fun stuff happening.
#13
Old 03-07-2015, 08:13 AM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Dodge City
Posts: 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriarty View Post
Thanks!

I should have been more specific earlier. When I was taught to refer to the aircraft by its model and then tail number (i.e. I flew in a Cherokee Warrior, so I'd announcement, for example, as "Warrior November 867 Delta"). And I've heard commercial airliners on the radio refer to the airline name, as you describe.



I guess the anomaly in Top Gun, then, is that he gives a call sign, but no number. Is this authentic naval military jargon? You said upthread that you'd expect a number to follow.



Additionally, it occurs to me that if in fact the "pattern is full", then two things are true :

1) he just jeopardized the lives of all of the pilots trying to land.

2) The ATC should be a lot more busy
In flying, I've never heard call signs without a number at the end, but things could have been different/more relaxed in '86, when planes were landing a military airfield that was their home base.

And him doing a flyby *might* jeopardize other flights trying to land...or maybe not. The tower could have had someone on crosswind, someone in downwind, and someone on base and didn't want to worry about delaying the base aircraft just so Ghost Rider could have fun. Plenty of room for the flyby, but more work for tower.

And of course doing a low pass by the tower will be cool, because low passes are awesome.
Here's a low pass by Dale "Snort" Snodgrass during a dependent's cruise. Nothin cooler. http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15...b814d2c458.jpg
#14
Old 03-07-2015, 10:09 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 16,517
I always interpreted "the pattern is full" to mean "there are a lot of planes landing/waiting to land right now, therefore do not be a dangerous ass". If the pattern is full, any number of planes are circling around the airport and pulling up from a low pass might cause a collision.

Or it could be just the canned answer to pointy jockeys who think they're the shit.
#15
Old 03-07-2015, 10:49 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 16,451
Repeat after me:
It's a movie not real life.
__________________
Remember this motto to live by: Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather one should aim to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, glass of Scotch in the other, your body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO! Man, what a ride!"
#16
Old 03-07-2015, 10:58 AM
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 23,048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
I know absolutely nothing about aviation, and even less about military aviation, but under what circumstance would "buzzing the tower" be permissible?

I assume that "buzzing the tower" means flying fairly close to the air-traffic control tower, in some sort of a show-off manner..?
On various sites you can find videos of Navy jets doing close flybys. They appear to be planned events so the sailors can watch.

Here is one. There appear to be civilians on board to. Family day?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4BOLN2akROk

Last edited by Loach; 03-07-2015 at 11:01 AM.
#17
Old 03-07-2015, 08:33 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Here is one. There appear to be civilians on board to. Family day?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4BOLN2akROk
My guess is that was a tiger cruise. The Navy lets family of the sailors/marines spend some time aboard ship as the ship returns home. I was fortunate enough to spend a week onboard the USS Bonhomme Richard between Hawaii and California when my brother was in the Corps. Got to do several cool things that week, including see Harriers take off and land and fire a .50 caliber AA gun, but sadly we did not get a supersonic flyby.
#18
Old 03-03-2017, 11:47 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1
The Pattern is Full

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriarty View Post
In Top Gun, Maverick is shown enjoying buzzing the Air Traffic Controller tower, presumably to confirm his commitment to being a, well, maverick.

And saying that "the pattern is full" just doesn't make sense.

But just saying that the pattern is full doesn't really tell the pilot anything. It certainty doesn't answer why it's bad to buzz the tower. Something more appropriate might be "You're busting class Bravo airspace [i.e. the protected airspace around the airport] without authorization."

I am hardly a piloting expert, and I have absolutely no military experience, but isn't this line a bunch of gibberish?

Your lack of military experience and or intelligence is blatantly obvious. "The pattern is full", was once an "above top secret" assigned designation of military-based code-speak specifically de-classified so that Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer could use that phrase in the movie Top Gun as part of the psyops program the USGOV was running back in the '80s to create paranoia with the Russians.

The flyby of Maverick which caused the spilling of the coffee onto the air controller's uniform was to let Gorbachev know that the US was aware of his operations in Columbia and that the US was no longer going to permit its continuation. If you watch the scene again, the air controller (a major) is pouring coffee from the silver coffee urn... then as he turns and faces the camera, you'll notice his uniform "fruit salad", the arrangement of the military awards are all USSR and not USA. In fact, his name tag is has the hammer and sickle, and his name is written as "Gor B Cheff".


The opening day of "Top Gun" was the same day cia operatives ran their backdoor op "vacation in cancun" straight from mexico into bogota. But you probably didn't know any of this.

Which is why it's understandable you hear this line as "a bunch of gibberish".

Since it's been 30 years and this op has been de-classified, there's no harm in letting the normies know.

- gr

Last edited by Ghost Rider; 03-03-2017 at 11:48 AM.
#19
Old 03-03-2017, 11:50 AM
The Turtle Moves!
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 48,453
Reported
#20
Old 03-03-2017, 11:53 AM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Deepest South London
Posts: 20,005
Highway to the Danger Zombi...er, Zone...
#21
Old 03-03-2017, 12:26 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Rider View Post
Your lack of military experience and or intelligence is blatantly obvious. "The pattern is full", was once an "above top secret" assigned designation of military-based code-speak specifically de-classified so that Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer could use that phrase in the movie Top Gun as part of the psyops program the USGOV was running back in the '80s to create paranoia with the Russians.

The flyby of Maverick which caused the spilling of the coffee onto the air controller's uniform was to let Gorbachev know that the US was aware of his operations in Columbia and that the US was no longer going to permit its continuation. If you watch the scene again, the air controller (a major) is pouring coffee from the silver coffee urn... then as he turns and faces the camera, you'll notice his uniform "fruit salad", the arrangement of the military awards are all USSR and not USA. In fact, his name tag is has the hammer and sickle, and his name is written as "Gor B Cheff".


The opening day of "Top Gun" was the same day cia operatives ran their backdoor op "vacation in cancun" straight from mexico into bogota. But you probably didn't know any of this.

Which is why it's understandable you hear this line as "a bunch of gibberish".

Since it's been 30 years and this op has been de-classified, there's no harm in letting the normies know.

- gr
WUT.
Serious question tho- you can report someone for just being batty now? Board's gonna get sparse if that is true.
#22
Old 03-03-2017, 12:29 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 55,914
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Reported
Why? He's in the pipe, five by five.
#23
Old 03-03-2017, 12:30 PM
Charter Member
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Beervania
Posts: 53,059
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Rider View Post
Your lack of military experience and or intelligence is blatantly obvious. "The pattern is full", was once an "above top secret" assigned designation of military-based code-speak specifically de-classified so that Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer could use that phrase in the movie Top Gun as part of the psyops program the USGOV was running back in the '80s to create paranoia with the Russians.

The flyby of Maverick which caused the spilling of the coffee onto the air controller's uniform was to let Gorbachev know that the US was aware of his operations in Columbia and that the US was no longer going to permit its continuation. If you watch the scene again, the air controller (a major) is pouring coffee from the silver coffee urn... then as he turns and faces the camera, you'll notice his uniform "fruit salad", the arrangement of the military awards are all USSR and not USA. In fact, his name tag is has the hammer and sickle, and his name is written as "Gor B Cheff".


The opening day of "Top Gun" was the same day cia operatives ran their backdoor op "vacation in cancun" straight from mexico into bogota. But you probably didn't know any of this.

Which is why it's understandable you hear this line as "a bunch of gibberish".

Since it's been 30 years and this op has been de-classified, there's no harm in letting the normies know.

- gr
Yeah.
Care to back this up with a cite or two?
#24
Old 03-03-2017, 12:30 PM
The Turtle Moves!
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 48,453
There's a difference between "Been around for awhile. Fucking nuts, but entertaining" and "Drive-by batshit."
#25
Old 03-03-2017, 12:30 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5,536
Dude needs to loosen his tin foil hat or up his psych meds.

"Gor B Cheff" was a nice touch though.

Last edited by Kimballkid; 03-03-2017 at 12:31 PM.
#26
Old 03-03-2017, 12:57 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: beautiful Idaho
Posts: 2,061
I am going to have to watch Top Gun more closely next time.
#27
Old 03-03-2017, 01:03 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 4,631
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasciel View Post
WUT.
Serious question tho- you can report someone for just being batty now? Board's gonna get sparse if that is true.
I'm thinking it is more about the "Your lack of military experience and or intelligence is blatantly obvious." line from Commander Cuckoo Bananas.
#28
Old 03-03-2017, 01:03 PM
The Turtle Moves!
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 48,453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Channing Idaho Banks View Post
I am going to have to watch Top Gun more closely next time.
For the subtleties of the fly-by you missed, right? Not just rewatching the volleyball scene?
#29
Old 03-03-2017, 01:08 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2010
Location: revillagigedo
Posts: 2,425
With wake turbulence separation the pattern could be full and the planes could be miles apart.
#30
Old 03-03-2017, 01:14 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 4,631
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
For the subtleties of the fly-by you missed, right? Not just rewatching the volleyball scene?
Ah, but that scene was also a symbol for the cold war. The American are the "shirts", the Soviets the "skins." The volleyball is a veiled reference to the nuclear football. And the overall message of the scene is that, as much as the two sides try to appear to rivals, they should just get over it and get a room, already.
#31
Old 03-03-2017, 01:23 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
I'm thinking it is more about the "Your lack of military experience and or intelligence is blatantly obvious." line from Commander Cuckoo Bananas.
Ahhh, I bet you're right. I missed that nugget in the buffet line of bonkers.
#32
Old 03-03-2017, 01:47 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 384
n/m

Last edited by VanLandry; 03-03-2017 at 01:50 PM. Reason: mistake
#33
Old 03-03-2017, 03:27 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The Barack of Obama
Posts: 3,528
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
For the subtleties of the fly-by you missed, right? Not just rewatching the volleyball scene?
...


...


... someone did a flyby in that movie?
#34
Old 03-03-2017, 03:48 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 8,676
I like it. I'm gonna subscribe to Ghost Rider's pamphlet.
#35
Old 03-03-2017, 04:40 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,069
It was clearly a warning to the Soviets that we had some ridiculously fast fast-movers.

"Maverick's supersonic. I'll be there in 30 seconds."

125 miles in 30 seconds is 15,000 MPH!

Zoooooom.
#36
Old 03-03-2017, 05:56 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Eighth & Forty-Deuce
Posts: 3,743
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Yeah.
Care to back this up with a cite or two?
I can cite from personal experience that a low pass makes a whooshing sound as it goes over your head.
#37
Old 03-03-2017, 06:50 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Flatlander in NH
Posts: 24,641
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Rider View Post
Since it's been 30 years and this op has been de-classified, there's no harm in letting the normies know.


All right, but the REAL ending of the movie is when they fight the MIGs at the end, all right? Because he has passed over into the gay way. They are this gay fighting fucking force, all right? And they're beating the Russians, the gays are beating the Russians. And it's over, and they fucking land, and Iceman's been trying to get Maverick the entire time, and finally, he's got him, all right? And what is the last fucking line that they have together? They're all hugging and kissing and happy with each other, and Ice comes up to Maverick, and he says, "Man, you can ride my tail, anytime!" And what does Maverick say? "You can ride mine!" Swordfight! Swordfight! Fuckin' A, man!
#38
Old 03-03-2017, 11:09 PM
Charter Member
Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 72,658
[Moderating]

I see no need to keep this open at this point.
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:54 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: naked buttocks population densities pho pronounce lucas electric jokes tipping takeout cowardly lion medal gorilla human sex dent on shin straight men showering nuke glass eunuch erection spring shoes ck2 dull bubblegum flavour juuva anion emitter flap under tongue batteries hot japanese for tentacle wwii belligerents penis chafe eight liner fa fa fooey alternate history canada beluga whale mermaid bono crap cats celery adhesive for neoprene penny arcade forest pdf line break cow from barnyard guitar licks definition creepy cleverbot where do mosquitoes go when it rains can you grow taller after 18 how to clean coffee stains from stainless steel thermos stop signs in different languages wear underwear with swimming trunks do you die instantly when your neck is broken 13 year old with mustache how long does fenofibrate stay in your system how much weight can a wall stud support grizzly bear riding a shark netflix your account is on hold water line through basement wall it is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. french rifle never fired dropped once jap girls in synthesis how to clean bonded leather couch porcelain drip pans for electric stove the office printer scene i am the frito bandito mount and blade warband build why does paper beat rock how long to trickle charge a car battery dirty dishwater blonde hair she's built like a brick shithouse smirnoff triple black discontinued bowling alley in merced ca pill stuck in throat what to do how did prostitutes in the 1800s prevent pregnancy sweating while sleeping in a cold room lg-vx11000 sim card location is it rude to bring your own chopsticks bruise turned into hard lump why do they saw off shotguns