Dan Rattiner's Stories

Control Tower Chatter: Recording from East Hampton Airport

The following is the transcription of an audio tape found in a dumpster outside of the East Hampton Airport terminal last Saturday morning by Dan’s Papers reporters. The audio is believed to be from the control tower surveillance camera. It is time stamped Friday August 28, 11:53 p.m. and lasts nine minutes.

After 11 p.m., the airport tower is unmanned because the airport is closed at that time, as per new regulations that went into effect July 5, for the first time shutting down the airport from 11:01 p.m. to 7 a.m. No planes are to land during this time now.

Male Voice: Raise you ten.

Male Voice 2: Check and raise you another ten.

MV: I’ll see you. Another beer?

MV2: Sure. You gonna date Allison again when school starts?

MV1: Yeah. If she’s back. I thought she was going to the Ross School.

MV2: I think her parents talked her out of it.

SPEAKER: This is Gulfstream Six Eight Seven Romeo Tango 34 miles out inbound for landing request runway One Four.

MV2: What’s that?

MV1: (Shouting) The airport is closed.

SPEAKER: We know that. Request exception. Request permission to land One Four.

MV1: The controllers are not here.

SPEAKER: You’re breaking up. Gulfstream Six Eight Seven Romeo Tango requesting permission to land runway One Four.

MV1: So land.

SPEAKER: Is that permission? We need your permission after the airport is closed at eleven.

MV1: Who is this?

SPEAKER: Gulfstream Six Eight Seven Romeo Tango. Twenty-eight miles out now.

MV1: I can’t give you permission.

SPEAKER: We need your permission after eleven. And we know there is a fine to be paid. We’ll pay it.

MV2: Go away. (Pause.) I’ve got two spades. That’s all. Bluffing.

MV1: Raking it in.

SPEAKER: We have a famous movie star onboard. She needs to land. It’s her son’s birthday tomorrow.

MV2: How famous?

SPEAKER: We aren’t allowed to tell you.

MV2: Any Academy Awards?

SPEAKER: Uh, wait a minute. (Pause) Uh, two.

MV2: Minimum is three.

MV1: What are you doing?

SPEAKER: She has two wins and one nomination.

MV2: Not good enough. Sorry. We’re closed. Land Westhampton.

SPEAKER: Roger that. Gulfstream Six Eight Seven Romeo Tango accepting alternative airport, altering course.

MV1: Are you messing with this John. Answer me.

MV2: Yes. I’ll take three.

MV1: Three big ones. I’m taking two.

MV2: I smell another bluff coming.

SPEAKER: This is Learjet Eight Two Six Zebra Alpha inbound 48 miles requesting emergency landing at East Hampton Airport on Runway One Four.

MV2: What’s the emergency?

SPEAKER: Sick. Very sick. Throwing-up sick.

MV2: Throwing up.

SPEAKER: Yes sir.

MV1: Oh, let ’em land.

MV2: Movie star?

SPEAKER: No sir. Big arbitrage company chairman.

MV1: (Whisper) What’s arbitrage?

MV2: I dunno.

SPEAKER: Big cheese. We’ll pay the fine. And we could give you a little something after we land, too. For your help.

MV2: (Shouting) Are you trying to bribe me? Do you know the Chief of Police is up here just now? Do you know that?

SPEAKER: Altering course. Accepting alternative airport. Repeat. Accepting alternative airport. Sorry to have bothered you.

MV1: What kind of plane are you?

SPEAKER: Learjet 55.

MV1: That’s the big one.

MV2: I sent him away.

MV1: That’s their biggest plane. You sent him away.

MV2: Happy trails. You gonna try out for the football team this year?

MV1: If they have it.

MV2: They’re gonna try again to put together a team.

MV1: I hope they do. I’m in. I bid 40. Forty in the pot.

MV2: Match you and raise you ten.

MV1: Raise you another ten.

SPEAKER: This is Gulfstream Three Three Three Foxtrot Victory 28 miles out approaching East Hampton, requesting after-hours permission to land runway one four.

MV2: You know there is a fine.

SPEAKER: We’re aware of it. We have a check.

MV2: We’ll need a credit card. Or cash.

MV1: Cash?

SPEAKER: Cash it is. Bearing Seven One Eight, runway One Four.

MY2: I never said you could land.

SPEAKER: Asking permission. Grant permission.

MV2: Who’s onboard?

SPEAKER: I’m not allowed to tell you that.

MV2: I need a hint.

SPEAKER: Running for president.

MV2: Trump?

SPEAKER: Not Trump. Please, can we land on Runway One Four? We have cash.

MV1: Why do they keep saying runway One Four?

MV2: Turn around, my friend. Now look out the window. See? See that? On the runway. Great big letters. Fourteen. It’s the only runway.

MV1: Ah.

SPEAKER: Gulfstream Three Three Three Foxtrot Victory requesting permission to land after hours, sir.

MV2: Permission denied. Airport closed.

MV1: Rubio? Jeb? Hillary?

SPEAKER: No.

MV1: What kind of Gulfstream?

SPEAKER: Gulfstream G650 sir.

MV1: That’s a big goddamn airplane.

MV2: Abort to Westhampton. Abort to Westhampton.

SPEAKER: Understood. We will change to alternate airport.

MV1: Why did you do that? I wanted to see that plane.

MV2: You in or you out?

MV1: I’m folding. You deal.

MV2: Raking it in again. Yeah. Time for more beer. Want another?

MV1: Yeah.

SPEAKER: Boeing Four Six Six Charlie Alpha 29 miles out incoming to East Hampton Airport requesting runway One Four.

MV1: Man, listen to that. It’s a damn earthquake. The whole place is shaking.

SPEAKER: Boeing Four Six Six Charlie Alpha 28 miles out incoming to East Hampton Airport requesting runway One Four.

MV2: The airport is closed. It’s after 11.

SPEAKER: This is a real emergency. Sir. We have a man here we think is having a
heart attack.

MV2: Who is he?

SPEAKER: Not allowed to pass along that, sir.

MV2: Need a name.

SPEAKER: Does Saudi Arabia mean anything to you?

MV1: The country?

SPEAKER: The Sheikh. The Sheikh. Get it?

MV2: The airport is closed.

MV1: Is that the Boeing BBJ?

SPEAKER: Yes sir.

MV1: That’s the biggest goddamn private plane ever made. I gotta see that.

SPEAKER: We know the airport is closed. This is an emergency. Boeing Four Six Six Charlie Alpha now 22 miles approaching East Hampton runway One Four.

MV2: You are very noisy.

SPEAKER: Requesting emergency permission to land sir. Please switch on the runway lights.

MV2: Switch on the runway lights? Runway lights? I can’t switch on the runway lights.

SPEAKER: I can do it from here, sir. Requesting permission to land, sir.

MV1: Holy cow. All lit up. They lit everything up. How do they do that?

MV2: You have to quiet it down.

SPEAKER: We could shut down two of the four engines, sir. Requesting permission to land runway One Four. Half power. Full glide. Emergency.

MV1: It’s a heart attack, Joel.

SPEAKER: Emergency requesting permission to land, sir.

MV2: Come in way down at the far end of the runway. Real quiet. Come in on little cat’s feet. Can you do that? Not a peep. Just way out there. At the end. And then leave.

MV1: I want them to stay.

SPEAKER: Yes, sir. Not a sound, sir. Not a peep.

MV2: Want me to call an ambulance?

MV1: (Whisper) We’re not supposed to be here.

MV2: Flight Boeing, you call the ambulance. Call 911. But tell them no siren. Lights okay. Not a sound.

SPEAKER: Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. Not a sound.

MV2: Permission granted.

MV1: That plane flies around the world.

MV2: What’s that camera up there? Is that a camera? Its little red light is on. Joel, check it out. Pull its tape. Throw it out.

MV1: Throw it out?

MV2: Yeah, now. Do it now.

SPEAKER: Thank you, sir, thank you. Prince Abu Ben Ali is recovering, praise be. He wants to give you a reward for…

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