Two Zero Tango – Alaba Okuyiga

‘Oakland Tower, Two Zero Tango at Runway 11, ready for take off’

‘Two Zero Tango, please hold and you are number five for take off behind the Go Places Fokker 28’

‘Roger Oakland, number five for take off and I have the little Fokker in sight!’

‘Ha ha, nice one skipper. Tower can’t bust you for that wisecrack’

‘Jide, what wisecrack would you be referring to? Ha ha’

‘Weather looks fine over to the west and ceiling and visibility is unlimited. Hey Jide, I wonder what it’s like to be high and fly. I’ve never done that but know guys who have’

‘Want to give it a try skipper? I can grab my bag where I have some  joints and smack.’

‘You do? Why may I ask? If those bastards at airport security searched you, you would have been in trouble’.

‘Well, they didn’t. What do you say?’

‘Yeah, why not. It was a long day yesterday and we have five sectors to fly today after we take this empty plane to San Diego and pick up passengers. ‘

‘Hang on, I’ll be right back, skip’

‘To all aircraft lining for take off on Runway 11, this is Oakland Tower, sorry for the delay but a deer wandered onto the runway some minutes ago and was hit by a plane taking off. The plane was fine but we are waiting for maintenance to remove the dead deer.’

‘Tower, I’ll notify our catering department’

‘Which aircraft said that? Identify yourself for making that  remark’

‘Jide, I just fired off another wisecrack and the dummy in the tower now wants me to identify myself..ha ha. As if.  From now until after take off, you handle the radio so he doesn’t recognise my voice. Is this the joint?

‘Yes Skip, great stuff, Colombian Gold I call it. You got a lighter?’

‘Sure, there you go’.

‘Thanks…ah….ah…sweet. Here’s yours Skipper’

‘Nice man. Listen we better disable the cockpit voice recorder. Don’t want anyone listening to what we are up to.’

‘Skip, no need to. It only records the last 30 minutes and it’ll take us 60 minutes to get to San Diego’

‘Yeah…you’re right. This is good stuff. I smoked something like this when I was dating that transsexual Mira ..from Frisco. It might have been a she- male but everything worked out fine.’

‘What?? Mira was a Trans? Man, you sure kept that quiet’

‘Not exactly the kind of thing I’d be blabbing about in the pilots rest room, is it? And listen Jide, not a word.’

‘My joint is my word, Skipper. My lips are schtum’

‘Two Zero Tango, you are cleared for take off Runway 11 Left, wind is gusting from 15 degrees at 10 knots. After take off, contact Oakland Centre on 124.4. Good day’

‘Handle the radio, Jide or that guy will recognise my voice from earlier’

‘Oakland Tower, Two Zero Tango rolling and have a good day too.’



‘Speed active’

’60 and cross check’


’90, 120, V1, Rotate’

‘Roger. Positive rate of climb. Gear up’

‘Gear up Skipper’

‘Flaps 5’

‘Oakland Centre, Two Zero Tango at 3000 on a heading of 112’

‘Two Zero Tango, turn to a heading of 151.Climb and maintain 12000. Speed no more than 260 knots as there’s a lot of traffic this morning’

‘Thanks Oakland Centre. Climb and maintain Flight level 12. Speed set at 260’.

‘Jide, this is good shit, you know. I feel a buzz coming on and it might make me fly better’

‘Amen to that, brother.’

‘Skipper, what the maximum ceiling or height that this plane will fly? I know the manual and organisation says 41,000 feet but many of the guys say they’ve taken it higher than that.

Even Wendy the devil says she popped it to 47,000 but the airline mustn’t find out’

‘I don’t know, Jide; you know how airline manufacturers are conservative with their figures. It’s the opposite with car makers who claim the cars are always faster than it is. Imagine that Cadillac Supreme POS they say can top 130 mph. My ex wife bought one when we were married and the max that it could do was 106’

‘POS? Skipper, what’s that?

‘Piece of Shit’

‘Oh yeah. Fancy some crack, Skipper?. Coming after a joint, it’ll make us good for the rest of the day’

‘Why not? In for a cent, in for a dollar’

‘Two Zero Tango, Oakland Centre here. You are cleared to 31000 feet.

‘31000, thanks Oakland Centre.’

‘You know Jide, lets see how high this plane can really climb to but first I’m thirsty. I need a drink from the forward galley. You want anything?’

‘A can of soda if there’s any there. I’m sure it’s all stocked for the revenue flight’

‘No problemo, Jide. I’ll be right back’

‘Here you go Jide. Its ice cold.

‘Gracias, Skipper’

‘Oakland Centre, Two Zero Tango here. We would like to climb to 45000 feet’

‘Two Zero Tango, isn’t that above the maximum for your plane?’

‘That’s a negative. Permission to climb to flight level 45’

‘What a jackass, trying to tell me what my plane can or can’t do’

‘Frigging moron, Skipper. You know all air traffic controllers are guys who failed to make it as pilots hence trying to bust our balls. Asswipe.’

‘Two Zero Tango, you are cleared to 45000’

‘Centre. Climb to 45000. Copy that. Two Zero Tango out.’

‘Let’s make the climb steady, Jide. Set up the climb mode to 2000 feet a minute and speed at 250 knots’

‘Roger,Skip. Here we go…’

’36, 37, 38, 39, 42, Look at this mother go, Skipper. We’ll crack 45 thou for sure.’

‘44,200, 44,400, 44,600, 44, 800 but our forward speed has slowed a lot. Now down to 235 knots indicated. 44, 900. It’s not going to go any higher Jide’

‘Fantastic Skipper, I’ve never flown this high in 6 years of flying’

‘Lets head on down, Jide. I think the engines are getting oxygen starved at this height’

‘Shit, Skipper, number two engine has failed’

‘Damn, let’s get down pronto. Centre, this is Two Zero Tango at 45,000. We’d like to go down to 18000 feet please’

‘Oakland Centre here. Is this an emergency Two Zero Tango?’

‘Damn, Jide, if we declare an emergency, everyone would want to know why. Our jobs would be gone, man and we would be tested for drugs. That’s jail time as well.’

‘Hell, Skipper, I’ll be a 23 year old black guy in jail. My ass will be used as currency as the jail birds take turns to rape me’

‘Negative Oakland Centre. It is not an emergency; We would just like to check out some systems in the descent’

‘Copy that Two Zero Tango. Descend to 29000 first.’

‘Affirmative. 29000 it is’

‘Oh God, skipper, number one engine is winding down too!’

‘Christ, lets declare an emergency. We’ve got nothing left and the engines won’t restart until we are at an altitude where there’s enough oxygen for a relight.’

‘Oakland Centre, Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. This is Two Zero Tango declaring an emergency. Double engine flame out. Repeat mayday. Give us directions to nearest airport.’

‘Two Zero Tango, descend immediately and we have cleared all traffic around you. Nearest airport is El Clemento about 160 miles north east of you. Only problem is that the runway is only 5000 feet long.’

‘Roger Centre. We’ll take that. El Clemento it is. Please get crash trucks ready’

‘Jide, tighten your seat belts and prime your ears to pop as we are going into an emergency dive. NOW! Oxygen masks on’

‘Copy that, Skipper, going through 45000, 40,000, 34, 27, and 20. Can we try to restart the engines?’

‘We need airspeed of over 300 knots an hour to windmill the blades for a start and we have it. Auto restart now, Jide.

‘Auto restart now. Its just turning but no light up skipper’

‘Let’s try 12000 feet and see if it starts then.’

‘At 12000, not starting skipper’

‘Don’t lose your cool Jide, keep it together’

‘8500, no restart..shit shit…shit’

‘We are 40 miles to that airport. We can glide in as long as we don’t stall.’

‘Oh man, we are going into an uncontrollable dive ’

‘Keep your voice down Jide, we are going to make it’

‘No we won’t. I knew the joint and crack was a bad idea’

‘1500 feet, we are not going to make it after all, Jide. Assume brace position. ‘

‘Fucking A’

‘Mum, I love you’








2 thoughts on “Two Zero Tango – Alaba Okuyiga” by Alaba (@AlabaOk)

  1. Captain @Alabaok, this was very amusing. Those two pilots are crazy!

    I liked how I was able to follow the story, even though it was dialogue only.

    But the ending gave a darker edge to the story than I would have liked, especially given the light hearted start.

    Well done.

    1. @TolaO.

      Many thanks. I think we all have a dark edge within us. What do you think?

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