The 100+ Most Creative Pilot Callsigns With Explanations - Aviation Humor (2024)

What is a callsign? It’s the name a pilot or crew member is called so they don’t have to use their real name when talking through communications equipment. It’s for both operational security and identifying the aircraft/pilot. There are three rules in coming up with a callsign:

1. If you don’t already have one, you will be assigned one by your “buddies”.
2. You probably won’t like it.
3. If you complain and moan too much about 1. and 2., you’ll get a new nickname you’ll like even less!

The 100+ Most Creative Pilot Callsigns With Explanations - Aviation Humor (1)

Agony – A man named Payne
Air-Fix – Pretty vain and looked like a model apparently… i.e. air fix model. He was an engineer though , not a pilot – hence the fix part…
ALF – Annoying Little F**k
Alphabet There was a new guy in the squadron by the name of Varsonofy Krestovozdvizhensky. After the first day, everybody just called him Alphabet.
Apex – During F-16 FWIC, this guy was supposed to be a docile Red Air target for his fellow studs trying to pass the intercepts phase. However, he insisted on aggressively shooting at his fellow classmates and screwing up their intercepts. Thus “Apex”, after the Soviet AA-7 missile.
Apollo – Last name Creed

Baldy Laughlin 1993: Female student married a classmate who got Vipers (F-16 aka “Lawn Dart”) BALD-D: Bangs A Lawn Dart Driver
Bambi – This pilot, who is now flying F-15s at Tyndall, hit a pregnant deer with his nosegear while taking off in a T-38 at Columbus. Needless to say, there were guts all over the runway and they had to close it for half an hour to clean-up.
Banana – Last name Hammock.
Beagle – Kept ‘bouncing around’ on landings like an excited beagle puppy.
Berlin – Taxied his aircraft into a wall while making a turn.
Blaze – Caught on fire in the base kitchen
Blow – Last name Jobins
Burbank – New F/A-18 driver shows up at first squadron and says “Hi, I’m Hollywood” Experienced pilots taken aback by Topgun wannabe declare, you’re no Hollywood, more like Burbank. The c/s stuck.

Caveman – During CAF survival training, guy enjoyed the worst of weather. After sleeping outside in the spilling rain and freezing cold, he woke quite rested. Instructor said, “He’s a f^cking caveman!”.
Coma – a very slow talking Southern guy
Captain – F-16 Driver in Japan – real name was James Kirk
Chocks – F-16 pilot started taxying before the chocks were removed
COOTS – Constantly Over-emphasizes Own Tactical Significance
Cypher – Broke through radio interference on a training flight.

DD – Dead Dave – Was actually clinically dead during water training accident… recovered of course.
Dice – Pilot who takes chances and has come close to being shot down on many occasions
Dingle – Last name Berry
Dino – An NFO from EA-6 days, this young lady had a habit of talking really, really fast and in a high pitched voice whenever she got even a little excited. The resulting sounds were just like the noise made by the Flintstone’s dog, Dino.
DRADIS – E-2 Hawkeye pilot and avid fan of the TV series Battlestar Galactica. DRADIS is the BSG word for “radar”.
Duck – It took a while before he got the hang of evasive maneuvering, so he was a sitting duck

ECM – Enlisted Chick Magnet
Elvis – This guy was always hard to find when you needed him, so when someone was looking for him, other people reported sightings (“I saw him over at the…”).
Electroman – This guy was like electricity with the ladies: he took the path of least resistance.
Elvis – This guy was always hard to find when you needed him, so when someone was looking for him, other people reported sightings (‘I saw him over at the…’).
EPU – For those unfortunate pilots who inadvertently fired their Emergency Power Unit on the ground.
Exxon – In pilot training on his initial T-38 solo, this guy was so excited and in such a hurry that he kind of blew through the preflight. Once cleared for takeoff, he ran’em up and got the “mission complete light”. The jet hadn’t been refueled on the turn!!

FORD – Found On Road Dead. After a mission, had a few drinks at the Sqn at Shady J. Then goes and passes out on the grass outside the Sqn.
FAG – Funny accent guy.
Fan Song – Has very very big ears…. like the Fan Song SA-2 Fire Tracking radar
Flowmax – The bladder the size of a thimble and a propensity to urinate at the slightest provocation.
Free Willy – Prowler ECMO who used the relief tube, and forgot to zip up until he stepped out of the aircraft.
Flatline – Passed out and had a heart attack in Kunsan during an exercise while wearing MOPP 4.

Giggles – Female pilot, also known as “gigs” always laughed in formation. Not necissarily laughing at anything in particular, just laughed.
GBIT – Get Back In The; Female Pilot; Last Name “Kitchen”
Gear Down – Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. A reminder not to forget a little detail once missed in the simulator.
Ghost – last name was Casper
Glory – Last name Hole
Grumpy – Not a morning person, and not too tall either. One of Snowwhite’s seven dwarfs.
Gucci – The guy was quite drunk in a bar, met a girl and subsequently vomited….in her designer purse. Apparently it was a Gucci purse.

Hurricane – A female pilot named Katrina.
Holyness – Last name LaPope.
Headless – CDR, USN, S-3 Pilot … the guys last name was “Horstman”
Hannibal – As in Lecter – One of our Squadron (21FS) Flight Surgeons, also an F-16 Pilot who, while flying a six-ship of Vipers trans-pacific, nauseated us with stories of becoming hungry when smelling cauterized human flesh in the operating room.
Hyde – It comes from Jeckyl and Hyde, Jeckyl when sober and Hyde when drunk. Everyone at Kunsan seemed to like Hyde better.
Hi-Ho – Last name Silva.

Inch – Dutch pilot who is 1.65 meters tall (5’4”), which is VERY short
Intake – This guy had the largest nose I’ve ever seen!
IRIS – I Require Intense Supervision. Female NFO who would get blackout drunk and wander off to do stupid things.
Iron Maiden – Female pilot who listened to Iron Maiden almost everyday.
Icetea – Cool and sweet female RIO

Jaws – Colonel Kevin G USAF Ret – used to fly F-15’s. He would never ever stop telling stories, so they called him Jaws!
Judge – Bachelor’s Degree was Pre-Law.
Jugs – First female tacair pilot at Miramar — ’nuff said…

Key – Instructor pilot that starts every lesson with, “The Key is”.
Kanga – Capt. Rew
Killer – Given to a Marine F-4 RIO that locked up on the wrong target during an east coast missile shot. Ended up shooting down a Navy A-4.
Krod – Spell it backwards…
Krunch – The sound the landing gear makes when it rips off after landing short on the runway.
Kasper – Always popped up in different places and scared the s*it out of everyone

Legend – Failed an exam that no one had ever failed in history
Lick – One of the greatest name plays ever. Last name MaWhinney.
LAMB – Notorious lady pilot who always had something low-cut when in civilian attire, thus LAMB (Look At My Boobs)
Lingus – His first name is Kenny…you can figure out the rest…
Link – Mono brow, neanderthal hairy, flat forehead, large knuckles. The missing link between ape and man.
Lunchbox – Ate anything left in the fridge for more than one day

Me-So – Last name Horn
MAHB – Man of hot & beauty – usually when the pilot’s wife or girlfriend is really looking good…
Marx – First name was Karl, and he hated communists.
Magellan – poor sense of direction
Mo’Gas – When during takeoff, always used to shout “More Gas! More Gas!”
Myzone Got drunk and tried to catch a lady, to which she just simply said, “Get out of my zone!”

NAG – Not A Guy First Marine Corps F/A-18 female weapon system office (WSO)
Notso – Fighter jock – last name Bright!
Nuts – Embarrassing incident in the ‘O’ bar

Omelet – Dutch pilot who wanted to be called Bouncer because he used to be one at a club in Holland. Bouncer in Dutch (Uitsmijter) also means grilled egg. The squadron decided that Bouncer sounded too cool so they called him Omelet. Lesson Learned: NEVER ask for your own callsign.
Oh My – ‘Maj. ‘Oh My’ Gaud.’
OMAR – Oh Man, Another Retard

P.E. – Premature Ejection – pressed the ejection switch in an aircraft while it was still on the runway.
Pyro – Forgot to “Fence Out” on LAO at Osan. Pickled off a few flares in the closed pull up and started a fire on the field!
Pampers – An F-14 backseater who suffered “nozzle failure” during flight.
Pickle – Came back from a flight one drop tank short…
Plan B – When chicks walk in to the bar, they see this guy and know what their “last resort” is.
Poptop – Otherwise super-stick in the squadron who managed to inadvertently jettison not one but two canopies.

Rudy – a short Marine Prowler Pilot who actually walked onto the scrub team at Notre Dame.
Razor – Fellow pilot who always made the sharpest turns and sharpest manoeuvers in combat training.
Rebound – Has been in so many rebound relationships that the name stuck. As a double entendre, it is believed that his plane must be made of rubber, since he hasn’t figured out landing… yet.
Rico – Intense, and constantly armed to the teeth… like the psychotic penguin from the Madagascar movie, only hotter and female
Rotor – Ran Off The Only Runway
Rushmore – Ellsworth AFB, SD B-52 driver – got bagged after climbing Mt Rushmore and sitting on Lincolns beard

Shrek – 6 foot 2 240 pounds – loud when sober, intolerable when drunk.
SLAW – Shops Like A Woman
Salad – First name Cesar
Salesman – Apparently a guy who had a hard time closing the deal. (use your imagination)
SALSA – Student Aviator Lacking Situational Awareness.
Siesta – When drinking has a habit of falling asleep at bars.

T-bone – dropped a practice bomb through a cow
TBAR – That Boy Ain’t Right
Teflon – Hawg driver at Spangdahlem. Named after his smooth moves while in the air and on the ground
TOOT – Instructor pilot who always started by saying “The Objective Of Today” is…
Tumble Weed – 6 Foot 6 Vegitarian helicopter pilot formally with “Weed” as his callsign. He fainted at a Change of Command Ceremony….. thus “Tumble Weed”.
Trash – Last name is of course White.

Uta – U Talk Alot. Given to a pilot in the squadron who would NOT shut up. Hence, Uta.
UTAH – Up Tight @$$ Hole

Vapor – A Viper pilot who landed with less than 100lbs of fuel left.
VAL – Very Annoying Lieutenant who was an F-16 driver in Japan
Viper – “Very Idiot Person”
Vodka – Pilot’s name was Smirnoff

WiFI – 2LT that drives a brand new Porsche…his wife bought for him (or at leave financed it)….WIfe Financed It
Werewolf – Always looking for the full moon! Even where there isn’t one!

YANG – Yet Another Non-Guy. Apparently female.
Yoda – Was a short Irishman who was in every fight

Zulu – Always got time calcs wrong in flightschool
Zen – Eagle driver, got it when he squeezed off a shot with his gun during training and hit the target – without using the computer

To create yours just follow the link to this military aviator call sign generator

The 100+ Most Creative Pilot Callsigns With Explanations - Aviation Humor (2024)


What is the coolest callsign? ›

15 MORE Cool Airline Call Signs!
  • Sasquatch – SeaPort Airlines. ...
  • Springbok – South African Airlines. ...
  • Smart Cat – TigerAir Taiwan. ...
  • Skylab – LabCorp. ...
  • Xanadu – AirAsia X. ...
  • Clipper – Pan American World Airways. ...
  • Velocity – Virgin Australia. ...
  • Jedi – Jet Story. Number one on the list may come as a surprise.

What are some nicknames for pilots? ›

  • aviator.
  • captain.
  • flier.
  • leader.
  • navigator.
  • ace.
  • aerialist.
  • aeronaut.

How do pilots choose Callsigns? ›

Pilots and other aviators do not get to pick their own call signs, Harmer said. Instead, they are assigned their official nicknames when they join their first deployable squadron. These call signs are usually based on someone's personality or foibles and they tend to stick with aviators for their entire careers.

How do you come up with Callsigns? ›

Bottom line up front (or BLUF): U.S. Air Force fighter call signs are given at naming ceremonies or “namings.” They are usually based on how badly you've screwed something up, a play on your name, your personality, or just the whims of the drunken mob of pilots.

Who was the best pilot ever? ›

#1: Charles Lindbergh
  • Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger.
  • Florence 'Pancho' Barnes.
  • Louis Bleriot.
  • Erich Hartmann.
  • Charles E. Yeager.
  • Baron Manfred Von Richthoven.
  • James 'Jimmy' Doolittle.
  • The Wright Brothers.
Mar 21, 2022

Are pilots called captains? ›

Commercially-chartered private jet flights in Europe and the US are operated by two pilots. One will take full responsibility for the flight and be referred to as the Captain. If both pilots are Command Course qualified, one pilot will take responsibility for the flight and will be referred to as 'Commander'.

What do you call a girl pilot? ›

Women pilots were also called "aviatrices". Women have been flying powered aircraft since 1908; prior to 1970, however, most were restricted to working privately or in support roles in the aviation industry. Aviation also allowed women to "travel alone on unprecedented journeys".

What were the best pilot nicknames? ›

  • "Cats Eyes" – John Cunningham, Battle of Britain pilot.
  • "Chappie" – Daniel James, Jr., American Air Force general.
  • "Chuck" – Charles Elwood Yeager, World War II USAAF fighter ace and first pilot to break the sound barrier in level flight.
  • "Cobber" – Edgar J. ...
  • "Cobra" – Ronald Stein, USAF fighter ace.

Is pilot a name? ›

The name Pilot is primarily a gender-neutral name of American origin that means Ship Or Plane Operator. Pilot Inspektor Lee, son of actor Jason Lee.

What is the Air Force nickname? ›

Flyboy– what everyone but Air Force people call Air Force people.

What is your callsign? ›

A call sign is the nickname that aviators give themselves or each other and then have to live with for the rest of their lives. You know, like "Maverick," "Goose" or "Viper." The helpful folks at Paramount have made a short video to explain the concept of call signs to a new generation of moviegoers.

What are military pilots called? ›

A fighter pilot is a military aviator trained to engage in air-to-air combat, air-to-ground combat and sometimes electronic warfare while in the cockpit of a fighter aircraft.

Why do pilots have Callsigns? ›

The call sign is a specialized form of nickname that is used as a substitute for the aviator's given name. It is used on flight suit and flight jacket name tags, painted/displayed beneath the officer's or enlisted aircrewman's name on aircraft fuselages or canopy rails, and in radio conversations.

Do RAF pilots have call signs? ›

Each flight will have a callsign, but they aren't (normally) allocated to a particular pilot. It's not Top Gun.

What is the pilot alphabet? ›

Alpha, Bravo, Charli, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, PaPa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu. Pilots pronounce numbers similar to regular English, with a few exceptions: The number three (3) is pronounced “tree.”

Who kills the most air to air? ›

Erich Hartmann, with 352 official kills the highest scoring fighter pilot of all time. Ilmari Juutilainen, a Finnish flying ace with Brewster BW-364 "Orange 4" on 26 June 1942 during the Continuation War.

Who is the oldest pilot? ›

The oldest active pilot (current) is Harry Moyer (USA, b. 30 October 1920) who aged 100 years old, still flies his aircraft, as verified in San Luis Obispo, California, USA, on 30 October 2020.

Are pilots rich? ›

Major Airline Pilots Earn the Highest Salary Regional Airlines versus Major Airlines. In the May 2020 report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the range of salaries for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers from less than $80,920 a year, to the highest 10 percent earning more than $208,000.

What does 2 stripes on a pilot mean? ›

Two Stripes are worn by flight engineers or second officers. Aside from being the third line of command, they are also qualified to fly planes. Three Stripes indicate that the person is the co-pilot or second in command. They assist the captain through flight planning and updating communication and flight mechanisms.

What does 4 stripes on a pilot mean? ›

Epaulets and Stripes

A flight engineer or second officer wears two stripes, a first officer wears three stripes on their pilot uniform and a captain normally wears four.

Do pilots have ranks? ›

Ranks are generally split into the following: Training Captain. Captain. Senior First Officer.

Who is the most famous female pilot? ›

Perhaps the most famous female pilot ever, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. When she began her journey from Newfoundland to Paris in a Lockheed Vega 5B, she kicked off a short career full of highlights.

Who was the first black female pilot? ›

Once again, Bessie Coleman—the first Black woman to earn a pilot's license just over a century ago, on June 15, 1921—experienced the exhilaration of soaring through the skies.

Why do Navy pilots have call signs? ›

Some historians say that pilot call signs may have originated from ground controllers wanting a quick way to reference those aviators over the radio, but that's still hearsay. Call signs were sometimes even given to the enemy.

What were the best pilots nicknamed in ww1? ›

With mounted machine guns, pilots often fought enemy pilots in the air. These fights in the air were called dogfights. The best of the pilots became famous and were nicknamed "aces."

What was the nickname of the German fighter pilot? ›

Richthofen's most common German nickname was "Der Rote Kampfflieger," which roughly translates to "The Red Battle Flyer" or "The Red Fighter Pilot." Today he is better known as the Red Baron.

Is pilot a boy name? ›

Pilot Origin and Meaning

The name Pilot is both a boy's name and a girl's name .

Is pilot a surname? ›

Pilot is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: Alain Pilot (b. 1962), Cameroon-French radio host for Radio France Internationale.

How common is the name Pilot? ›

The surname is the 25,252nd most common family name throughout the world, held by approximately 1 in 341,097 people.

What's the Air Force battle cry? ›

Hooah /ˈhuːɑː/ is a battle cry used by Soldiers in the U.S. Army, Airmen in the U.S. Air Force, and Guardians in the U.S. Space Force.

What do you call a girl in Air Force? ›

In the Army, all are Soldiers. In the Marine Corps, it's Marine. And in the Air Force, all service members are Airmen (male or female — an awkward problem we can fix in the space service.)

What is a female in the Air Force called? ›

The WAFS and WFTD merged into WASP on Aug. 5, 1943. Cochran served as director of WASP and its training division, while Love was director of the ferrying division. In the 16 months WASP existed, more than 25,000 women applied for training; only 1,879 candidates were accepted.

Can you choose your ham radio callsign? ›

You can pick your own ham radio call sign (within certain limits, of course). If you're the sort of person who likes having a license plate that says IMABOZO or UTURKEY, you'll enjoy creating a so-called vanity call sign.

What is a black pilot? ›

Definition of black pilot

1 : beau gregory. 2 : black rudder fish.

Why do pilots say Fox 3? ›

At that time “FOX 1” signified a semi-active radar missile (such as the AIM-7 Sparrow). “FOX 2” signified an infrared missile (such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder), and “FOX-3” indicated you had switched to guns.

Why do pilots say angels? ›

Angels – Altitude in thousands of feet. "Angels two-five" means 25,000 feet. Angle of attack – The angle at which an aircraft wings meet the air stream. Despite the word “attack,” it is not related to weapons, and applies to all aircraft.

What does called no joy mean? ›

Noun. no joy. (idiomatic) a negative outcome; no success; failure. quotations ▼ I've been waiting 20 minutes for a bus, and still no joy.

Do Air Force pilots get their own plane? ›

no jets are useds by everyone in the squadron and on many occasion by other squadrons. The Squadron CC has 'his' own plane as does the group and wing CC but they don't just fly those planes, other than ceremonial things like air photos etc.

Do fighter pilots choose their aircraft? ›

Pilots may choose the aircraft they want to fly, or the branch they fly for may assign them an aircraft. In the Marines, aircraft-specific training begins after completing Advanced Flight Training. Naval aviators choose an aircraft pipeline after finishing primary flight training.

Do pilots have call signs like in Top Gun? ›

(Though the characters all have actual names, they're introduced by their aviator call signs, and that's how they're known.)

What were the nicknames in Top Gun? ›

Top Gun introduced audiences not only to the memorable call signs of "Maverick," "Iceman," and "Goose," but to a whole crew of pilots with snappy monikers like "Viper," "Cougar," "Jester," "Wolfman," "Sundown," "Slider," and "Hollywood." The call signs in Top Gun 2 are just as playful and indicative of their ...

How do Callsigns work? ›

The name is assigned to a unit on a semi-permanent basis; they change only when the U.S. Department of Defense goes to DEFCON 3. For example, JAMBO 51 would be assigned to a particular B-52 aircrew of the 5th Bomb Wing, while NODAK 1 would be an F-16 fighter with the North Dakota Air National Guard.

What is Z in aviation? ›

(YANK-KEY) Z. ▬ ▬ • • Zulu. (ZOO-LOO)

What is Oscar Tango Mike? ›

Oscar-Mike: On the Move. Tango Mike: Thanks Much. Tango Uniform: Toes Up, meaning killed or destroyed. Tango Yankee: Thank You.

Why do pilots say blue? ›

The callout from the pilots like "LOC blue" serves to remind themselves of the current flight guidance modes, and to maintain awareness of mode changes. This is also to ensure that their mental idea of "what the aircraft will do next" is up to date and fits to the current flight situation.

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