Saturday, August 22, 2009

You'll come a-Flying Matilda, with me

Whatever the rules are for choosing 5-character names for IFR waypoints, there is still plenty of room left for poetic licence. There's a GAMBL waypoint not too far from the town of Casino and a WOOLY JUMPA somewhere over the Pacific. And SEXXI NIPPL have been reported in the Philippines.

In the case of a string of waypoints off the coast of Western Australia, inspiration was drawn from a well-known poem by none other than Banjo Paterson, Australia's best-known bush poet:


Sing it out loud with me and you'll get the first two verses of Waltzing Matilda, Australia's unofficial national anthem:

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,
Under the shade of a Coolibah tree

Pretty cool, isn't it? There's lots of waypoint trivia out there. Plastic Pilot once proposed to learn French using French IFR waypoints. has some more. The ultimate reference though, at least for trivia related to the UK airspace, is Nick Locke's

David at Land and Hold Short has come full circle: he's not using a song for naming waypoints, he's composing with navaid idents. Combine that with The Checklist Song and you may get the overture of an aviation opera.


Ron said...

Get outta here! That's amazing! There are a few examples here the US, but nothing on that level. An entire verse of a song. Very impressive.

Julien said...

What's even more amazing, and I only realised that today, is that these eleven waypoints are all on the same meridian (111 degrees East), and spaced exactly one degree of latitude apart, starting with WONSA at 22 degrees South and ending with TREES at 32 degrees South.

Somebody at Airservices Australia (that's our local provider of air traffic control services) sure had a lot of fun.

I also heard that there used to be a waypoint in the middle of nowhere near the centre of the country called GAFA (the Great Australian F*** All). It's been renamed since then.

The Flying Geek said...

Very interesting observation!

Anonymous said...

Look around the North-Eastern corner of South Australia, you'll see that you can plan IFR via PUDYA SWEED LIPPS ALIDL CLOZA TOUDA PHONE.