002 – Callsigns

002 – Callsigns

Featured Guest
U.S. Navy Captain Brian “Ferg” Ferguson

Only in the movies do fighter pilots enjoy cool nicknames like “Viper”, “Iceman”, or “Maverick.” In the real world, callsigns are generally plays on names (e.g. “Notso” Sharp), reflective of a pilot’s physical resemblance to some well-known character (“Shrek” Olsen), or the result of a mistake the pilot made at some point in his or her career (“Skids” Pennington). Admittedly, they are at times derogatory, and frequently not politically correct, but they are almost always funny.

On this episode, U.S. Navy Captain Brian “Ferg” Fergusson stops by to explain those whimsical, often juvenile nicknames many military aviators go by instead of their real names when flying and, on the ground. Learn how callsigns are assigned, whether they ever change, and why it’s actually a good thing when a new fighter pilot despises a newly-assigned callsign.

Episode photography courtesy of Brian Ferguson. Bumper music by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.

Related Media