Pilot Callsigns

The web's largest collection of callsign stories

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The Three Rules of Callsigns

  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!

So, how do you get a callsign?

Do something stupid or have it fit with your last name. Obvious examples, 'Crash' or LT 'Cheese' Kraft. Sometimes it's based on a physical appearance thing like 'Carrot'. After you've earned the respect of your buddies, you'll get a more 'heroic' callsign.

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Submit a Callsign - and don't forget the story!

Most recent additions

Our callsigns list contains 1549 callsigns. Here are the latest additions:

Lube

 (added: 9 Sep 2019)
Initials are K.Y.

Church

 (added: 9 Oct 2019)
Last name Iglesias

Ice Cream

 (added: 20 Oct 2019)
As an LT, they would remember my first name (Daniel) before my last name. It turned into Lieutenant Daniel, then shortly thereafter Lieutenant Dan, which reminded them of Forrest Gump when Forrest said “LT Dan....Ice Cream!”. Call Sign - ”Ice Cream”.

Hatchet

 (added: 22 Oct 2019)
After getting shot down, said pilot was forced to survive in the snowy wastes of Wellow. the only thing said pilot had to use were old rations and his hatchet. Using his hatchet, he built a small shelter and survived off off killing animals with his hatchet. He was finally found 2 months later by an allied recon flight. Because he survived off of his hatchet, he took The Name Hatchet as his callsign (Also, he would fly an F-14B before getting shot down, then gets an F-14D after being rescued.)

Cotton Ball

 (added: 30 Oct 2019)
She made the mistake of trying to give herself the callsign "CinderBlock" and shorten it to CB. We ran with the CB and changed it to Cotton Ball.

ELF

 (added: 8 Nov 2019)
Engage Lots of Friendly during my ACM course.

ZEUS

 (added: 28 Dec 2019)
Given to me by my squadron at Wright-Pat. I had a task I was taking my time getting around to. My supervisor came to my desk and asked me what the progress was, I lied and said "It's nearly done" He then asked me to pull it up and show him. He sat there and watched me complete the spreadsheet from start to finish and bestowed my callsign/nickname ZEUS. He said it stood for "Zero Effort Unless Supervised". It stuck with me my entire Air Force career.

Fearless

 (added: 22 Nov 2019)
During fighter qualification volunteered to fly extra night ground attack (night owl) missions after having qualified in all categories. . Consensus that I was either a dumbshit or fearless.Fortunately squadron mates at the alcohol fueled naming ceremony liked the alliteration of Fearless Fred. Thank God!

Bushwacker

 (added: 22 Nov 2019)
There used to be 30-foot-tall trees on short final where I was doing type conversion in a prop job. I cut 'em down to ten feet. Still got one of the twigs I pulled out of the cowling that day..

Preacher

 (added: 30 Nov 2019)
My name is Jim Jones. A short time before I began UPT a reverend with the same name had caused a large group of people to drink poisoned kool aid in a bizarre religious cult ritual in Guyana. In typical tacair fashion this was deemed the perfect call sign for a newly minted air force pilot. I ended up 11fx and assigned to the F-15C, so I would have answered to any silly thing they wanted to call me. :)

Caddy

 (added: 3 Dec 2019)
Three of my instructors were playing a game of golf in the park with a Wal-Mart sand wedge and a sleeve of tennis balls. I saw them and asked to join them, but a sleeve of balls only has three. So they made me caddy for them, running the club between each golfer, cleaning it, and "suggest" clubs--of which there was only one. Good shots were given a "good choice, Caddy," and bad shots the opposite. The name just stuck. Years later, one of them was helping me build a deck at my house, and our wives were talking and watching. I made a raunchy joke, and my wife used my real name. His wife was surprised; having known me for years, she didn't know what it was.

Amber

 (added: 4 Dec 2019)
He disappeared so frequently from work they had to send out the [insert callsign] for him to come back.

Half Pint

 (added: 4 Dec 2019)
Hardheaded Angry Little Fucker Possibly In Need of Therapy

Vincent

 (added: 19 Dec 2019)
Only a few people know the meaning. Short for: "vingt centimètres" (means twenty centimetres in French). He had the largest **** in the flight school.

Frodo

 (added: 19 Dec 2019)
That guy lost his engagement ring during a party in a las vegas stripclub.

Excel

 (added: 19 Dec 2019)
Had a Excel-Table for everything during flight school

Bingo

 (added: 13 Feb 2021)
Not a pilot, which makes this c/s even more offensive. During training in San Antonio, TX, class decided to take advantage of a holiday weekend and make a group trip to the gulf coast. Two of us rode motorcycles while the rest piled into cars together. At our first fuel stop, I decided my bike (with no fuel gauge) still had plenty in the tank to reach the next planned stop, so we continue onward. Drained the tank and the reserve just a few hundred yards from the highway exit at our next stop. Classmates got out and pushed me and my bike up the ramp and into the Shell station. At graduation, they dubbed me "Putter." In a subsequent course, my new classmates (several were pilots) "corrected" it to Bingo. I'm a logistician by trade. Fuel management is one of our competencies.

Atom

 (added: 15 Feb 2021)
Guy was the smallest pilot in the squadron

Static

 (added: 15 Feb 2021)
True Story: F-16 pilot with this call sign was in the process of transferring a F-16 from SC to Louisiana for a Hurricane evacuation. As soon as the pilot leveled off about FL26. He had an IFE with a engine warning light. Without declaring IFE or contacting ATC he dove through airspaces and aimed for nearest field: KXNO. Luckily, the FD was out fueling fire trucks that morning. His wingman performed a low altitude high speed pass over the field to get our attention. There was no communication with ATC tower at XNO, nor was it staffed at the time. Even then they probably only heard static on the radio. I was one of the firefighters that day and noticed the F-16 parked at the end of the runway aiming off the end. We responded to safety the aircraft (pinned gear, and chocking a/c) and allowed for safe shutdown. Mechanics later determined had the engine run for a couple more minutes it could have exploded. It was actively leaking oil out the engine when it landed.

Fish

 (added: 1 Mar 2021)
F*@# Is She Huge. When she looks like Xena: Warrior Princess

SNIFF

 (added: 3 Mar 2021)
Saltiest New-guy In the F-ing Fleet

Pebbles

 (added: 10 Mar 2021)
Canadian pilot who landed slightly short of the runway, resulting in a huge cloud of dust and small rocks thrown up by her jet wash.

T-Rex

 (added: 7 Apr 2021)
Ate two full racks of BBQ ribs faster than anyone else ate one. The comment was made that it was like watching a Tyrannosaurus!

Vix

 (added: 13 Apr 2021)
The only female in the squadron. People thought I was hot. My last name is Fox. Female fox is a Vixen. You get it.

Coyote

 (added: 16 Apr 2021)
Most expensive way to kill a coyote? Hit it with an airplane...