What's Your Call Sign?

By: Zoe Samuel

What's Your Call Sign?
Image: Stocktrek / DigitialVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Call signs are the names military aviators use on radio communications. They get around several problems encountered in communicating by radio. Like the military alphabet, in which letters like H and U become "Hotel" and "Uniform", call signs are usually easy to decipher over a radio. Call signs also get around the problem of using real names, since more than one pilot in the sky could be called "John" or have the same rank or last name. Call signs are also a great way of saying something about one's personality. In film, they have names like Iceman, Maverick and Hollywood. In reality, most call signs aren't far off from that. Call signs identify the specific pilots, it should be noted, not the aircraft itself, which has a name of its own.

Call signs, like any nickname, come from something in the personality of the pilot. The annals of military aviation are filled with "Jokers" and "Vipers" and even the occasional "Rabbi" but to each and every pilot, their name is theirs alone. It's more than just a way of being identified on the radio, it's a personal identity.

What kind of person are you? How would you fare as a pilot in the Navy (as in Top Gun) or the Marines, or the Air Force? How would you be seen by your peers? What name would you inevitably get stuck with? Get ready to buzz the tower! It's time to find out what your call sign is. Find out in this quiz!

What was your primary college activity?
Studying
Partying
Sports
Writing bad poetry

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What is an Immelmann Turn?
A loop used to evade and counter-attack
It's the thing I do in video games all the time.
It's a risky way of getting on your enemy's six.
It's a real test of your equipment's torque.

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How hard do you work on dry, technical skills?
Like a maniac.
I don't bother.
I drill until I know it cold.
I do some work, but I work best when I'm also relaxed.

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Which of these aircraft is the coolest?
Boeing F-15SE
Lockheed Martin F-35B
Lockheed F-117
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

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How do you prepare yourself for a trying situation?
I take a deep breath and imagine success.
I just do it, and if I fail, I fail.
I have my pre-game rituals.
I just say a prayer.

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What style of fighting appeals to you?
Jujitsu
Slap fighting
Filipino knife fighting
Fighting in the dark

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What do you do when you have some spare cash?
I sock it away for a rainy day.
I spend it on beer.
I spend it on something that makes me more effective at my job.
I buy a lottery ticket.

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What quality would you lead with on a job interview?
My overall skill set
My personality
My strategic prowess
My results

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What subject did your favorite teacher teach?
Economics
Shop
Aikido
English

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How did you handle writing term papers?
I prepped all semester, and got it done a couple weeks before the deadline.
Sometimes I just didn't write them.
I would bang them all out in one weekend.
I would do them at the last minute.

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Do you ever worry about getting in under the wire?
No, because I plan for it.
All the time!
No, because I make sure the wire is raised up high for me.
No, I always seem to make it under the wire.

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How did you study for major tests?
I got all the books, all my notes, and holed up for a few days.
Study? Was I supposed to do that?
I'd cram.
I'd just wing it, and hope I learned what I needed during the regular semester.

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How hard did you have to work for good grades?
Hard, but I earned the grades at least.
Very hard, which is a shame because I didn't.
No harder than I do anything.
I worked at it, but not as hard as I should have. It all worked out in the end.

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What kind of summer vacation sounds like it's up your street?
Outward Bound, in the mountains
Spa weekend in Bermuda
Fantasy Camp at my local MLB team's training facility
Vegas, baby!

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What kind of job did you have when you were a college student?
I worked for the office of the department in which I was studying.
I didn't. I had a trust fund.
I worked in a store.
I was a paid intern.

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How did you pay for college?
I had several scholarships, all earned.
My folks paid for it.
I worked my way through, loans and all.
They just forgot to charge me! Weird, huh?

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How do you keep your trousers up?
I wear an excellent belt.
I like to wear them low. It's cool.
Belt and bracers
They just stay up! I don't need to do anything!

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What skill do you think makes a boxer successful?
Good jabs are the foundation.
A killer uppercut
The haymaker
It's all about footwork.

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What strategy did the Flying Tigers use to down Japanese fighters using much older, slower, second-hand planes?
They came at the enemy with the sun behind them.
They shot them!
They used a dive bomb, three or more on one, preferably early in the day, and then they escaped.
They trusted their commander and crossed their fingers.

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Which pilot do you admire most?
Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron
John Herbert Hedley, a WW1 gunner who fell out of his plane, but scampered back in
Chuck Yeager, the man who broke the sound barrier
Erich Hartmann, the greatest ace of all time, who shot down a ton of crappy Soviet planes flown by badly trained pilots

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What is a Split S?
A standard method of turning 180 degrees to engage enemy aircraft, or beat a hasty retreat
It's a corkscrew!
It's a nasty, quick way to turn on your tail.
It's a great way to rip the wings off your equipment if you do it too fast.

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How do you maintain your calm in an emergency?
I have to focus, but I can do it.
I can't!
It's natural. I just get very... calm.
I guess I just luck my way into it.

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No matter what else happens, what do you do?
Fly the plane.
Though I fly through the valley of the shadow of death …I shall fear no evil . For I am at 80,000 feet and climbing.
If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying.
To err is human, to forgive is divine; neither of which is Air Force policy.

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If nothing is broken on your helicopter, what's about to happen?
Something is about to break.
Nothing!
Something is about to go very wrong.
I'm about to survive something awesome.

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How do you skate by?
Natural talent
I don't.
Instincts
Luck

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How do you refer to your "beast mode"?
God Mode
Broadside The Barn!
Maximum Attack
Russian Roulette

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Which car would you daily drive?
2014 Chevy SS
2019 BMW 3-Series wagon
2018 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
2019 Jaguar I-Pace

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What non-flying USAF job would you dig?
Airborne Cryptologic Linguist
Information Systems Technology
Geospatial Intelligence
Emergency Management

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How long would you stay in grade?
36 months
Too long
Ten months
Six months

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Which stealth aircraft would you love to fly?
Lockheed Martin F-22
Lockheed SR-71
Northrop Grumman B-2
Northrop YF-23

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You Got:

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