Saturday, October 19, 2013

What's In a Name?

As you drive across the United States, you can come across any number of towns and cities with interesting names.  In Oregon where I have many relatives, there's Boring, Drain, Wonder, Bitter Lick, Climax, and Idiotville.  In the Northeast where our host resides, one can find Arctic, Galilee, Jerusalem, Purgatory and Sodom.  You can get Rough & Ready or Weed in California, and  Lex's Old Virginny offers us Antlers, Butts, and a Threeway.  With many of us on here having an interest or occupation in aviation, the fact that there are equally unique names for our airborne interstate highway system is a story in itself.  This article shows us that the towns (actually 5 letter named waypoints) that dot the aerial landscape of the charts used by the Pilots, Navigators, First Officers, and the FAA in general are often either nonsensical or quite touching.  

Arrival and departure routes seem to have the most thought put into them.  Aircraft flying the Freedom route to Reagan National from the NW pass through these waypoints:“WEEEE,” “WLLLL,” “NEVVR,” “FORGT” and “SEP11.”  

On the Low IFR Entroute Charts you can also get high on "HERBS" in Oregon, as well as finding "WALDO."  A hunter can only find "ELKES" by getting airborne near the town of Drain I referenced earlier.  If Sarge is willing to "HOPTU" it, he can find a "WACKY" and "HEFTY" "MINKK" near his home.  

There's probably an interesting story behind most of these town names and waypoint designations, some creative, some heartwarming, some prophetic.  If you're interested in finding the names of the ones near your home, take a look here to view an interactive enroute chart and have some fun scrolling in and out.  Let me know if you can find one near "Nowhere."


  1. Brilliant Tuna. Simply brilliant. I loved it.

  2. Or in Wyoming, "XXX 7989 over Crazy Woman, wahoo". (VOR)


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