So I'm just a aviation fan without industrial background.

I'm listening to Kennedy Steve's ATC communication and he said more than once like "American 600 in disguise."

What does it mean "in disguise" in this context?

Thank you.

  • $\begingroup$ Can you link to where you heard this? $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Jun 11, 2018 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ I believe it’s youtu.be/l9zQr_7KkoQ but I can’t remember the exact time now $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2018 at 15:24
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Kennedy Steve has a whole seperate section in the pilot-controller glossary :D $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Jun 11, 2018 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Lionet Chen youtu.be/l9zQr_7KkoQ at 1:36 $\endgroup$
    – dhchdhd
    Jan 15, 2019 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


The controller was probably referring to an airplane in a different livery but operating under the American call sign.

A likely example is US Airways. After the two companies merged, from October 2015 all flights were operated under the American call sign, but re-painting the US Airways planes took at least a couple years.

This is not standard phraseology but "Kennedy Steve" is known for trying to inject some humor into his work. See also: What does Top 1% mentioned by ATC refer to?

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I thought it was a standard postfix like “heavy” that actually gives information :) now I know. The same clip has a dinosaur reference, which I believe is also a metaphor, not an airliner company $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2018 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ "Dinosaur" could mean almost anything in Steveish: a really old plane, a plane with a dinosaur logo, a giant plane or something else. Hard to know without seeing video of field at the time. $\endgroup$
    – dhchdhd
    Jan 15, 2019 at 14:15

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