In the USAF an airplane that is ready to fly is "In" - (in commission)
One that is not ready to fly is "Out" (out of commission)
One which is flying is "Up"
One which has landed is "Down"
In the US Navy an airplane that is ready to fly is "Up" (ie, up on the
One which is not ready is "Down" (ie, down below on the hangar deck)
The Canadian forces keep their aircraft hangared, so in the Canadian forces
an airplane that is ready to fly is "Out" (ie, outside)
One which is not ready to fly is "In" (In the hangar).
To compound the problem, at one time I was on exchange with the Canadian
Forces, with the rank of Captain
There was a Canadian Group Captain on exchange with the USAF. We both
landed at Winnipeg flying T-33s, -- but the Canadian was flying a USAF T-33,
and the American was flying a Canadian T-33 -- and we both had the same last
name! And then my airplane - the Canadian airplane - broke and needed
maintenance. Confusing the last names, the ground crew made the logical
assumption that the Canadian airplane was being flown by the Canadian pilot,
and called the group captain to tell him his aircraft was not flyable. I
walked in wearing my USAF flight suit and asked if my airplane was "In,"
meaning in commission. Thinking I wanted the USAF airplane they told me my
aircraft had been serviced and was ready to fly, so I went to ops, prepared
and filed a flight plan, then headed to the flight line. The ground crew
had a crewchief stationed at the American airplane ready to start, but I was
looking for the Canadian airplane and couldn't find it. When I went back
to maintenance to find my airplane they still thought I was looking for the
USAF airplane and they told me it was "out." (outside) but I thought it was
"out" (of commission), I said "You had told me it was "In" (commission)" and
they replied, "No, it's the Canadian T-33 that's In (for maintenance). The
American T-33 is "Out" (outside.)".
Me: "Wait a minute, I'm Capt. Jones -- I'm flying the Canadian T-33. Who's
flying the American T-33?"
Maintenance: "I thought you were flying the American airplane, which is out.
Group Captain Jones is flying the Canadian T-33, and right now it's in."
Me: "No, I brought in the Canadian T-33 and the last I heard it was out, but
you just told me it's in.
Maintenance: "Sir, the Canadian T-bird IS in, and it'll stay in until we get
a replacement pitot head. The American T-bird is out but Group Captain
Jones hasn't shown up so we may bring it back in."
Abbot and Costello would have been proud of us --
That's a funny story. You never know if you're talking to a brick
wall, or if the person sees three heads on your shoulders.
Long long ago, far, far away... my English girl friend never
could get used to Americans saying they were "stuffed" following
a large meal or, for that matter, the expression "Stuffed Shirt".