The controller said in a transmission to the plane, ''Expect immediate takeoff
,'' to indicate that the aircraft would soon receive formal authorization to take off, without realizing that the terminology is generally used by the control tower only when granting or canceling permission to take off.
Venable said military jets have been patrolling the skies above major cities since the terrorist attacks, and that other jets are prepared for immediate takeoff
from military airfields throughout the country.
When we got clearance for an immediate takeoff
, we hurried on to the runway to take off in the small window the tower had cleared for us.