scrambling jets

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 1 18:18:24 UTC 2014

I think the use of 'scramble' in the context of 'search and rescue' is
older that the search for the Malaysian flight.

The Canadian Aeronautics and Space Journal has the phrase "scramble the
search-and-rescue (SAR) aircraft" in Vol. 33 from 1987.


On Thu, May 1, 2014 at 1:16 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at>wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      scrambling jets
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> In my day, you only "scrambled jets" when it looked like flying saucers or
> Russian bombers were heading your way.  "Scramble" implied a possible
> attack, and "jets" implied interceptors.
> CNN, however, has used the phrase several times in ref. to the failure of
> the Malaysians to send out search and rescue planes to look for Flt. 370.
> In other words, to "scramble jets" now presumably means no more than to
> "order any jet aircraft into the air in an emergency."
> Hair-splitting? Not on your bippy.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
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