Serious Aircraft Repair Humor

Written By Galen White

We all know that folks who have a college degree usually receives a higher paying job. For example, you must have a college degree to fly an airplane. But, and this is a big but, you only need a high school diploma to work on one.

Makes you think, don’t it!

Well, once again a friend sent me an email that concerned airplanes, pilots, and those who work on airplanes can also “work” on pilots!

I’m not sure all of the following is true, but I hope you get a chuckle from it as I did. It also explains the meaning of “work on pilots” very well.

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a ‘gripe sheet,’ which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, documents the repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are a few actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers. By the way, UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident. So you CAN have a sense of humor and still be great at your task!

P: Left inside tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replace left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200-feet-per-minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That’s what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in Off mode.
S: IFF is always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you’re right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one?)
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last:

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from the midget.


Galen White has written articles for several papers in North Louisiana and is now retired.

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