I received a very amusing e-mail from a blog reader (thanks!) today, and, as I usually do, I checked Snopes (the urban legend “debunker”) before publishing it. Well, it appears that the following list may be true, but there are so many versions of it by now that…well, who knows? No matter…here are some of what I thought were the funniest (in fact, I am going to use them in class tomorrow, hehe):

Here are some actual maintenance complaints/problems, generally known as squawks, recently submitted by Qantas pilots to maintenance engineers. After attending to the squawks, maintenance crews are required to log the details of the action taken to solve the pilots’ squawks.

Problem: Left inside main tyre almost needs replacement. Solution: Almost replaced left inside main tyre.

Problem: Test flight OK, except autoland very rough. Solution: Autoland not installed on this aircraft.

Problem: Something loose in cockpit. Solution: Something tightened in cockpit.

Problem: Dead bugs on windshield. Solution: Live bugs on backorder.

Problem: Number 3 engine missing. Solution: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

Problem: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200-fpm descent. Solution: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

Problem: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear. Solution: Evidence removed.

Problem: DME volume unbelievably loud. Solution: Volume set to more believable level.

Problem: Noise coming from #2 engine. Sounds like man with little hammer. Solution: Took little hammer away from man in #2 engine.

Problem: Whining noise coming from #2 engine compartment. Solution: Returned little hammer to man in #2 engine.

Problem: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick. Solution: That’s what they are there for!

Problem: IFF inoperative. Solution: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

Problem: Suspected crack in windscreen. Solution: Suspect you’re right.

Problem: Aircraft handles funny. Solution: Aircraft warned to “Straighten up, Fly right, and Be Serious.”

Problem: Unfamiliar noise coming from #2 engine. Solution: Engine run for four hours. Noise now familiar.

Problem: Mouse in cockpit. Solution: Cat installed.


  1. Very amusing and much appreciated! We recently flew back to the U.S. and had a stop in Panama which nearly stopped everything… the pilot forgot to put down the landing gear! He made a sudden abortive move to fly around again and this time he got it right… thankfully!

  2. Us Navy pilot to his weapon computer:
    “We are under attack – what shall we do?”

    Answer of the weapon computer:
    “Yes !”

    Pilot: “What – Yes???”

    Computer: “Yes – Sir !”

  3. These squawks made me laugh…a much needed laugh. Thanks!

    I’m so impressed and in awe of your research & ability to make it all make sense! I am ashamed that I’m not familiar with all the terminology…but I learn more from you than anywhere. It’s all so confusing!

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