After every flight, pilots fill out a form called a gripe sheet, which conveys to the mechanics any problem they had with the airplane during the flight. The mechanics read and correct the problem, and then explain in writing on the lower half of the form what remedial action was taken. The pilot reviews the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humor.
Here are some actual maintenance problems submitted by Qantas pilots and the solutions recorded by maintenance engineers.
By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never had an
(P = The problem logged by the pilot.)
(S = The solution and action taken by the engineer.)
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced 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 they’re there for.
P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF 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.
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.
P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.