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Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers of Qantas lack a sense of humor. Here are some logged maintenance complaints by Qantas pilots and the corrective action recorded by mechanics. By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident. Problem stands for the problem the pilots entered in the log, and Solution stands for the corrective action taken by the mechanics.

Problem: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.

Solution: Almost replaced left inside main tire

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: 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: DME volume set to more believable level.

Problem: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.

Solution: That's what they're there for.

Problem: IFF inoperative.

Solution: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

Problem: Suspected crack in windscreen.

Solution: Suspect you're right.

Problem: Number 3 engine missing. (note: this was for a piston-engine airplane; the pilot meant the engine was not running smoothly)

Solution: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

Problem: Aircraft handles funny.

Solution: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

Problem: Radar hums.

Solution: Reprogrammed radar with words.

Problem: Mouse in cockpit.

Solution: Cat installed


Working on an airline, you receive free or reduced-priced flights. Such was the case when Roger Gay took the opportunity of a free flight from London to Manchester. He boarded the flight some minutes before it was due to leave the terminal. The flight was filling up. Roger's allocated seat was already taken, so he sat in another, vacant seat.

A few minutes later a woman in airline uniform (not a stewardess) holding a clip-board marched up to the man in Roger's originally allocated seat and in her official capacity asked, “Are you Gay?”

The man sank down in his seat, blushed and sheepishly uttered, “Yes.”

The woman said, “Then you have to get off.”

Roger, realising that the airline had over-booked and he had to give up his perk seat, put his hand up and said, “I'm Gay,” and started to get up.

Immediately another passenger stands up and miltantly calls out, “I'm gay! They can't chuck us all off.”


Sven and Olie chartered a plane with a pilot to drop them off in the wilds of Alaska for a week of elk hunting, just the same as they did the year before. When the pilot returned with the plane Sven exclaimed joyfully to the pilot, “We had a great hunting trip! We bagged four elk!”

The pilot regretfully explained, “Unfortunately, our plane can only fly with the weight of two elk. You'll have to leave the other two behind.”

Sven and Olie were both infuriated and insistent. “We won't allow you to fly this plane out without all four elk,” Olie demanded.

The eager to please pilot relented and the plane took off with the three of them and their four elk. About fifteen minutes into the flight the engine started to sputter, and within seconds they were hurtling to the ground. Wearily arising from the wreckage, Sven looked at Olie and wheezed, “Do you have any idea where we are?”

Olie, quite pleased with himself, replied, “Yes! We're about a mile from where we crashed last year.”


A flight attendant is on the red-eye to Manila when a water leak develops in the galley, which eventually soaks the carpet throughout the aft cabin of the 747. A very sleepy woman who becomes aware of the dampness tugs at the attendant's skirt as she passes by. “Has it been raining?” she asks the flight attendant.

Keeping a straight face, she replies, “Yes, but we put the top up.”

With a sigh of relief, the woman then goes back to sleep.


Bill, Hillary, and Al were in an airplane that crashed. They're up in heaven, and God's sitting on the great white throne. God addresses Al first. “Al, what do you believe in?”

Al replies, “Well, I believe that the combustion engine is evil and that we need to save the world from CFCs and that if any more freon is used, the whole earth will become a greenhouse and we'll all die.”

God thinks for a second and says, “Okay, I can live with that. Come and sit at my left.” God then addresses Bill, “Bill, what do you believe in?”

Bill replies, “Well, I believe in power to the people. I think people should be able to make their own choices about things and that no one should ever be able to tell someone else what to do. I also believe in feeling people's pain.”

God thinks for a second and says, “Okay, that sounds good. Come and sit at my right.” God then address Hillary, “Hillary, what do you believe in?”

“I believe you're in my chair.”


The best joke I know dealing with the word Superman is the true story about Muhammand Ali. Once he was on an airplane. The flight attendant came and asked him to buckle his seatbelt.

He replied, “Superman don't need no seatbelt.”

She responded, “Superman don't need no plane.”


On one particular flight the pilot had hammered his plane into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, give a smile, and a “Thanks for flying XYZ airline.”

In light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment, but no one seemed annoyed. Finally everyone had gotten off except for one little old lady walking with a cane. She approached and asked conspiratorially, “Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?”

“Why no Ma'am, what is it?”

“Did we land or were we shot down?”


If God wanted us to fly, He would have given us tickets. — Mel Brooks

If God had really intended men to fly, He'd make it easier to get to the airport. — George Winters


Santa Claus, like all pilots, gets regular visits from the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA examiner arrived for the pre-Christmas flight check. In preparation, Santa had the elves wash the sled and bathe all the reindeer. Santa got his logbook out and made sure all his paperwork was in order. He knew they would examine all his equipment and put his flying skills to the test.

The examiner walked slowly around the sled. He checked the reindeer harnesses, the landing gear, and Rudolf's nose. He painstakingly reviewed Santa's weight and balance calculations for sled's enormous payload. Finally, they were ready for the checkride. Santa got in and fastened his seatbelt and shoulder harness and checked the compass. Then the examiner hopped in carrying, to Santa's surprise, a shotgun.

“What's that for?” asked Santa incredulously.

The examiner winked and said, “I'm not supposed to tell you this ahead of time,” as he leaned over to whisper in Santa's ear, “but you're gonna lose an engine on takeoff.”


The odds against there being a bomb on a plane are a million to one. Against two bombs, the odds are a million million to one. Next time you fly, take a bomb and cut the odds. — Benny Hill


With increased air travel during the holiday season, many are winging long distances for the first time since last holiday season. For the infrequent traveler, I've kept a log of my last cross-country flight to explain just how bad it can be. The flight was from Los Angeles (LAX) to New York City (JFK).

4:30 a.m.: Picked up at home by Phil's Speedy Discount Airport Shuttle. Motto: “If we're more than 15 minutes late, we wouldn't be the least bit surprised.”

5:45: Arrive Los Angeles International Airport. Curbside check-in offers high tech Computerized Tracking System (CTS) which ensures that your luggage will arrive in Nepal 20 minutes before you land in New York.

6:00: Ticket counter uses new Random Queuing System (RQS). Queue is a British term meaning: “You're in the wrong line, stupid.” I queue up in the Odd Size line, then am booted out when told Odd Size refers to luggage only.

6:15: Security check. Foreign passenger ahead of me is asked: “Did person or persons unknown to you pack your luggage, pat your butt or recite lyrics to anything by Puff Daddy?” He responds, “My salad shooter has an embolism,” and is waved through.

7:30: Preboarding begins for preboards who need assistance, assistants who need preboarding, first class, business class, no class, private 1st classes, tattooed youths, passengers on the wrong plane and those who play dumb and pretend their row has been called.

8:15: Pilot announces, “The fine folks in maintenance have informed me they have to recalibrate and functionalize the leading edge hydraulic spoiler actuation pressure stabilizer, and will get on it as soon as Chief Mechanic Fat Mel finishes his doughnut.”

11:46: Takeoff.

11:47: Emergency landing to remove Fat Mel from engine cowling.

12:15 p.m.: Re-takeoff.

12:45: Breakfast. Choices are “runny eggs with sumpthin' green in 'em” or “Fruit Loops 'n' curdled milk.”

1:15: Aisle-racing by sugar-rushed toddlers begins.

1:45: Pilot asks if anyone has seen his keys to the liquor cabinet.

2:00: Edited for airline version of Showgirls begins.

2:06: Edited for airline version of Showgirls ends.

3:15: Pilot says, “Passengers on our left side can see Columbus, Ohio. Those on the right can see Lima, Peru.”

4:45: Surly flight attendants collect the breakfast trays.

5:00: Inadvertently land at Teterboro, N.J., airport long-term parking lot. Pilot says he'll taxi aircraft to JFK.

5:15: Skippy the copilot collects spare change for turnpike tolls.

5:30: Detour to Hackensack so Skippy can drop off laundry and tuck in the kids.

6:15: Arrive at gate.

6:45: Computerized Tracking System claims I don't have any luggage, I never had luggage, I'll never have luggage again, and it's not that fond of my tie.

7:45: Take cab driven by man whose name has 17 consonants and an umlaut. Ululates show tunes all the way to the hotel.

11:45: Luggage from previous trip delivered to room.

— by John H. Corcoran, Jr.


During class the skydiving instructor would take time to answer any First Timer Questions. One guy asked: “If our chute doesn't open and the reserve doesn't open, how long do we have til we hit the ground?” The jump master looked at him and in perfect deadpan answered: “The rest of your life.”


An elderly doctor and a Presbyterian minister were seated next to each other on the plane. The plane was delayed at the start due to some technical problems. Just after taking off, the pilot offered his apologies to the passengers and announced that a round of free drinks would be served. When the charming air-hostess came round with the trolley, the doctor ordered a gin and tonic for himself. The hostess then asked the minister whether he wanted anything. He replied, “Oh no, thank you. I would rather commit adultery than drink alcohol.” The elderly doctor promptly handed back his gin and tonic to the air-hostess and said, “Madam, I did not know there was a choice.”


Pilot wisdom:

Flying is hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of stark terror.

Truly superior pilots are those who use their superior judgment to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills.

Rule one: No matter what else happens, fly the airplane.

The propellor is just a big fan in the front of the plane to keep the pilot cool. Want proof? Make it stop; then watch the pilot break out into a sweat.

No one has ever collided with the sky.

If you're ever faced with a forced landing at night, turn on the landing lights to see the landing area. If you don't like what you see, turn 'em back off.

Never let an airplane take you somewhere you brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.

If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger, if you pull the stick back they get smaller.

Every one already knows the definition of a good landing is one from which you can walk away. But very few know the definition of a great landing. It's one after which you can use the airplane another time.

Helicopters can't really fly — they're just so ugly that the earth immediately repels them.

Sorry folks for the hard landing. It wasn't the pilot's fault, and it wasn't the plane's fault. It was the asphault.

What's the difference between God and pilots? God doesn't think he's a pilot.

Airspeed, altitude, or brains; you always need at least two.

There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing: Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

Flying is not dangerous; crashing is dangerous.

Jet and piston engines work on the same principle: Suck and squeeze, blow and go.

The three most dangerous things in aviation are a doctor in a Bonanza, two captains in a DC-9, and a flight attendant with a chipped tooth.

What do you call a pregnant flight attendant? Pilot error.


“Flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle, just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.” — Rex Kramer (Robert Stack) in Airplane! (1980)


A large, two-engined train was making it's way across America. While crossing the Western mountains, one of the engines broke down. “No problem, we can make it to Denver and get a replacement engine there.” the engineer thought, and carried on at half power. Farther on down the line, (if you didn't guess) the other engine broke down, and the train came to a standstill in the middle of nowhere.

The engineer needed to inform the passengers about why the train had stopped, and always trying to look on the bright side of things, made the following announcement: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that both engines have failed, and we will be stuck here for some time until the additional engines arrive. The good news is that you didn't take this trip in a plane!”


Getting on a plane, I told the ticket lady, “Send one of my bags to New York, send one to Los Angeles, and send one to Miami.” She said, “We can't do that!” I told her, “You did it last week!” — Henny Youngman


The Greatest Lies in Aviation

We will be on time, maybe even early.

I fixed it right the first time, it must have failed for other reasons.

I'm a member of the mile high club.

I'm 22, got 6,000 hours, a four year degree, and 3,000 hours in a Lear.

We shipped the part yesterday.

We in aviation are overpaid, underworked and well respected.

Sure I can fly it — it has wings, doesn't it?

We'll be home by lunchtime.

Your plane will be ready by 2 o'clock.

Of course I know where we are.


The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. — Mark Russell


If helicopters are so safe, how come there are no vintage/classic helicopter fly-ins? — Jim Tavenner


Things You Don't Want to Hear on an Airplane

1. On an ocean crossing flight: “This is your Captain speaking, I just wanted to take this time to remind you that your seat cushions can be used as floatation devices...”

2. “Hey folks, we're going to play a little game of geography trivia. If you can recognize where we are, tell your flight attendant and receive an extra pack of peanuts.”

3. “Our sudden loss of altitude allows a unique close up perspective of the local terrain. I assure you that it's all part of our airlines new commitment to make your flight a sight seeing expedition.”

4. “Goose! Bogey at 2 O'clock ... He's hot on our tail! ... Eject! Eject!”

5. As the plane turns around right after takeoff: “... uhhhhh ... We have to go back. ... We... We... uhhhhhh ...forgot something...”

6. “Ummmmmm ... Sorry everybody ...” (silence)

7. “To the passengers on the right-hand side of the plane, I'm sure you've noticed the loss of an engine, however the reduction in weight and drag will mean we'll be flying much more efficiently now.”

8. “Fasten your seat belts!” (Spoken in the same tone your friend with suicidal driving tendencies uses when you get in a car.)

9. “This is your Captain speaking, these damn planes are a lot different than the ships I'm used to... so please give me some leeway if this flight doesn't go to well.”

10. “It would be a good idea right now if everyone would close their shades and watch the in-flight movie.”

11. “We've now reached our cruising altitude of 20,000 feet and ... Damn!”

12. “Aww, I can't figure out how to turn this thing off and don't worry, that gauge is always on 'E'.”

13. “Stewardess would you please bring four parachutes to the front cabin.”

14. From the stewardess after placing a drink order: “Okay, this man wants a soda and we need three martinis for the cockpit.”

15. “Hey, why don't you tell that new stewardess she can come sit on my lap and fly the plane.”

16. Thank you very much for choosing Mandarin Airlines. We're now about taking off at Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok. At your right side you can see the beautiful ocean. In front you can watch the in-flight movie. At your left side... um... please don't look at your left!


On a sky diving trip the instructor tells the student, “Jump out, count to three, pull the cord, and the chute will open. If something goes wrong, just pull the emergency cord and the chute will open. There will be a truck below to pick you up. Good luck, have fun!”

The student jumps, counts: “one, two, three...,” and pulls. Nothing happens. He grabs the emergency cord and pulls. Again, nothing happens.

Disgusted he says to himself, “I bet there's no truck down there either!”


During the preparation of the theoretical test to get soaring pilot license, the instructor explained that you should never forget your parachute before taking off with a sailplane.

One of the students asked, What if I have to jump out of the glider and my parachute won't open?”

The instructor replied, “In that case, you can always go to the parachute constructor and ask a refund.”


The passenger aircraft was fully loaded and in the air after takeoff when the announcement came over the loudspeaker: “Ladies and gentlemen, we've been working on a fully automatic piloting system for years that doesn't need a flight crew and are proud to announce that it has been perfected. You are the first passengers to fly controlled by software only with nobody in the cockpit. We are proud that during all our testing there has never been a mistake, mistake, mistake, mistake, mistake, ...”


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