Here are some maintenance complaints that are alleged to have been submitted by US Air Force pilots and the replies from the maintenance crews.


(P) Left inside main tire almost needs replacement
(S) Almost replaced left inside main tire.

(P) Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.
(S) Autoland not installed on this aircraft.

(P) #2 Propeller seeping prop fluid.
(S) #2 Propeller seepage normal - #1 #3 and #4 propellers lack normal seepage.

(P) Something loose in cockpit.
(S) Something tightened in cockpit.

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

(P) DME volume unbelievably loud.
(S) Volume set to more believable level.

(P) Dead bugs on windshield.
(S) Live bugs on order.

(P) Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent.
(S) Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

(P) IFF inoperative.
(S) IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

(P) Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
(S) That's what they're there for.

(P) Number three 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 the words.

These are supposedly true stories:

SR- 71/ Blackbird pilot Brian Shul writes:   I'll always remember a certain radio exchange that occured one day as Walt (my backseater) and I were screaming across Southern California 13 miles high.   We were monitoring various radio transmissions from other aircraft as we entered Los Angeles airspace.   Though they didn't really control us, they did monitor our movement across their scope.   I heard a Cessna ask for a readout of its groundspeed.   "90 knots" Center replied.   Moments later, a Twin Beech required the same.   "120 knots," Center answered.   We weren't the only ones proud of our groundspeed that day as almost instantly an F-18 smugly transmitted, "Ah, Center, Dusty 52 requests groundspeed readout."   There was a slight pause, then the response, "525 knots on the ground, Dusty." Another silent pause. As I was thinking to myself how ripe a situation this was, I heard a familiar click of a radio transmission comingfrom my backseater.   It was at that precise moment I realized Walt and I had become a real crew, for we were both thinking in unison.   "Center, Aspen 20, you got a groundspeed readout for us?"   There was a longer than normal pause... "Aspen, I show 1,742 knots."   No further inquiries were heard on that frequency.

In another famous SR-71 story, Los Angeles Center reported receiving a request for clearance to FL 60 (60,000ft).   The incredulous controller, with some disdain in his voice, asked, "How do you plan to get up to 60,000 feet?

The pilot (obviously a sled driver), responded, "We don't plan to go up to it, we plan to come down to it..."

He was cleared...

There's a story about the military pilot calling for a priority landing, because his single-engine jet fighter was running "a bit peaked."   Air Traffic Control told the fighter jock that he was number two, behind a B-52 that had one engine shut down.   "Ah", the fighter pilot remarked, "one of those dreaded seven-engine approaches!"

A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight.   While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked "What was your last known position?"

The student replied, "When I was number one for takeoff".

Taxiing down the tarmac, the DC10 abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate.   After an hour-long wait, it finally took off.   A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, "What, exactly, was the problem?"

"The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine...." explained the flight attendant.   "It took us a while to find a new pilot."

"TWA 2341, for noise abatement, turn right 45 Degrees."

"Center, we are at 35,000 feet.   How much noise can we make up here?"

"Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?"

Conversations with ATC

Here are some conversations that airline passengers normally will never hear.   The following are accounts of actual exchanges between airline pilots and control towers from around the world.

While taxiing at London Gatwick, the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727.   An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming:   "US Air 2771, where the hell are you going?!   I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway!   You turned right on Delta!   Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between 'C' and 'D', but get it right!"   Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically:   "God!   Now you've screwed everything up!   It'll take forever to sort this out!   You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to!   You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you!   You got that, US Air 2771?"

"Yes ma'am," the humbled crew responded.

Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771.   Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind.   Tension in every cockpit out in Gatwick was definitely running high.   Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone, asking, "Wasn't I married to you once?"

A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long roll out after touching down.   San Jose Tower Noted:   "American 751, make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able...   If not able, take the Guadalupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport."

Unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue:   "I'm bored!"

Ground Traffic Control:   "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!

Unknown aircraft:   "I said I was bored, not stupid!"

Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 124.7"

Eastern 702: "Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure.   By the way, after we lifted off we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway."

Tower: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7.   Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?"

Continental 635: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Eastern... we've already notified our caterers"

The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short-tempered lot.   They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them.   So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign "Speedbird 206".

Speedbird 206:   "Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of active runway."

Ground:   "Speedbird 206.   Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven."

The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.

Ground:   "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"

Speedbird 206:   "Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."

Ground (with quite arrogant impatience):   "Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?"

Speedbird 206 (coolly):   "Yes, twice in 1944, but I didn't stop."

A Pan Am 727 flight waiting for start clearance in Munich overheard the following:

Lufthansa (in German):   "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"

Ground (in English):   "If you want an answer you must speak in English."

Lufthansa (in English):   "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany.   Why must I speak English?"

Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent):   "Because you lost the bloody war!"

O'Hare Approach Control to a 747:   "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, eastbound."

United 239:   "Approach, I've always wanted to say this... I've got the little Fokker in sight."

Comprehending Engineers

To the optimist the glass is half full, to the pessimist the glass is half empty, to the engineer the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers?   Mechanical Engineers build weapons, Civil Engineers build targets.

Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said to the other, "Where did you get such a great bike?"

The second student replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike.   She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her cloths, and said, "Take what you want."

The first student nodded approvingly, "Good choice, the cloths probably wouldn't have fit anyway."

A pastor, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.   The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys?   We must have been waiting fifteen minutes!"

The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!"

The Pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greens-keeper.   Let's have a word with him."

"Hi, George.   Say, what's with that group ahead of us?   They're rather slow, aren't they?"

The greens-keeper replied, "Oh, yes, thats a group of blind firefighters.   They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."

The group was silent for a moment.   The pastor said, "That's so sad.   I think I'll say a special prayer for them tonight."

The doctor said, "Good idea.   I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them."

The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"

There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical.   After serving his company for over thirty years, he retired.   Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multi-million dollar machines.   They had tried everything and everyone elso to get the machine to work, but to no avail.   In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solve so many of their problems in the past.   The engineer reluctantly took the challenge.

He spent a day studying the huge machine.   At the end of the day he maked a small "X" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and stated, "This is where your problem is."

The part was replaced and the machine work perfectly again.   The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service.   They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges.

The engineer responded briefly:
One chalk mark ---------------------------------- $1.00
Knowing where to put chalk mark ----- $49,999.00

The bill was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.

An architect, an artist, and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.   The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.   The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress because of the mystery and passion he found there.

The engineer said, "I like both."

"Both?", he was queried.

The engineer replied, "Yeah.   If you have a wife and a mistress, they will both each assume you are spending time with the other woman and you can go to the office and get some work done."

A most profound response from an enlightened student.  The following is an actual question given on an University of Washington chemistry mid-term exam.  The answer by one student was so “profound” that the professor shared it.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's law (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant. 

One student, however, wrote the following:

First we to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time.  So we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving.  I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave.  Therefore, no souls are leaving.  As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.  Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.  With birth and death rates as they are we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.  Now we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for temperatures and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionally as souls are added.  This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate that the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. Of course if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?  If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Teresa Banyan during my freshman year “...that it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you” and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then #2 cannot be true and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.

Three engineers and three accountants are traveling by train to a conference.  At the station, the three accountants each buy a ticket and watch as the three engineers only buy one ticket.

"How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asks an accountant.

"Watch and you'll see," answered an engineer.

They all board the train.  The accountants take their respective seats but all three engineers cram into a rest room and close the door behind them.

Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets.  He knocks on the restroom door and says, "Ticket, please!" The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on.

The accountants see this and agree it is a clever idea.  So after the conference, the accountants decide to copy the engineers on the return trip and save some money.  When they get to the station, they buy one ticket for the return trip.  To their astonishment, the engineers don't buy a ticket at all.

"How are you going to travel without a ticket?" says one perplexed accountant.

"Watch and you'll see," answered an engineer.

When they board the train all three accountants cram into a restroom and the three engineers cram into another one nearby.  The train departs.

Shortly afterward, one of the engineers leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the accountants are hiding.  He knocks on the door and says, "Ticket, please!"


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