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Pilot Squawks

picture of aircraft flight log book

Our family members don't fly very often, but when we do, we assume that routine maintenance is being done and that issues reported by the flight crew are attended to right away. The first summer of our married life, I worked for United, cleaning the insides of commercial airplanes at the Detroit Metro Airport. I was surprised to be scolded one evening for attempting to tighten a screw on the back of a passenger seat in the cabin. My co-worker told me that if anyone from the union saw me do that, I would be in deep, dark trouble. I was to report the loose screw instead. Valuable lesson learned, without an official reprimand.

After my wife's recent flights to and from Detroit to see family there, I ran across something in my files that I knew I'd want to share with my readers, especially since so many will be traveling next week at Thanksgiving and then next month for Christmas. Below is an explanation of the title of today's blog post, followed by some squawks and replies.

A "squawk" is a report submitted by a pilot, indicating that a plane has a problem and/or needs maintenance of some sort. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by US Air Force pilots and the replies from the maintenance crews. It sounds as if all the loose screws are not on passenger seats in the cabin. You've gotta love those witty maintenance crew members!

Before getting to the humor, here's an electronic version of a squawk log:

picture of squawk log

Squawk: "Left inside main tire almost needs replacement."
Reply: "Almost replaced left inside main tire."

Squawk: "Test flight OK, except autoland very rough."
Reply: "Autoland not installed on this aircraft."

Squawk: "The autopilot doesn't."
Reply: "It does now."

Squawk: "Something loose in cockpit."
Reply: "Something tightened in cockpit."

Squawk: "Evidence of hydraulic leak on right main landing gear."
Reply: "Evidence removed."

Squawk: "Number three engine missing."
Reply: "Engine found on right wing after brief search."

Squawk: "DME volume unbelievably loud."
Reply: "Volume set to more believable level."

Squawk: Dead bugs on windshield.
Reply: Live bugs on backorder.

Squawk: Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent.
Reply: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

Squawk: IFF inoperative.
Reply: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

Squawk: Suspected crack in windscreen.
Reply: Suspect you're right.

Squawk: #2 ADF needle runs wild.
Reply: Caught and tamed #2 ADF needle.

Squawk: Unfamiliar noise coming from #2 engine.
Reply: Engine ran for four hours. Noise now familiar.

Squawk: Noise coming from #2 engine. Sounds like a man pounding with a little hammer.
Reply: Took little hammer away from man in #2 engine.

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

Squawk: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
Reply: That's what they're there for.

Squawk: Three roaches in cabin.
Reply: One roach killed, one wounded, one got away.

Squawk: Weather radar went ape!
Reply: Opened radar, let out ape, cleaned up mess!

Squawk: Aircraft handles funny.
Reply: Aircraft warned to straighten up, "fly right," and be serious.

Squawk: Mouse in cockpit.
Reply: Cat installed.

Squawk: Target Radar hums.
Reply: Reprogrammed Target Radar with words.

Squawk: Whining sound heard on engine shutdown.
Reply: Pilot removed from aircraft.

A pilot gets his revenge...

Squawk 1: "# 2 Propeller seeping prop fluid."
Reply: "#2 Propeller seepage normal."
Squawk 2: "#1, #3, and #4 propellers lack normal seepage."


Do any of you have holiday plans that include flights?


"There is more grace in God's heart than there is sin in my past." Erwin Lutzer

=^..^= =^..^=

How do you get off a non-stop flight?

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10 Comments on “Pilot Squawks”

  1. #1 Jenny
    on Nov 16th, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Thanks for the laugh! 😮

  2. #2 Ann
    on Nov 16th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    I have seen some of these a number of times before and they never fail to get me laughing. I had not seen the one about returning the little hammer to the man before. Thanks for the laughs!

    How do you get off a non-stop flight? Wait until the plane runs out of fuel. 🙂

  3. #3 Greg Shannon
    on Nov 17th, 2009 at 1:58 am

    I’m sure you don’t remember me, but you were one of my favorite teachers at Bob Jones. Outside of class, you were always pleasant and addressed us personally. It made a good impression. After graduation in 1986, I became a firefighter in a small community in NE Ohio. I retired after 19 years after sustaining a shoulder injury in 2003. Anyways, got this link to you from the fundamental forums and wanted to say hi. Greg Shannon

  4. #4 Vikki
    on Nov 17th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I’ve seen most of these before, but they’re still good for a laugh! I really like “Autoland not installed on this aircraft.” and “Cat installed.”

    We’re not flying anytime in the near future – everyone is coming here for a change. Next week we’ll have 3 or our 4 kids visiting, their spouses and 6 grandkids – ages 12-1. PLUS my sister and 2 of her kids. It’ll be a fun time, and we’re really looking forward to the visit and having the week off to be with them, but I already can hear the sigh of relief the day after everyone is gone and the house is quiet again.

    When we were younger and had 4 kids running around the house, we were used to the commotion and noise. But now that we’re empty nesters, we’ve become used to the quiet. Now I understand what my mother meant when we came to visit.

  5. #5 Melissa
    on Nov 17th, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Too bad we were never that witty when it came to IT Help Desk tickets. However, the highlight of my year was always when they released the best of the dorm maintenance requests, and many of those were very witty!

  6. #6 Carrie
    on Nov 17th, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Too many favorites to mention, thanks for the laughs!

    .-= Carrie’s most recent blog post … Horseback Riding Tidbits =-.

  7. #7 Sue
    on Nov 17th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Hilarious! Thank you for sharing!

  8. #8 Rob
    on Nov 19th, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    @Jenny, Ann, Carrie, and Sue – Glad you enjoyed the squawks.

    @Greg – Yes, I remember you! It’s great to hear from you after all these years. I’ll e-mail you to take this off line.

    @Vikki – I hope you enjoy all your company. We look forward to having all of our little family here at Thanksgiving.

    @Melissa – I’ve seen some pretty interesting comments and requests on job tickets at IT. 🙂

  9. #9 Ann
    on Nov 19th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I acquired an interesting piece of freeware yesterday. The conditions for using it are that it is free only if you do not take more than two commercial flights in any twelve-month period…and only one of the two is allowed to be a return trip. If you take more flights than that, you are required to uninstall the freeware version and purchase the Pro version. I’m not sure how they plan to police that. If everybody cuts back on flying that much, there might not be a need for squawks.

    The site said that it uses this policy because commercial flights contribute to the buildup of greenhouse gases. Very PC.

  10. #10 Rob
    on Nov 20th, 2009 at 6:55 am

    @Ann – I guess it’s on an honor system, like the Amish computer virus — http://www.upperregister.com/~charlie/AmishVirus.html