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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

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How do you get off a non-stop flight?