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Drum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:42 PM
Original message
Airplane maintenance: Don't know if this is for real,
but it sure is funny!

Received this in my e-mail from a friend:

--------------------------------------------------------
A college degree is required to fly a plane but only a high School diploma to fix one.Reassurance for those who fly routinely in their jobs.

After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas' Pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident. (huh???)

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 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.
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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. well, I can tell you this much and people do need to know ...
someone I know is WAS a Delta plane repairman of some type. Recently laid off because they are going to be sending their planes to be services overseas in a country that doesn't have mandatory federal certification requirements for their maintenance folk as required in this country.

You can't believe what is being outsourced these days ...
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. "Outsourcing" can mean simply subcontracting to the manufacturer, however
Usually you'd rather have the avionics manufacturer repair the flight control computers or the engine manufacturer repair the engines than to have a 'jack of all trades' who is expected to handle everything from coffepots and brakes to landing gear and avionics.
In my opinion.

Outsourcing can sometimes bring higher quality, not always done for cheaper cost.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Not the case with US airlines though. My son is an Aircraft tech
for Delta. Been there almost 16 years. Not only Delta, but all US airlines are sending their mandatory inspections out of the country! Some to India, some to Japan, etc and it's ALL about MONEY! When problems turn up later, it's the current airline employees who have to fix them!

And a few notes of clarification:

You do not have to have a degree to be a manitenance tech, but you DO have to have an A&P license (Airframe & Power Plant) from the FAA.

There really aren't any "jack of all trades" employees at a major airline. There are departments that work solely on enging, rotors, cabin, airframe, etc.
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Actually...
"There are departments that work solely on engine, rotors, cabin, airframe" -- that's true, but when it comes to the mechanics, they bid jobs and are rotated throughout the departments based on seniority.

Service bulletins are issued by the manufacturer any time something is wrong with the part, which in the case of avionics, can be 20, 30, or 40 different problems. It's tough for airline engineers to keep up with all of these changes on the several thousand parts that make up an airplane. The test equipment can cost >$100,000 for just one component. Most airlines operate a few different types of aircraft to serve different markets. The shops that they run may see particular type of part only twice a year. So the guy who works it may have never worked that particular part before.

The airline mechanics do have to keep up to date with detailed maintenance requirements on many, many parts because they require frequent attention, and need systems troubleshooting expertise in particular for the whole aircraft, but it isn't such a good idea to expect them to do full detailed overhauls on each component on the airplane when there's a manufacturer who has the necessary test equipment, knowledge of the failure mechanism, engineering expertise regarding component configuration, piece parts inventory, and technicians who work those particular components every day.

Outsourcing to the original manufacturer can result in a part that is TWICE as reliable as being repaired by capable, but not highly specialized, mechanics. It did for us.
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Remember the Jet Blue with the bungled landing gear?
They outsource their maintenance outside the US too....
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. All maintenance on U.S. registered aircraft
has to be FAA certified and approved unless they've changed the rules.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. They probably changed the rules like they have everywhere else. n/t
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TexasProgresive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. The mechanics are just having fun with the pilots-
In the Air Force I was trained as an Avionics technician. After a sortie the pilots went to a room where they were debriefed by the chief of maintenance and the crew chief. The reason for this is because pilots are notorious for being clueless in reporting troubles with the plane. Without the debriefing they are likely to report TACAN out without specifics. It helps to know what is the whole trouble when you attempt to fix something.

I remember one radio set that was giving trouble on a plane. The pilot never said that the trouble was above 10k feet altitude (electrical resistance goes down with thinner air). The radio shop would check it out and it was just fine. They swapped it with another aircraft and that pilot had the sense to tell the rest of the story. After careful inspection the techs found traces of arcing and were able to fix the set.

The pilots may have a college degree and the enlisted or mechanics do not but the pilots have neither the training nor the aptitude to do the work of the mechanics. We can't fly planes for the most part either. Neither is a better person then the other.
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Drum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Thanks for the behind-the-scenes...
I figured that this was in fun, but te dry tone of the replies made me giggle.

Amen to your last point---symbiosis in our talents is what makes organizations work best...being more than the sum of our parts!
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misternormal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. My dad was an arcraft mechanic during...
WW2 (CBI) and the cold war...

you are right on the money with what you said
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. I've seen this several times over the years ....
... and it ALWAYS makes me laugh! :rofl:

I love "Engine found on right wing after brief search." It tickles me every time.
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. From Snopes and Salon.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. Reminds me of my days as a jetmech - all too true.
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 01:17 PM by Tierra_y_Libertad
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

Actually I was a "plane-captain", one of those guys who fuels the planes, changes tires, supposed checks everything, etc.

We had a hotshot pilot in our squadron who kept blowing tires. We kept him from getting his flight hours by downing his plane by manufactureing problems - amazing things can be done to a plane with a scredriver. He caught on and promised a bottle of Scotch for every tire he blew. We collected 3 bottles before he had us jack up a plane he was assigned to and discovered that we were mounting worn tires with the worn side down. Of course, every time a tire blew he could have flipped, but hotshot lieutenants were in good supply, expensive scotch wasn't.

In lousy weather, we would crawl into the cockpits and have a nice snooze then sign the planes off as pre-flighted. Seeing as how the pilots were frequently drunk or hung-over their own pre-flight inspections were reduced to cursory so they could get to the oxygen-masks before attempting take-off - if they couldn't bribe us to down the plane.

Semper-fi

Edit to add: You could always tell the plane-captains on flights. We were the ones with seatbelts tight enough to cut off circulation, and sheer terror on our faces, knowing that our Air Force couterparts probably operated the same way we did. I still hate to fly.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
10. Always liked "We lost an engine."
I'm a former airline pilot.
Ran into one of my fellow pilots in the hotel bar.
"How was the flight in?"
"Pretty good, but we lost #4 engine an hour out."
"How the hell could you do that? Those things are pretty securely attached. Sounds damned irresponsible to me."
;-)
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. I have a funny story about that...
I was working a 757 at 37,000 feet. The pilot calls, saying "Center, we've lost an engine. We're descending" (a 757 can fly on only one engine, but not at 37,000 feet). I get everybody out of his way and vector him toward a major airport. Somebody comes to relieve me, and I turn the sector over.

Walking by the sector that's now working the plane, I sit down to coordinate with the approach control. I tell them what's happening and that we'll need a call when the plane lands to let us know he made it down safely. About 10 minutes later they call.

Them: "Center, you know that guy lost an engine?"

Me: "Well, yeah. That's why he declared an emergency."

Them: "No, he LOST the engine. It's not on the plane."


Wow!
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Drum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. See also: Donnie Darko nt
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I thought of that, too.
Luckily, this 757 lost the engine over northwestern PA...pretty sparsely populated.
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