Be careful when asking for staff feedback

Most management consultants promote asking for staff or employee feedback. You might want to re-think that advice after reading the responses obtained at an airline repair division. Remember, it takes a college degree to fly a plane but only a high school diploma to fix one.

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 humour.

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, ever, had a fatal accident.

P: Left inside main tyre almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tyre.

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 friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
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.

1 Response to “Be careful when asking for staff feedback”


  • Fantastic

    As an Engineer I can often get so focussed on the technical details so it is always great to be able to step back and see the bigger picture including how amusing some of it is.

    We put a couple of examples of Engineering Humour on our blog. Enjoy.

    It seems that it doesn’t matter if it is aerospace, aviation, transport, motor controls, data loggers, rainwater tank management or high voltage power distribution; there is always a way to look at things that can brign a smile to your face.

    Ray Keefe
    Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd
    Casey Business of the Year 2010
    Industrial Electronics Future Award 2011
    Award Winning Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development

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