It takes a college degree to fly a plane but only a high school diploma to fix one, which may not be very reassuring for those of us whose jobs require us to take frequent flights!

After every flight Qantas pilots fill out a form, called ‘gripe sheet’, which tells the mechanics about any problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems and document their repairs on the form; then the pilots review the gripe sheet 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.

Incidentally, Qantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident.

  • 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 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: Suspected crack in windshield.

    S: Suspect you're right.

  • P: IFF Inoperative.

    S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

  • 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: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.

    S: Took hammer away from midget.

  • P: Mouse in cockpit.

    S: Cat Installed.