Several categories of Aviation Humour on next pages:








The aircraft technicians have their very own way of doing things with airplanes. We will try not to become too technical though….

From the “squawk sheets”
Problem: “Something loose in cockpit.”
Solution: “Something tightened in cockpit.”
Problem: “Evidence of hydraulic leak on right main landing gear.”
Solution: “Evidence removed.”
Problem: “Number three engine missing.”
Solution: “Engine found on right wing after brief search.”
Problem: “DME volume unbelievably loud.”
Solution: “Volume set to more believable level.”
Problem: Dead bugs on windshield.
Solution: Live bugs on order.
Problem: Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent.
Solution: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
Problem: IFF inoperative.
Solution: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
Problem: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
Solution: That’s what they’re there for.
Problem: “Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.”
Solution: “Almost replaced left inside main tire.”
Problem: “Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.”
Solution: “Autoland not installed on this aircraft.”
Problem #1: “#2 Propeller seeping prop fluid.”
Solution #1: “#2 Propeller seepage normal.”
Problem #2: “#1,#3, and #4 propellers lack normal seepage.”
Problem: “The autopilot doesn’t.”
Signed off: “IT DOES NOW.”

Design limits

A stormy flight aboard a Boeing aircraft; an off-duty airline stewardess is sitting next to a man in the grip of serious white-knuckle fever as he watches, through his porthole, the aircraft’s wing bending and bouncing in the tempest. The stewardess tries to reassure him; she works in the industry and flies all the time, she tells him. There is nothing to worry about; the pilots have everything under control.
“Madam,” he replies, “I am a Boeing engineer and we did not design this aircraft to do what it is doing.”

How ill is the a/c

China in the eighties. A DC-3 (or similar?) loaded with tourist passengers starts up and is about to taxi. Then the engines are shut down again. The captain leaves the cockpit and addresses the passengers: “This plane ill! We take other plane!”
They all walk over to a DC-3 parked across the ramp. Engines started, and shut down again. Captain addresses passengers again: “This plane more ill! We take first plane!”


The instructor converts normal people into aviators. This is not easy as any gray-haired instructor will keep telling you (full-time instructors start getting grey hairs around age 24!). Some stories are almost unbelievable, but just believe them….

On ground

Around the aircraft, on the airfield, things are happening as well…..

Building your own aircraft

One day, the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the runway while a DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee.
Some quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said: “What a cute little plane. Did you make it yourself?”
Our hero the Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger: “I made it out of DC-8 parts. Another landing like that and I’ll have enough parts for another one.”


During the heat of the space race in the 1960s, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided it needed a ball point pen to write with in the zero gravity confines of its space capsules. After considerable research and development, the Astronaut Pen was developed at a cost of about US $1 million. The pen worked and also enjoyed some modest success as a novelty item back here on earth.
The Soviet Union, faced with the same problem, used a pencil.

No spare tire…

The following is excerpted from an actual complaint letter from a doctor to a major airline, regarding a flight from one of its smaller outlying stations. All emphasis is in the original, but identifying details have been deleted:
“On the return flight from Evansville, we were booked on flight 371 to leave at 5:15 p.m. At about 4:45 p.m., when the luggage was about to be loaded, the ground crew noticed the plane had a flat tire. We were told there would be about a one-hour delay. After 30 minutes or so, we were told the plane did not have a spare tire. This is inexcusable!!!! Every car in America carries a spare tire. There is NO EXCUSE for a plane not to carry a spare tire!”
Company personnel responding to the complaint were diplomatic enough not to mention the lack of a rear-view mirror as well!

Nose gear retraction

Two airline mechanics were working on a 747 when lunchtime came. Rather than leave what they were doing, they just took their lunch break while sitting in the cockpit. While they were eating lunch, one mechanic bet the other that the landing gear would not retract if he pulled the gear lever up.


Some items just don’t fit in any general classification. You will find them here. Also when not in English or awaiting some amendments.

Good Luck Mr. Gorsky
When Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, he not only gave his famous “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” statement but followed it by several remarks, usually com traffic between him, the other astronauts and Mission Control. Just before he re-entered the lander, however, he made the enigmatic remark: “Good luck Mr. Gorsky.”
Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs. Over the years many people questioned Armstrong as to what the “Good luck Mr. Gorsky” statement meant, but Armstrong always just smiled.
But, (on July 5, 1995 in Tampa Bay FL) while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26 year old question to Armstrong. This time he finally responded. Mr. Gorsky had finally died and so Neil Armstrong felt he could answer the question.
When he was a kid, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit a fly ball which landed in the front of his neighbor’s bedroom windows. His neighbors were Mr. & Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, “Oral sex! You want oral sex?! You’ll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”
Apparently a true story.

Questions and answers

Q: What separates flight attendants from the scum of the earth?
A: The cockpit door!
Q: What is the difference between a flight attendant and a jet engine?
A: The jet engine stops whining at the gate
Q: How does a blind parachutist know when he’s about to hit the ground?
A: His guide dog’s leash goes slack.
Q: How does the Airbus A340 manage to climb?
A: By the bend of the earth!
Q: Why does the Pope kiss the ground each time that he lands ?
A: Did you ever fly with Alitalia ?
Q: What is the ideal cockpit crew? …….
A: A pilot and a dog…the pilot is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to bite the pilot in case he tries to touch anything.
Q: How many pilots does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Just one. He holds the bulb and the world revolves around him.
Q: How do you know if there is a pilot at your party?
A: He’ll tell you.
Q: What do pilots use for birth control?
A: Their personality.

Wise words

Great philosophers, well trained airmen and blond crewmembers have said a lot of smart things:

Pilot error

Insurer: It was pilot error
Pilot : It was design error
Insurer: I disagree. The pilot is at fault for trusting the designer

A “good” landing is one which you can walk away from. A “great” landing is one which lets you use the airplane another time.
A good simulator check ride is like successful surgery on a cadaver.
Good judgment comes from experience. Good experience comes from someone else’s bad judgment.
An airplane may disappoint a good pilot, but it won’t surprise him.
Learn from the mistakes of others…you won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
Things which do you no good in aviation:

  • Altitude above you.
  • Runway behind you.
  • Fuel in the truck.
  • Half a second in history.
  • Approach plates in the car.
  • The airspeed you don’t have.

Yearly changes

Every year aircraft manufacturers try to add something to their latest models. If they can’t add it to the instrument rack, the speed, the handling, or the load carrying capacity, they do the next best thing….. they add a bit to the price!

Glossary of aviation terms

Emergency generator – device which generates emergencies, also known as a simulator.
Landing light – preferable to landing heavy.
Bank – owners of mortgage on aircraft.
Walkaround – procedure when waiting for better weather.
Briefing – spending a long time saying nothing.
De-briefing – spending a long time saying nothing after you have done it. ”

One liners

-Airline captain: “If only I made as much money as people think I make, had as much time off as my neighbors think I have and had as much fun on stopovers as my wife thinks I have”.
-Sign seen at refueling point: WARNING Do not operate any radio transmitter within 100 metres of the pumps. If your life is not worth anything….. the fuel is!
-Any attempt to stretch fuel is guaranteed to increase headwinds.
-A thunderstorm is nature’s way of saying “Up yours!”
-Keep looking around, there’s always something you missed.
-Remember, you’re always a student in an airplane.
-Any pilot who does not at least privately consider himself the best in the business…is in the wrong business.
-It’s best to keep the pointed end going forward as much as possible.
-Hovering is for pilots who love to fly but have no place to go.
-The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.
-The only thing worse than a captain who never flew copilot is a copilot who was once a captain.
-A terminal forecast is a horoscope with numbers.
-Takeoffs are optional. Landings are mandatory.
-The first thing every pilot does after making a gear up landing is to put the gear handle DOWN.


Stewardesses do it in the air
Airline pilots do it straight and level
Reconnaissance pilots just look at it
Stewardesses do it all over the world.
Fighter pilots do it better
Bomber pilots do it with a big bang


In aviation we are used to abbreviations, probably it is a result of the military background of many aviators. As everybody knows, the military world is filled to the brim with abbreviations. The collection of letters often turns into the actual name after some years. A good example is the General Purpose vehicle in World War 2, it was a GP and the name became “jeep”.

Most airline names are simple abbreviations of the long real name.

Employees and passengers are known to change the words, and not always in favor of the airline involved. An example:
WORLD becomes We Organize Really Long Delays, and most probably this passenger did not need the full 8-hour delay to figure out this new meaning.