Clear Instructions Save Time and Money
It’s also safe to say that certain ground crews appreciate a good laugh now and then.
Below are some “actual” maintenance gripes submitted by the airline’s pilots (marked “P” for Problem). The Solutions (marked “S”) were recorded by maintenance engineers.
You may have read this story before, but I thought it worth sharing again—a humorous example of the more serious problem of poor communications that can cause trouble in a company:
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
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: Suspect 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: Funny handles replaced with more serious handles.
P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.
But, seriously folks—how we communicate with our employees and others costs companies large amounts of time and money each year, especially with regard to written communications.
In my book—“System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business”—I shared a story about a Civil War general and a not-so-bright private. It explains how the general fine-tuned written orders to his front-line commanders by having this particular private read the orders first.
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.