Military Aircraft Mechanic Practical Jokes
Folks seem to be really worried about AI. Yes, it can do some amazing things, but it falls desperately short in other areas. In this instance I wanted to see what it said about aircraft mechanic practical jokes, and quite truthfully, AI is as dumb as a box of rocks on this topic. The output is below for your reading enjoyment and then some real life ones will be included after the AI insanity.
WARNING: Do not attempt any of the AI practical jokes! Some of them are extremely dangerous! I shouldn’t have to say this, but AI isn’t the only dumb as a box of rocks thing on the face of the earth.
The Lighter Side of Aviation: Aircraft Mechanic Practical Jokes
The aviation industry is known for its strict safety protocols, rigorous training, and a culture of professionalism. However, amidst the seriousness of this high-stakes environment, there exists a lighter side - a tradition of practical jokes that aircraft mechanics play on one another. These pranks, often harmless and good-natured, serve as a means to alleviate stress, strengthen camaraderie, and inject a dose of humor into an otherwise demanding profession.
The Origins of Aircraft Mechanic Practical Jokes
Practical jokes among aircraft mechanics have roots that stretch back to the early days of aviation. As pioneering aviators took to the skies in the early 20th century, the mechanics responsible for maintaining and repairing these aircraft often found creative ways to lighten the mood in their workshops. These lighthearted pranks helped ease the pressure of working with cutting-edge technology and potentially dangerous machinery.
The Toolbox of Pranks
Aircraft mechanics have an arsenal of classic pranks, each designed to elicit a chuckle rather than cause harm. Here are some of the most enduring and beloved practical jokes in the world of aircraft maintenance: (Again – don’t do these!)
The Phantom Tools: One of the oldest tricks in the book involves temporarily hiding a coworker's essential tools. Watching a fellow mechanic's puzzled expression as they search in vain for a misplaced wrench or screwdriver is a time-honored tradition.
The Grease Zapper: This prank involves applying a small amount of non-conductive grease to the back of a colleague's hand. When they attempt to turn a live circuit breaker or switch, they experience a harmless shock, usually followed by laughter from their co-workers.
The Duct Tape Overload: Duct tape is an essential tool in any mechanic's arsenal. Experienced pranksters may cover a colleague's toolbox or workspace in an excessive amount of duct tape, requiring them to undertake the comical task of unwrapping their tools.
The Mysterious Rattle: This prank involves placing a small object, like a pebble, inside an aircraft component that's known for producing an occasional mysterious rattle. The ensuing confusion as the mechanic tries to locate the source of the sound can be highly amusing.
The Skyward Screw: This prank involves strategically placing a screw in a location that ensures it falls out at an opportune time, often during a test run or a critical inspection. The ensuing scramble to identify the missing screw can be both amusing and entertaining.
The Safety Wire Fandango: Safety wire is a crucial tool in aviation maintenance. Tying a series of knots in a spool of safety wire or creating a "booby-trap" that releases an excessive amount of wire with the flick of a switch can lead to a comical tangle.
The Role of Practical Jokes in the Workplace
While these practical jokes may seem frivolous, they serve a crucial purpose in the aviation maintenance environment. They provide a release valve for the high-stress situations that mechanics face daily. By sharing a laugh, colleagues can foster a sense of camaraderie and mutual understanding, which ultimately contributes to a more productive and harmonious working environment.
Any aircraft mechanic will agree that AI knows nothing about aircraft maintenance. Even the duct taping the toolbox one would only be used against a mechanic who had committed an unpardonable sin, like stealing coworkers’ lunches for the past two months and finally getting caught.
Again – don’t do any of the AI listed items!
Real Aircraft Mechanic Practical Jokes
Here is a list of the more common ones for your literary pleasure. Now some folks might get irritated that I’m giving away the secrets and forewarning the newbies. In all reality that probably won’t happen much because the newbies won’t know to go look for a list of practical jokes. The main advantage here is that maybe there will be a few new ones that you haven’t heard about and can unleash them on unsuspecting victims. Most are self-explanatory or easy to figure out, so I won’t go into detail on most of them. If you still don’t understand how the joke works you can Google most of them.
- Safety wiring driver’s seatbelt.
- Crack in the jet engine intake.
- Get the keys to the aircraft.
- Send to stores/supply for a long weight (wait).
- Cross country hub caps.
- The ID10T form from support.
- Send to medics for fallopian tubing.
- Checking for soft spots on the armor.
- Pumping the launch bar, or tow bar on -60 to pump up the JFS.
- Hand crank the APU.
- Inlet echo checks where you yell in the inlet and listen for echo.
- K9P, send to security forces to get some.
- Big zip ties on expediter or Pro-supers truck driveshaft.
- Telling them to get an exceptional release spring for the pilot’s seat.
- My fav was pouring water out of the troop door while sheet metal was under the plane in a steady stream. I’d go AHHH, they’d scream and cuss, we all had a good time.
- Get the tester for checking the voltage of the vortex generators.
- Find the T.O or part number for the sphincter valve.
- Find the clock circuit breaker for the wind up clock.
- Spool of flightline.
- Send to get the F.U.P.A “fastener unstuck power assembly” aka Johnson bar.
- Panel or wire stretching kit.
- Get the inverted jacks.
- Sending a new guy to get a can of p.e.p.s.I. or PEP51.
- Go catch and tag a Quality Air Sample in the hangar or engine exhaust sample.
- Clap on Light-All’s.
- Can of A. I. R.
- Fuse repair kit.
- PE-N15 kit.
- Aluminum magnet.
- Salute the aircraft as they break overhead.
- Case of Pneumatic fluid from supply.
- Telling the new guys first time on the carrier we all meet after shift in the bowling alley below the fantail.
- Tach generator sling.
- Find PRICKE8 that works.
- Pumping the telescoping step on the side of a H-60 to service the IGB.
- Jumping on the wings to seat the sump drains.
- Go get F.L.I.R. ball juice. (Hawaiian punch in a paper cup) With gloves and tongs.
- Stabilator slime light fluid.
- Pneumatic Flashlight.
- Best one I've seen. We need to install the winter tires. They're stashed in the hangar basement. You need to get the keys and have QC do the paperwork because big army made them serialized.
- Asking the squadron commander for their Christmas bonus.
- Had guys call local Captain D's restaurant (Capt. Deese) about their security paperwork.
- Safety wire boarding ladder to a grounding point prior to recovery.
- Getting coolant for the Abrams.
- Catching a bucket of rotor wash.
- Sending someone for a "rubber magnet" during a specialist red ball.
- Sprinkling sea dye powder on people in the rain (turns them various colors).
- Left handed speed handle.
- We convinced a new guy that he had to honk the Zamboni every time he turned in the hangar.
- Brake rider for a tow must strap into the seat.
- JOAP the hydro carts.
- Go grab some safety wire holes!
- Sweep up the bugs at night that gather around the light all because they are a FOD hazard.
- Told a new airman at the time, section chief needed a stapler and this yellow folder that was not to be opened. Inside the folder, was a piece of paper that said, "give me all your money, or I'll beat you with this stapler.
- High speed missile wax.
- Take a black grease pencil to the earmuffs on someone’s headset.
- Changing out the argon bottle on Aim-9 if bottle hisses run.
- Go to finance for overtime pay when we would go on 12s.
- Cutting hair and placing in a baggie with their ID for Bio survey.
- Turn all the ratchets off so the batteries don’t die.
- Sent a new troop to machine shop with a .032 roll of safety wire to get machined it down to .016.
- Box of RADAR contacts.
- Echo testing -60 hoses.
- A guy in C5 refurb left his top on the back of a seat where we did morning briefs for 5 weeks. The hangar has a bunch of drop lights from the ISO days that come down from the hangar ceiling, hooked it up and reeled it to the top. It stayed there for 2 weeks on display.
- Make the new guys carry a radio and a flashlight and walk up to the tower. Call the tower and request a light check and turn on the flashlight. "Tower Egress, requesting light check" " Egress tower, we see you".
- Speedy Dry in your Buddy’s parka hood when he’s not looking. Goes nicely down your shirt collar when you go outside and pull your hood up.
- Call the clinic to schedule your pap smear.
- Had an airman go to CTK to get a density check for a hammer. At which the custodian slammed the hammer on the counter and gave it back to the airman. Density check good.
- Go to supply and ask for the G-String to complete an Over-G inspection!
- Need a sample of dirt from every padeye to check for possible soil contamination issues from leaks.
- Radar check, hey grab that toolbox, get in front of the aircraft and run back and forth.
- Shake the spray can of paint until the ball stops.
- My favorite was when we had a MT kid come ask support for the P.E.P.S.I the MT shift leads made this kid come down in full gear I’m talking heat treat face shield, heat resistant gloves and coat. We gave the PEPSI to him in a cooler marked corrosive and explosive lol he carried it back to the shop with a set of forging tongs.
- Borescope adaptor for the oil cooler.
- Sending someone for a BA-1100N with a ST ring (balloon with a string).
- Send them to parts supply and check the IPB for a TF-34-GE100A exhaust muffler bearing. Make sure they use XB3 when clearing IMDS.
- Telling them to go get a specimen cup of dihydrogen monoxide from support.
- We sent a guy to electronics backshop and had them hook an alligator jumper lead between his eyeglass arm and finger to see if he grounded properly. Had him walking around with tag hanging from glasses saying failed.
- Warming up the pitot tubes by grabbing them and stroking them back and forth. (A10) Make sure you use both hands fast and stand in front to check for FOD.
- The Hymen rebuild kit from CTK. We actually had something to check out.
- Sending a FNG to his ObGyn appointment. Training manager overhead FNG claim he was unprankable. Got the clinic in on it, FNG realized something was up when they told him to put his legs in the stirrups.
- Watched E&E convince the new guy you had to pump the -60 tow bar 10-15 times to prime it.
- Send to NDI for steel toe boot check.
- Send the new guy out with the LOX pan in front of the jet to "calibrate the radar."
- We had a new 3 level convinced that when towing the aircraft that we needed him to be the guidon. We sent him to the commander’s office to get the squadron flag, proceeded to tow the jet with him being guidon in front of the tug. All the way down the flight line out to the run spot while it was snowing. He gets back in the bread truck after the tow, we are dying laughing, tell him it’s a joke and he actually argued with us saying it was a real thing!!
- Have the FNG blow into the G suit hose for leak checks after strapping in the pilot.
- Scaring the pigeons out of either paint barn or wash rack. Give them two pieces of metal to run around with and banging together in the hangar with the doors open.
- Oil cooled fuses.
- Making the apprentice responsible for keeping the windsock pumped up. We told him the valve was at the bottom of the pole.
- Sound powered telephone check (relief tube).
- Two newbs walking around with a coat hanger draped with tin foil checking for radon. Was told if it deflected one way or another to document it, they had a notebook.
- Removing all the heavy (cold) Winter air out of AGE being prepped for an exercise and put in the lighter (hot) Summer air so they make weight.
- Pumping the JFS while someone has the dump valves pressed.
- Corner attachment for the buffer.
- Missed call you need to return from Major Storm at Weather.
- Phone physicals were the best. You could get them to hold the phone to their chest for their pulse and then get them to do pushups or wind sprints to test them after exertion.
- Handing them grey primer and a bag of sand and telling them it’s 2 part non-skid.
- Push-start MC-1A Highpac compressors. Also rinsing out their spent dehydrators.
- We wrote a note on our board that said Col Sanders was trying to get ahold of one of our new guys about his security clearance and to call him back on his cell. We then wrote the number for the local KFC.
- 180 day rivet count on an F-16 A model intake to check for loose rivets.
- Had a guy perform his "initial urinalysis", had him walking around the unit with a JOAP bottle of piss above his shoulder to all the section chiefs and Pro Supers’ office trying to find who was in charge of urinalysis that week. Super ripped him a new one for not having a filled out a 350 tag with it.
- O-Ring elasticity checks or find the part number on the O-ring.
- Zulu watch from Supply.
- Send the new kids out for a can of High Frequency Cleaner.
- Tell the new C-130 crew chief to spin the #2 prop until the APU starts because they’re splined together.
- We used to send guys into benchstock for a tube of "PFM". We'd taken a tube of bright pink glitter glue, made a fake rainbow sticker & chemical haz label for it calling it "Pure Fucking Magic" with some made up mil spec and MSDS info.
- Go to Medical and get a bag of oxygen to top up the jet.
- We put masking tape on a bottle of leak check and labeled it N1 blade wash, we would tell new airmen to go to CTK and grab some blade wash then get in the inlet and clean bugs off the N1 blades.
- Arm rotations when doing an engine run so the guy running knows which way the engine is spinning.
- For easier removal of the circular panel that the F-16's V&P valves are under, send them to the tool crib and ask for the hole extractor.
- After a mission, one of our tankers came back with both tail cone navigation lights burnt out. We told a new airman that they were taxi brake lights and after changing the bulbs we needed him to do an ops check. After putting him in the seat pumping the brakes for 20-30 minutes, laughing our asses off, we had him come downstairs. He could hardly walk because his calves were so pumped up. We did tell him they were just navigation lights and that he got, got.
- Making the new guy align the ILS system by standing at the front of the jet with marshaling wands doing stupid movements.
- Once convinced someone to go to the AVI shop to get an A/C battery for a Huey.
- We set guys up to be "weather watchers". We put them up on a B-1 stand at the end of the ramp with water, sunscreen, a radio, goggles, and a pilot tube cover. We told them they had to use the pitot tube cover as a windsock, monitor the sky for clouds, and give each pilot taxiing by a thumbs up or thumbs down if the weather was good enough to fly, and then salute each plane as it taxied past!
- We also set a new kid up at Spang. He PCS'd in shortly before a UCI so all he knew was inspection prep. We always launched from inside a HAS (shelter) on the first go. We gave him an unused piddle pack that had been laying around and told him he had to wear it over his mouth and nose to filter the exhaust in the HAS.
Many thanks to all the FB Maintainer Humor readers who supplied these. I'd list you all by name but most likely you prefer anonymity. We couldn't have done it without you!
We hope you have seen a few that you haven’t used yet, and your morale is very important to Challenge Coin Nation. To that end we have a great selection of morale patches and stickers. Or you can design your own.