The Original MRO Annoyance: Gremlins

Mythical creatures aren’t just for fairy tale books. The MRO industry has its own supernatural creature that has vexed aircraft maintenance workers since World War II. 


Song of the Gremlins

As sung by the RAF Photographic Reconnaissance Unit during the Second World War.

When you're seven miles up in the heavens,
And that's a heck of a lonely spot,
And it's fifty degrees below zero,
Which isn't exactly hot,
When you're frozen blue like your Spitfire,
And you're scared a Mosquito pink,
When you're thousands of miles from nowhere,
And there's nothing below but the drink -

It's then you will see the gremlins,
Green and gamboge and gold,
Male and female and neuter,
Gremlins both young and old.

White ones'll wiggle your wingtips,
Male ones'll muddle your maps,
Green ones'll guzzle your glycol,
Females will flutter your flaps,
Pink ones will perch on your perspex,
And dance pirouettes on your prop,
There's one spherical middle-aged gremlin
Who spins on your stick like a top.

They'll freeze up your camera shutters,
They'll bite through your aileron wires,
They'll cause your whole tail to flutter,
They'll insert toasting forks in your tyres.

This is the song of the gremlins
As sung by the P R U,
Pretty Ruddy Unlikely to many,
But fact nonetheless to the few.


Source: Online Entomology DictionaryWord Histories and Mysteries: From Abracadabra to Zeus and The Gremlins Reform: An R.A.F. Fable

Photo Credit: U. S. National Archives and Records Administration


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