Ron Regional: "I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms about something we saw about us on your online service."

Budgie Online: "I see. What exactly was wrong and when did we do it?"

Regional: "Oh...I'm not too sure actually"

Budgie: "Why not?"

Regional: "No...well you see we don't actually well, never mind...thank you."

Odd job?

(From the Qinetiq careers section)

Job title: unmanned air vehicle pilot

Of course these days the spread of UAVs means such jobs are cropping up more and more - which is odd in an oxymoronic sort of way. In case you are interested in applying, Qinetiq is looking for "qualified jet aircrew from a military background, ideally with fast jet and air-to-air experience". Rather worryingly, the same ad mentions "groundbreaking technology". Well, let's hope not! Thanks to nephew Eizo Middelkoop of Luxembourg.

Splendid isolation

Just in case you thought there had been a disturbing lack of ludicrous official lunacy lately around the aviation agencies of the world, here's one from the US Federal Aviation Administration to make you feel better. From 12 June, 2005 all Part 121 and 135 passenger-carrying aircraft must carry information cards for each piece of self-loading cargo, telling him or her that "final assembly of this airplane was completed in (insert name of country)".

The FAA has worked out that it will cost the airlines $522,000 and 13,313.4 hours in "paperwork burden". "Congress, which reflects the will of the American people, has determined that this final rule is in the best interest of the nation and therefore provides a benefit," says the over-worked agency.

So, from 2005, on boarding an airliner carrying the flag of the land of the home and the brave expect to find a seat back placard with all sorts of extra info. But what exactly will it say? How about something like "This airplane was assembled in France. If you mildly object, please leave by the door you entered. If you violently object, the emergency exits are marked in red, white and blue on this card. If this airplane was assembled in the United States, sit back, smile and enjoy the flight."

Of course, it gets a little more complex with regional jets. "This airplane was assembled in Brazil. If your flight clashes with a major soccer tournament Canadian airplanes are available on request."

Self-loading cattle

(Overheard on a recent Stansted-Munich flight)

Angelica Strapini: "In the event of an emergency, oxen masks will drop automatically from the ceiling above you. To start ze flow of oxen pull the mask."

Source: Flight International