The shuttlecraft repair crew is a weak explanation as to why Voyager maintained a fully functional shuttle, ready for flight at a moments notice in that the writer's failed to conduct research to match Voyager's crew complement of 150 people. The crew for a single fighter plane is in the area of twenty-five people, including pilots. Lets do the math: Problem 1) 25 X 8 = 200. Problem 2) 150 - 200 = -50 . . . This means no one is left to run the ship, and the shuttle maintenance crew still remains undermanned! The poor bastards should have unionized under the Maquis! I suppose it is possible to manage with a smaller flight deck crew, but only under the assumption the shuttlecraft are used on the rarest of occasions rather than with the frequency seen in Voyager.
The loss of the shuttlecraft is a running joke shared by many fans and detractors of the series. Speculation exists the joke is also shared by the writers. If true, it's a terrible running joke in that it rips the viewer from the tentatively held suspension of reality. A successful running joke works within the structure of a story, like in the case of Morn in Deep Space Nine. We never hear Morn utter a single syllable, but the other characters continually complain he talks to excess. A better example of a running joke is the entire series of Arrest Development.
Voyager's shuttlecraft blunder is nothing less then lazy story telling, a disease that runs rampant throughout all seven seasons.
Reason 2 (Part 1)
Reason 2 (Part 2)
Reason 4 (Part 1)
Reason 4 (Part 2)
The Coffee Nebula: Shuttlecraft Status
Ex Astris Scientia: Voyager Inconsistencies
Shadows Beyond the Flames for the Kindle
Shadows Beyond the Flames for the Nook
J. M. Tresaugue Books