I'm pretty sure this was an Analog story from the mid-to-late 1980s.
The protagonist is an engineer for an aircraft company, taking a long-distance flight.
The setting has long-distance air travel provided by large flying wings that perpetually circle the globe; shuttle aircraft (up to 737-sized) are based in cities, and fly up to meet the wing, exchange departing passengers for arriving passengers and return to their home city. (They also carry up fuel and supplies to keep the wing flying.) The flying wings are composed of 5 individual sections mated together. Once passengers are aboard, they can move around, shop, go to a theatre, etc.
When the engineer arrives, he takes advantage of working for the company to get a visit to the flight deck. There's not much happening, because he's in section 5, and section 3 (in the middle) is currently driving. I recall a character making a joke about having sections 1 and 2 detach and fly around to the other side so that 5 will be in middle and can take a turn driving.
A short time later, there's an accident. A plane missed its docking approach and slammed into the docking bay at an angle. The docking collar deployed incorrectly and damaged the plane. First there's a scramble to get the passengers off the plane, and the engineer is asked to see if he can find any debug information that would help figure out what went wrong.
Ultimately it is discovered that the hot-shot flyboy in the plane disabled his approach computer so he could fly manually, and messed up. No reason to ground the fleet, but they still need to get rid of the broken jet, which (this is Analog) they do successfully, and the pilot thinks happy thoughts about dinner with the engineer.
(The wing section's airspeed - with the broken plane hanging off it - is too high to land; since it's not intended to land regularly, it's not equipped with thrust-reversers. Instead what they have to do is slow down enough that when they unload the broken plane it will be going slow enough to land, but meanwhile the wing will be able to regain enough speed to touch-and-go.)