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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aviation & Flying Activities  |  Topic: Wasps, airplanes, and pre-flights
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Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 678

« on: May 02, 2018, 05:11:42 PM »

https://www.casa.gov.au/file/78246/download?token=jiWYF9rF is the Australian AWB 02-052 Wasp Nest Infestation Issue 4 - Alert.  To view it you'll need to save a pdf to your desktop. The Australian product is an excellent reminder of why a VERY GOOD preflight is always a good idea.  I've found nests in CAP aircraft (and others) that have just come out of a 100 hr,  annual, or other maintenance.  Some wasp condos were missed during the inspection, but one or two were built literally overnight after the aircraft was tied down on the line.  The NTSB has several reports of insect nests obstructing the fuel vent, static port, carburetor throat, etc.  A few years ago a friend was providing dual instruction when his engine quit halfway home.  The cause was a mud dauber nest in the fuel vent.  In that case his off airport landing was successful, the debris was cleared, and he departed with just a few hours of delay.
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Holding Pattern
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,278
Unit: Worry

« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2018, 06:14:33 PM »

It is also wise to remove the cat before flight.
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Cliff_Chambliss
Seasoned Member

Posts: 409

« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018, 08:52:16 AM »

On a related note as an instructor I have seen some pilots do some really not too smart things on preflights related to this issue:
1.  Sucking on the stall warning opening:  Lots of fresh and not so fresh bug protein in there.  If you are one to do this at least use a tissue as a bug parts filter as you suck on the opening.
2.  Fresh air vents on Cessnas.  Many pilots just look and say "yep, they're there" and go on.  NOTE:  having an angry wasp come through the vent into your face on takeoff is an attention getter.  Next is the pilot who will check the vents by putting his/her finger inside.  Wasps do not react well to intruders and the flight will now be cancelled.  (I teach my students to check for wasps and other critters in air vents by using a pencil. 
3.  Other places I have found and noted critter problems:  Look for wasp nests around the handles of fire extinguishers (if your field has those big wheeled units that stay on the ramp).  If your ramp area has disposal cans for sumped fuel, check around them.
4.  During the warmer months check your crew and passengers ask if any have wasp/bee allergies and if so, do they have an auto injector antidode with them.  (just going up for an hour may be an hour too long if they are stung).
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Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 678

« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 03:12:49 PM »

On a related note as an instructor I have seen some pilots do some really not too smart things on preflights related to this issue:
1.  Sucking on the stall warning opening:  Lots of fresh and not so fresh bug protein in there.  If you are one to do this at least use a tissue as a bug parts filter as you suck on the opening.
2.  Fresh air vents on Cessnas.  Many pilots just look and say "yep, they're there" and go on.  NOTE:  having an angry wasp come through the vent into your face on takeoff is an attention getter.  Next is the pilot who will check the vents by putting his/her finger inside.  Wasps do not react well to intruders and the flight will now be cancelled.  (I teach my students to check for wasps and other critters in air vents by using a pencil. 
3.  Other places I have found and noted critter problems:  Look for wasp nests around the handles of fire extinguishers (if your field has those big wheeled units that stay on the ramp).  If your ramp area has disposal cans for sumped fuel, check around them.
4.  During the warmer months check your crew and passengers ask if any have wasp/bee allergies and if so, do they have an auto injector antidode with them.  (just going up for an hour may be an hour too long if they are stung).

Good observations.  To your list add wasp nests in the fuel nozzle cradle on some less trafficed airports, in the door handle cavity of infrequently used crew cars, beneath the hangar eaves (especially on the south side), in back country privies (check closely inside the doorway and beneath the seat on pit toilets)...  basically, a little extra S.A. goes a very long way.  :)
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aviation & Flying Activities  |  Topic: Wasps, airplanes, and pre-flights
 


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