When you’re working on the Black Hawk’s M-Model tail rotor, put a cover on the composite stabilator. It’s a must no matter how careful you think you are with tools.
Protecting the stabilator from dropped tools or other damage keeps your aircraft off the NMC list. Even the best mechanics get butterfingers every now and then.
Also, make sure you perform daily PMCS on any ground support equipment such as the maintenance work stand or overhead hoist that will be used to perform maintenance above the stabilator. And let other mechanics know the importance of protecting the stabalitor when you have your morning aircraft workflow meetings.
If you forget the cover and drop a tool on the stabilator, you or your unit could be on the hook for the cost, depending on the extent of the damage. The center section costs $39K. The left and right sections cost $33K.
Since the new M-model aircraft comes with a cover, there’s no excuse not to have it in place while doing tail rotor maintenance.