NEWS | May 19, 2020

Aircraft: Win the Battle of the Birds

Fuel tank for long-distance flights of the U.S. Army UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters
Photo by Pierre Courtejoie
 
Mechanics,

The old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together,” is not just a saying, but it’s happening inside aircraft hangars. Birds love to set up shop inside hangars to nest and breed. They leave droppings, which is always a problem.

Birds nesting in the rafters of your hangar can damage helicopters because bird droppings are highly corrosive. So, always wear gloves when cleaning off those messy droppings. Bird waste can eat through paint, wiring and insulation.

If your helicopter has been hit by bird droppings while inside or outside a hangar, give it a thorough wash.

As the battle with the birds continues, one way to scare birds away and keep them out of the hangar is to use fake owls or hawks. Place them on high ledges where birds like to gather. Fake owls can possibly be purchased locally using a facilities purchase card, but ensure you discuss your plan with the building superintendent first, if there is one. Also, follow your unit’s SOP and get your chain of command’s approval.