Airplane Owner Maintenance

A Maintenance Oriented Podcast For Airplane Owners

057 – Don’t Let Your Airplane Become a Bird Hotel!

It’s that time of the year, when the birds are actively looking for great places to build their nests.  Airplane engine cowlings seem to be one of their favorites.

Thanks, Elizabeth, for providing a great example of cowling plugs!

Cowling plugs, like you see in this Cessna 150, are a very worthwhile investment.  You might also consider options for covering the pitot tube, fuel vents, and other openings that might invite unwelcomed critters to take up residence.

A few simple proactive measures can make a monumental difference… trust me, you don’t want to clean a bird nest out of your engine cylinders  if you can help it.

Listen today, and hear a story about a recent airplane I worked on, that the birds seemed to really love.

Have a great week everyone!

P.S.  Just make sure the items you are using to cover items on your airplane, are marked in some conspicuous way, so you will be sure to remove them before you fly!














  1. Awesome podcast! Really looking forward to your upcoming videos!

    – Changing oil, filter and safety wiring
    – Removing, cleaning, gaping and installing spar plugs
    – Checking for corrosion
    – Treating small corroded areas

  2. Hey Dean,

    I have a couple suggestions about temporary “cowl plugs”. I work in car dealer service dept. and use a sticky film called “crash wrap” for covering up open windows, or missing panels to keep put rain and other debris. It comes in rolls and would probably work well just to cover cowl openings. I was also thinking about using large car washing sponges, which can be squeezed and inserted into the cowl opening. As it decompressed, it will seal the cowl opening and hold itself in place.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Elizabeth Gilbert

    May 7, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you for the acknowledgement, Dean!

    For anyone who is interested, the cowl plugs (which came with a pitot tube cover and “remove before flight” streamers), were purchased from Aircraft Spruce:

    They are durable and fit well.

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