Eggs on your cylinders?

May 27, 2008 by Steven W. Ells, Associate Editor

Spring is well underway. Our feathered friends are now nesting and laying eggs. And they often decide that the nooks and crannies of a tied down, or hangared airplane–small spaces under the cowling, in the tail section, or up in a wheel well–are ideal spots to build a nest and lay eggs.

During my 30 + years around the air yard, I’ve seen plenty of nests in other pilots’ airplanes. In the intervening days between my last flight 10 days ago and yesterday a local mama bird built a nest and laid four eggs on top of my engine’s #1 and #3 cylinders. I’m grateful that both sides of the cowling of my Comanche open wide, permitting me unlimited access to my engine. I set the nest aside and used compressed air to blow the remaining twigs and sticks off the engine.

If your cowling doesn’t permit a good engine inspection prior to flight, get some cowl plugs. These plugs are a lot less expensive than changing a cylinder due to a nest that’s blocked the cooling air.


2 Responses to “Eggs on your cylinders?”

  1. Paul Richfield Says:

    Wow, Steve. This one’s going to be tough to top. Anybody out there raising eels in their battery box?

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