The UKCAA have recently published (12th June) Safety Notice SN-2021/014 in relation to Pitot Blockage Events from potential insect infestation. Recent events are still under investigation.
From personal aircraft maintenance experience, it is NOT just the pitot heads to consider but also the ‘static ports’ are also subjective to insect infestation. Therefore, ‘static ports’ should be blanked when the aircraft is not flying.
WRT aircraft: remember, helicopters and general aircraft are susceptible to these type of potential problems as well whilst parked outside, not just large commercial aircraft.
WRT hangar parked aircraft: Even aircraft parked in the hangar are susceptible, because maintenance hangar doors remain open longer due to summer conditions which provides opportunities for insects to locate a new home even if temporary.
Finally, insects can build new homes in the APU air inlet plenums in very short periods of time as well – less than 2 weeks. Keep an open mind to the causes of defects.
The challenge is to risk mitigate these types of issues for both Part CAMO, Part 145 organisations and operators..
Anybody else had problems like this? Worth a organisations ‘toolbox talk’ at least to remind personnel to be observant on walk rounds or carrying out maintenance activities and report back on potential issues or even if they suspect. Be proactive and not reactive. Sharing knowledge and experience. It is what we do.