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Thread: Animal nest (most likely mice) found in wing, what to do?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2017
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    12

    Animal nest (most likely mice) found in wing, what to do?

    I just purchased a partially completed Kitfox 7. The wings are covered thru the first coat of poly brush, the pink stuff LOL. When we were loading and unloading, I could hear something rattling inside. Sounded like small pieces of gravel. I suspected it might be mouse droppings. I've been looking inside the wings from the tip end and discovered there's some kind of nest back towards the tank in one wing. My problem is, I need to get it out of there, The second problem is, did they do any damage, such as chewing on a rib, or stitching. My big concern is, mouse/rat urine is very corrosive, These wings were covered about 5 years ago. Who knows how old the nest is. I feel I need to inspect for corrosion and if ok clean and treat to prevent any problems in the future, and this would include the full length of the spar. I'm thinking the best and most comprehensive plan would be to uncover the wings.
    So what do you think I should do? Any suggestions?
    Thanks

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    1,505
    You answered your own question. Seeing how this is a lot of work I am sure you are looking for a different answer. But the only real way to do this is remove the covering. You could put inspection plates in the fabric, but once you find the problems that need fixed you will be removing the fabric anyway.

    The covering or fabric needs to come off. If this was mine this is what I would do. If it had only been in there a short time say over a winter, I would say install inspection rings and clean it up. But after five years, she needs to have the covering removed. IMHO. But this is just my opinion and no one seems to agree with anything I say. So I could be wrong.

    I keep an open mind.

    Tony

  3. #3
    Dana's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    591
    There were critters in the wings of my Fisher 404 when bought it. The wood was stained but sound, but they had chewed through the rib stitching. I was able to get all the nests and acorns out by a combination of vacuuming and upending the wings and shaking them, then I re-ribstitched through the existing finishing tape and patched over that.

    Metal wings might be more problematic, as you say urine is very corrosive.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Alabama
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    LOL, 1600vw, today is your day.

    Strip the fabric.

    Covering is fairly inexpensive and not that difficult a task, and since it's only been done through the first coat it's not like you'll have to worry about matching colors.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    12
    Thanks, that's exactly what I'm going to do, I've decided. Thanks for all the replies, greatly appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    LOL, 1600vw, today is your day.

    Strip the fabric.

    Covering is fairly inexpensive and not that difficult a task, and since it's only been done through the first coat it's not like you'll have to worry about matching colors.

  6. #6
    JimRice85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    In a house with my laptop.....somewhere in Collierville, TN
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    182
    I had mice get inside the lower left wing of my Starduster Too. They chewed all the ribstitch cord. All of it in less than a couple of weeks in the winter between flights. I found it during a flight when I looked out and the fabric was ballooning up. That caught my attention quickly. I very gently and slowly nursed it around the pattern and landed.

    Fortunately, they weren't there long and didn't chew any wood. I was able to inspect using a color video camera inserted through inspection access and bellcrank covers to inspect it very closely. I ended up using MEK to strip down finish tapes and remove them. Removed all the chewed cord and restitched it...all on the plane.


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    Jim Rice
    Wolf River Airport (54M)
    Collierville, TN

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