It is sad to say there have been fatalities attributed to tools left in aircraft. Can you imagine the immense emotional impact - and the legal consequences - if your tool caused a loss of life? With a little common sense, attention to detail and time, you can avoid the dire consequences of leaving your tools where they might cause harm to innocent people.
This is one type of accident you can absolutely prevent —the cure is simple, and may keep you from becoming the cause of an accident. After every maintenance action, account for every tool. As a matter of fact, do so before signing off the work. Put a big sign on your toolbox or add a note to the inspection checklist. Included below are some simple tips that may prevent "Fly-Away Tools":
- Organize your toolbox or tool crib so you can readily identify when a tool is missing.
- Place stickers on your toolbox to remind you to inventory your tools after performing maintenance.
- Place posters throughout your hangar to remind everyone to inventory their tools after performing maintenance.
- Insert steps into your checklist to require a tool inventory prior to signing the aircraft maintenance log and returning the aircraft to service.
- Do not let the aircraft operate or depart until you do the tool check!
Adopting some, or all, of these simple steps will not only prevent the loss of expensive tools, but most importantly, it could save a life.
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