Where Remove Before Flight Phrase Comes From?

Posted by Paulius Aganauskas on

Why Remove Before Flight?

When it comes to international air travel, most of us don’t think about avionics, we simply jump on a plane and look forward to exploring a new destination, but when it comes to safety, there are certain things that cannot be overlooked. 
The phrase ‘Remove Before Flight’ is something that most of us are familiar with, and it can be found 
on almost every travel gadget, from luggage tags and keyrings to travel socks and gifts for pilots, but 
there’s much more to it than a fancy slogan. Remove Before Flight ribbons have been used in 
aviation for decades to protect mechanical parts when an aeroplane is grounded, but if they are not 
used correctly, the results can be catastrophic.

Air Peru B757

When Things Go Wrong: Aeroperú Flight 603

On 2nd October 1996, Aeroperú Flight 603 was scheduled to fly from Miami, Florida to Santiago, Chile, with a stopover in Peru. The first leg went smoothly with the Boeing 757 Aircraft landing successfully at Lima airport, but less than five minutes after departing on the second leg of the journey, the crew reported problems with their air data computers. Unable to monitor their airspeed and altitude, the pilots struggled to navigate the aircraft, and so they attempted to return to Lima airport. 

With no idea of their true altitude and no visual references, the pilots were essentially flying ‘blind’. Air traffic control agents attempted to assist the pilots with basic flight data from the control tower, but this only caused more confusion in the cockpit. Tragedy struck when the wing and the number one engine hit the surface of the Pacific ocean, causing the plane to crash and killing all 70 people onboard. 

In the final accident report, it was revealed that three static ports supplying vital aerodynamic data such as altitude, airspeed, and virtual speed, had been covered with protective tape when the aircraft was washed and polished on the ground. This tape was not ‘removed before flight’ as it should have been, and this resulted in avionic system failure.

Remove Before Flight Ribbon

Remove Before Flight Ribbons: Keeping Pilots and Passengers Safe

Today, most aircraft are equipped with brightly colored maintenance covers (usually red ribbons) to protect the fuselage ports. More often than not, these covers are clearly printed with the words ‘Remove Before Flight’ so that ground workers and pilots can easily spot them and make sure they are all removed safely before departure. 

A simple design, but one that works exceptionally well, remove before flight ribbons keep pilots in control and passengers safe, and so it is perhaps no surprise that the term has evolved to become one of the most popular phrases used in aviation history. 

While a practical solution at the airport, Remove Before Flight Ribbons have become quite the fashion trend in recent years too, with many brands using the slogan on T-Shirts, Bomber Jackets, and aviation-inspired gifts such as Remove Before Flight Keychains and Remove Before Flight Lanyards

If you are looking for the perfect gift for cabin crew, flight attendants, pilots, plane spotters, and aviation enthusiasts, you might want to take a peek at our ever-growing collection of ‘Remove Before Flight’ gifts where you’ll find Remove Before Flight Keyrings, Remove Before Flight Luggage Tags, and a whole lot more aviation inspired goodies!

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