We have a customer. This customer owns a single-engine Cessna and it wasn’t getting flown very often, for whatever reason. The aircraft was hangar-kept and very clean, it just wasn’t getting flown much.
Life circumstances changed and it was time to start getting it in the air more, but first, it was past due its annual airworthiness inspection. No problem, just run the airplane by the shop and have them do an annual and then ….
Problems, big problems (as the pictures show). Mice had gotten into the aircraft’s aluminum wings and nested. While that was bad enough (nesting material was made from insulation taken from various parts of the airplane) the body waste from the mice did some real damage.
See the pics? There’s more than just waste there. You can see in the one where a rib was literally eaten apart, just rotten, from the rodent’s waste.
And we’re still drilling it down, still discovering the range of the damage. Some of the damage might be repairable by cleaning and treating the metal, but some will need parts replacement.
So yeah, regular inspections or fly your airplane if at all possible, or you wind up with time-consuming repairs like we’re seeing here.
Overview of the center wing area. Lots to be cleaned and/or replaced in just this area, and we still have more wing to go, and another just like it nearby.
In the upper left is where aluminum used to be.
This is a portion of the wing bay, with the lower skin removed. You can see the waste still in there. This and like this is what’s caused so much damage to the wing (note also the bits of insulation used for nesting material by the vermin).