The red “Remove Before Flight” tag is one of the most common items in the aviation maintenance sphere. If you’ve ever peeked outside the airport windows while waiting to board a flight, you may have seen several of the red tags attached to your plane.

You may have also seen “Remove Before Flight” tags used as a keychain, a baggage tag, or a slogan on a shirt. It’s safe to say that most people recognize the phrase – but how many know about its purpose?

The “Remove Before Flight” tag is an integral safety sign for aircraft maintenance and notifies aircraft personnel that its attached component needs removal before use. The tags are checked during ground handling processes, usually as part of a standardized checklist. Failure to remove the tag and its attachment can result in terrible consequences ranging from a simple part failure to a complete aircraft shutdown!


What Are The “Remove Before Flight” Tags Attached To?

The tags are attached to protective covers or pins for various parts – ranging in size from small devices like pitot tubes to larger ones like entire engines. They are also commonly on stoppers meant to block openings on an aircraft (exhaust covers, shades, plugs, etc.). The cleanliness of those openings is essential to proper aircraft operation; those openings would otherwise be vulnerable to small animals, trash, or weather conditions if left open.

If an aircraft is left to sit idle for several days, mechanics will cover large parts such as engines or propellers, with the covers almost always donning the “Remove Before Flight” tag. Proper storage of the mentioned parts helps maintain the lifespan of the aircraft as a whole.

Aircraft mechanics should be aware of all parts that “Remove Before Flight” tags may be attached to. A simple mistake like leaving protective covers on a tube or engine can cause delays in flight schedules or component breakdowns.

Why Do The Tags Look Like That?

Although the “Remove Before Flight” tag can come in many shapes and sizes, they are always red with stark white text. Also, the “Remove Before Flight” tag is printed in English only due to international flight regulations. The tag’s instructions are critical to the safety of the airplane and personnel, so they must be immediately recognizable, easy to read, and universally understood.


The Mark of an Aviation Enthusiast

Due to their ubiquity and importance, the “Remove Before Flight” tag has become a favored piece of merchandise for aviation enthusiasts. The tags are a great reminder for the attention to detail that is required for a career in aviation!

Looking for more information on general aviation maintenance safety? Read this blog!

If you’re an aviation enthusiast looking to take a step into aviation maintenance as a career, fill out the form below, or apply now if you’re ready to begin!

A "Remove Before Flight" tag swaying in the wind.
“Remove Before Flight” tags make for great keychains!