A friend of mine flew his 172 with a crescent wrench inside the right wing for 30+ years. A&P saw a little wrinkle in the skin on annual and discovered the culprit. Hard to imagine but I guess it happens.
I've found bucking bars in wings more than once.
One of the local airlines here use to x-ray a door on a Boeing every year because someone managed to rivet their tool bag into the door at that the factory.
There was also an aircraft that arrived fresh from a heavy check combined conversion to cargo freighter, from which they managed to extract 7 large rubbish bags of FOD from behind the panels (tools, hardware, rubbish, etc).
in a lot of cases in airline hangar work, the old concept of an inspector actually checking the work by physically going out and looking at the completed task, ie, checking inside a cavity with a torch, is gone and the inspector simply stamps the job card inside the office.....
Found a bucking bar in the center section of one of the Ercoupes I used to own.
In the Irish Air Corps, my former workplace, a Fouga wing had to come off and a rusty bucking bar and a mummified frog were found in the wing.
Some good workshop tips here: yhttp://www.shedworks.eu/hints.html
While working on Frank Sander's first Sea Fury for the Mojave 1000, two fuel tank technicians, working (IIRC) for El Reno, hired to do seal the "wet wings", had just returned from fixing a fuel tank problem in Thailand. They reported the problem was caused by a McDondald Douglass employee who had crawled into a fuel tank to "take a nap". The tank was sealed, as was the "Missing Person" worker's fate - only to be discovered 7-8 years later. I was 19 or so at the time and it taught me an unforgettable lesson in "sleeping on the job".
Most of you could have written this, but I just stumbled upon it, and thought that it is worth pointing out.
Good stuff BJC
It's been fun reading this thread and I see myself much too often, especially when it comes to losing things when I haven't moved, including my glasses (just as often as not, perched on top of my head). To make sure I don't forget to put anything back or reinstall anything, I keep a log on my airplane very much like the ones we used at TWA, where I was both a mechanic and inspector. I don't find it difficult to switch from mechanic to inspector on my own work but I've been out of the game for a while and the eyes are still getting acclimated to looking at airplanes again. So I look even closer than what might be necessary. As it is, I've found things on my airplane that I didn't like and decided to change. There are more than a few that will have to wait until the next engine change or overhaul, but they're marked down and so I won't forget them. Another thing I do is take a lot of pictures before I take something apart I'm not familiar with (which on ultralights is practically everything!). Sometimes I take pictures part way through, just to cover myself. It's worked out so far.
Smart phones have almost unlimited photo storage capacity and they take really high resolution photos. I'm recognizing more and more opportunities to use them. As an example, yesterday I replaced the front suspension bushings on a golf cart that we use to get around the airpark. I wasn't certain of the model year, so, using the built-in flash, I took a high reolution photo of the suspension. At the parts store, when asked the year, I showed the service man the photo, and he recognized the model year. A few months age, before starting to disconnect wires to trouble-shoot a microwave oven, a few quick photos documented the connections without error. I also use it to look under and behind instrument panels, and as a flashlight. It truely is a modern "multi tool."
What other uses have HBAers found for smart phones?
Examples: Flashlight with variable intensity, ForeFlight iPad back-up, Airport Courtesy Cars, Weather, telephone through headset via Bluetooth