Buds N Bugs: What’s gumming up the works?

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 12:33 PM.

My friend Lana Heady was the first to bring me this beetle. Curiously, she said it was blown out of a refrigeration line.

How that happened is hard to understand but, by coincidence, Harry, another friend showed me some pictures of a leaf covered cocoon he found in the fuel line of a disused engine. He said the foot-long object, which contained multiple grubs and was difficult to dislodge. He also said that he or somebody he knew has encountered a similar blockage, on several other occasions.

That made me wonder if bugs in machinery is a common occurrence and with the help of Jan Peters, I located an article on the subject in PCT Magazine, a journal for pest control operators.

According to the article, insects infesting equipment is commoner and more dangerous than might be supposed.

In 1996, Flight 301 departing the Dominican Republic crashed into the ocean minutes after take-off killing 189 people. A navy salvage team located the black box and investigators listened to a horrifying recording of the last minutes before the crash.

An air speed gauge located on the exterior of the plane indicated that the Boeing 757 was traveling dangerously fast. The copilot concurred with the judgment. The pilot took measure to slow the aircraft, ignoring other factors indicating that the plane was actually traveling too slowly.

The aircraft stalled and fell from the sky.

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