Many times, plugging devices are used to protect the internal parts of vital machinery. Since these plugging devices are out of view, or partially out of view, they pose a risk of being left in place after maintenance work. If they are left behind, they have become part of the foreign material problem that they were originally used to prevent. Any time there is a risk of this happening, redundant protective measures should be taken.
FME flagging devices and FME tails provide the redundancy needed to ensure that installed devices don’t go unnoticed. FME tails are used on the end of plugs to remind workers that a plug is installed. These are very similar to the flags attached to caps and plugs installed on grounded aircraft. A pitot tube protector will always have a remove before flight flag attached to it to prevent it from being accidentally left in place.
FME Flagging devices are slightly different than FME tails because they are designed to have a long reach. The longer reach works well for protective plugs that are installed in a deep location, or when visibility of an FME tail may be inadequate to remind workers that a device is installed.
Both FME tails and flagging devices should be appropriate to a sites FME color scheme, and should be bright enough to make them hard to ignore.