Remove before flight ribbon is a safety precaution generally seen on many removable aircraft and space shuttles, usually in the shape of a red flag, to warn that an object, like a pin or a cover, is only used while the plane is on the runway. This is done so as to prevent damage to the plane or its vital landing gear from the effects of unsteadiness. It also gives pilots extra time to chat with their passengers before take-off.
If you are ever asked to remove a remove before-flight ribbon before using your plane or space shuttle, you can expect that you will need to remove it yourself. There are usually small clips located at the rear of the plane’s wingtips that easily latch onto the horizontal stabilizer. On larger aircraft like 747s and jets, you may need to remove them from the tips of the wings or the ailerons. For smaller planes like gliders, they will usually be located between the wingtips on most models.
The clip is pushed along a rail located behind the stabilizer, removing the obstructive trim. The obstructive trim is removed by lifting the entire clip up off the wing (or by removing one-half). When removing it from the wing, you need to use just enough force to keep the clip attached to the rail, and to allow it to fall smoothly into place next time you use your plane for take-off.
Before you remove it, however, you need to be sure that it’s completely free of all obstructions. The best way to do this is to look underneath it. If the design has lines etched into it, you can likely remove the object without problems, but if the design is smooth, you might need a magnifying glass. You may also want to use compressed air to remove any broken parts.
There are two common ways to remove the trim at the bottom of your flight deck. The first is to remove the whole trim. This is the easiest method and works with the most stubborn obstructions. You simply remove all of it until there’s barely any left. This is best used on large take-offs or when remove before flight large objects. You may also choose to remove just a few screws or brackets if you’re confident about doing the removal yourself.
The second, and probably the easiest method, are to replace the trim piece. This is a little more difficult and is recommended only for small take-offs where there isn’t much trim to remove. To remove the trim, you need to pull the tabs off the wing, and then remove the whole wing. To replace the trim, you need to install the piece inside the wing, screw it in, and then screw the wing-back in. This is the easiest method for removing the trim from your flight deck and can be quite effective if you have a good replacement part.