May 1999 Issue

Walk This Way

Preflight ainít just a walkaround; put your brain into it, too

In the course of a flight review or check ride pilots make extra effort to go through the motions of a thorough preflight. Itís Kabuki for aviation. Both the evaluator and the evaluatee know their respective parts and want to play them well.

No one likes to admit it out loud, but we canít help but feel that itís a bit of a put-on. We perform our roles and if not too many lines are missed, we get the applause and the endorsement. Then, once the evaluation threat passes, the checklist might sift into the baggage compartment with the POH, Weight and Balance paperwork and we go back to flying the way we always did. In front of a grand jury Iíd be forced to admit it myself. But only if grant...

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