November 2011 Issue

Preflight Inspections

Chances are, if it flew in, it will fly out. The extent to which you want to inspect it again is based on your mission and what the big picture reveals.

Aircraft manufacturers would have us perform a recommended preflight inspection before every flight. Sometimes, that’s necessary and appropriate, especially when we’re unfamiliar with the airplane, it’s a rental and/or we find something on a cursory examination making us want to dive down deeper into determining whether the airplane really is airworthy. On the other side of the coin, you may want to go far beyond the handbook’s recommendations. One example is when the airplane is just out of the maintenance shop. The trick is knowing how close a look the aircraft really needs One answer is experience, but that’s not something all of us have in abundance.

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