October 2013 Issue

Pre-Flight Follies

Many in-flight problems can be traced back to an inadequate pre-flight inspection. Use a checklist, and watch for these common errors.

When did you last experience an embarrassing moment on the takeoff roll? Have you ever had to taxi back to the ramp to deal with a problem discovered during the run-up? Any moments of tension or near-terror because you missed something during the pre-flight? Most pilots can recite at least one tale about discovering they missed something in the pre-flight inspection. The idea at its root is to never, ever start the engine without a thorough look-around to be sure all remains as it was when you last landed the airplane. In the case of the day’s first flight, you’re conducting an inspection to confirm the aircraft’s airworthiness, general condition, fuel status, etc.

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