Preliminary Accident Reports

January 2016 Issue

Aircraft Engine Oil Checks

Even an everyday thing like checking the oil can have dire consequences if we let it.

This monthís accident easily could have resulted from perhaps the most insidious preflight challenges: interruptions. Being interrupted in the middle of, say, refueling or checking the engine oil can have severe consequences. The trick for me always has been to start over after the interruption is resolved. If this means leaving passengers in the FBO lobby until Iím ready, or missing a clearance void time, so be it. If it means answers to a passengerís questions must be postponed, thatís okay, too. Interruptions during a preflight inspection are insidious because they allow us to consider a task complete when it isnít. Weíll never know if an interruption during the preflight inspection helped cause this monthís accident, but itís as good an explanation as any.

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