February 2017 Issue

Preflight Strategies

How you inspect your airplane before flying it can depend on where it’s parked, how long since its last flight and the day’s mission.

Preflight inspections are kind of like landings: a good one takes some practice. As students, we were trained to walk around the airplane with a formal checklist, perhaps with our thumb pointing to the task at hand, so we wouldn’t miss anything. And in the rental/training environment, a methodical approach to preflighting what you’re about to fly has a great deal of merit: You never know who flew it last, the airplane’s condition afterward and what they broke until you look for yourself.

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