June 2018 Issue

Post-Maintenance Preflight Tips

How’s it feel to be a test pilot?

What does a component’s normal condition look like, and what typically goes wrong with it? If your maintenance technician isn’t available to ask, consult the airplane’s POH, and don’t forget to look in the supplement section. In fact, you rarely can go wrong with the manufacturer’s preflight checklist. One of those times, however, is after maintenance has been performed. If that’s the case, a more detailed preflight inspection is warranted. The place to start is determining what kind of maintenance has been performed, and you do that by reviewing the aircraft maintenance records. That’s because aircraft just out of maintenance are more likely to have safety-of-flight issues than an aircraft in good condition flown on a daily basis. The extent to which an airplane coming out of maintenance will have an issue is proportional to the complexity of the work performed. Something as simple as adding air to a tire isn’t likely to cause a problem, but complex work—and work on several systems at a time—creates too many opportunities for mischief for us to ignore.

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