Questions tagged [preflight]

Use this tag for questions about pre-flight inspections and aircraft preparation.

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Inspection panels and meaning of "free" in pre-flight check list

In the flight manual (DA-20) in the wing section it is written: “Aileron including inspection panel - visual inspection”. What does the “including inspection panel” part mean? Also, during In-Cabin ...
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6 votes
2 answers
588 views

How do fighter jets pre-flight so quickly?

Military fighter jets can get in the air and to their target in minutes and faster than almost all other aircraft. How do they achieve this considering that a normal pre-flight alone takes ~10-15 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
305 views

Why might flight schools prohibit you from testing pitot heat during pre-flight?

Why might flight schools prohibit you from testing pitot heat during pre-flight? I know of a school in Texas that has this policy but don’t understand why. Here is a snippet of the C172 AFM which ...
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3 votes
0 answers
72 views

How is it proposed to preflight check the elevators and gear tabs on a McDonnell Douglas MD-83? [duplicate]

Ameristar 9363 had a runway overrun due to faults with the gear tab on the right stopping that elevator from rising so the plane get not get off the ground. NSTB investigation recommended preflight ...
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0 votes
6 answers
704 views

Why don’t airports use jetways as an airlock to avoid having to repressurize the plane for every flight?

Seems like it could save money perhaps. Has this been considered in the past?
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1 vote
2 answers
216 views

Difference between general visual inspection and pre-flight check inspection

I know the definition of general visual inspection (GVI) but I cannot understand the differences (if there are) with a pre-flight check inspection. I am new in the field and I am not a pilot (don't ...
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  • 113
6 votes
1 answer
519 views

"The pilot must know the center of gravity and gross weight to fly" -- True or false?

I've been trained to know the calculated gross weight and center of gravity for takeoff and landing for every flight for which I have acted as pilot in command. I've had other instructors dispute ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

What qualifies for "mass disseminated data" for an abbreviated briefing?

I'm reading about the different types of pre-flight briefings you can get and in the section for Abbreviated Briefing (AIM 7-1-4c) is mentions the phrase "mass disseminated data". Request an ...
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  • 1,703
0 votes
4 answers
340 views

What should I expect to happen when I get on a skydiving flight

I am schedule to go on a short flight (skydive)* on a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan during an international visit to some friends. I found the serial number of the flight, here is it's record. Since ...
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  • 10k
2 votes
2 answers
392 views

Participating with "flight following"

What is the proper procedure for participating with "flight following" when leaving a non-control towered airport?
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2 votes
2 answers
592 views

Where is the best place to perform a run-up at a busy airport? [duplicate]

If you wait to perform a run-up at the end of a taxiway at a busy airport you will probably not make many friends. Some airports may have designated run-up areas or have runways designated for ...
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  • 5,561
1 vote
2 answers
250 views

Do the cabin announcements follow a common protocol?

Until recently, my local airline made all their pre-flight and pre-landing announcements in Swedish and using an informal language. A few months ago they changed this and are now using all the ...
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is a weather briefing required? [closed]

Are pilots legally required to obtain a weather briefing prior to some or all flights?
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28 votes
2 answers
8k views

Do pilots of airliners and jumbos do a walk around preflight check for every flight?

Do pilots of airliners and jumbos do a walk around preflight check for every flight? How do pilots of large airliners and jumbos do sumping. If its not a requirement because of aircraft design, why ...
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7 votes
1 answer
236 views

What operations during preflight and pre-takeoff engine run-up cause a change in engine rpm?

In a Cessna 182, during certain preflight check procedures with the engine running, RPM drops. What are these procedures and why does rpm change?
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  • 707
5 votes
2 answers
377 views

How does a student pilot learn the process of pre-flighting a Robinson R22?

I've watched a few youtube videos on pre-flighting a Robinson R22 helicopter, and I'm always impressed by the way the pilot methodically does the external checks and the internal pre-start, start-up ...
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  • 326
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why do pilots sample the fuel before a flight?

I was reading this checkup writeup and it says the pilot took fuel samples before the flight. So I Googled and found out, there are several fuel samplers/testers available. Now I am wondering: Why ...
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  • 245
7 votes
1 answer
274 views

How can I check that the GPS receiver is sending data to the transponder?

I fly an ultralight aircraft. The GPS is a puck-type device from which the TX line runs to the mode-s transponder. The transponder does not readily show if it is receiving position data. The data is ...
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54 votes
4 answers
11k views

How do seaplanes do run-up checks without brakes?

Usually on run-up you want to check the response of the motor when changing for example the carb-heat (if existent). At least we did so on my intro flight (yey!). To prevent us from rolling onto the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
366 views

How can you do preflight fan inspection when it's windy?

While sitting, bored to tears, intermittently scanning the 'Delayed' display next to my flight, I've looked out of the airport windows. Out on the stand, amongst the baggage and fuel truck activity, ...
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6 votes
2 answers
429 views

How would one perform a more thorough preflight of the engine on a single-engine airplane without easy access to engine compartment?

On a lot of the Cessna 172 and 182 airplanes I have seen, there isn't an easy way to look at the engine in the engine compartment and see all of the components during a preflight. In fact, usually the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
261 views

Does the DA-42 automatically lean to clean fouled spark plugs?

The DA-42 has an automatic run-up method. Specifically, the pilot in command is to hold two buttons (one for each engine) until the run-up is complete. Since the DA-42 has no manual mixture control, ...
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  • 6,467
6 votes
0 answers
311 views

Are the press reports of this incident plausible? [closed]

On May 21st, before an Air Berlin flight from Düsseldorf to Stuttgart (~340 km, 210 mi), a hole in the fuselage of the plane was discovered by passengers. It is claimed, that the crew continued flight ...
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18 votes
1 answer
880 views

How do pilots do a preflight inspection of tail-mounted engines?

The recently released first part of an Air Clips documentary of a Lufthansa Cargo MD-11 FRA-NBO flight shows in some detail the pilot carrying out the preflight visual inspection of the aircraft (from ...
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  • 1,186
3 votes
1 answer
559 views

Is there a common template or mnemonic for a take-off briefing?

I know that a take-off briefing is a good idea so that your actions are a bit "spring-loaded" should a unexpected event occur. Is there a common template on mnemonic out there (something like CRAFT ...
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  • 8,137
10 votes
1 answer
546 views

In an aircraft with tab-flown control surfaces, how can a jammed surface be detected during preflight examinations or flight control checks?

Some aircraft use control surfaces that are driven indirectly through a flying tab system -- this is used to aerodynamically boost control forces, and works well enough in the normal case. However, ...
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14 votes
3 answers
2k views

When taking passengers, what should I do to prepare them?

What kinds of stuff should I think about in terms of taking other passengers flying in a small airplane? Many potential passengers have never been in a small airplane.
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15 votes
2 answers
14k views

How does one test a stall warning during pre-flight?

As a pilot, if your preflight inspection includes testing the stall warning system, how is that done? A recent question about ADs brought up AD 68-17-04, which requires pilots to test the stall ...
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24 votes
2 answers
5k views

What level of damage to an aircraft is acceptable to let it depart?

Yesterday (28 June 2016), a Bombardier Q400 from EPGD to EPWA made an emergency landing because of a blown tire, spotted by a passenger. Everything went smoothly and the plane landed successfully ...
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  • 345
22 votes
4 answers
2k views

What scientific evidence is there about the effectiveness of pre-flight walk-arounds?

As a student pilot, often on my walk-around, I get the impression that there are any number of hazards that could pass me by, simply because I can look at every part on the checklist but I wouldn't ...
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16 votes
1 answer
962 views

Why isn't testing fuel flow from both tanks a run-up checklist item?

On most single engine GA aircraft, testing both mags is always on the checklist. For a plane (like a Mooney M20) that doesn't have a "both" selector, it would seem prudent to throw the switch to ...
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  • 3,711
3 votes
3 answers
3k views

Before a flight, what are the most important things to check in an aircraft (walkaround)?

During the pre flight inspection, usually the copilot checks many parts of the aircraft. Which are the parts and Why do they check them?
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1 vote
3 answers
924 views

Is there a standard for the trip paperwork packages that are used by the airlines?

I have noticed that different airlines (like LIDO, Delta, AA, etc.) have different formats for their trip paperwork packages, containing pre-flight information that they give to their pilots. These ...
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6 votes
2 answers
6k views

Where to do the Run-up and Safety on the Return Flight?

At my home airport, we do the run-up on the ramp, but I guess each airport has its own preference. What is the "standard" run-up location? If I recall from my training early on, you can do it at the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do pilots use electronic checklists?

I read that pilots often use printed checklists. Is this a legal requirement, or are there also electronic versions available?
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4 votes
1 answer
968 views

What happens if I don't remove the "remove before flight" pad before flight?

Having just been to a bunch of air museums, I've seen quite a few of these: img credit http://www.thewire.com/global/2013/02/iran-new-stealth-fighter-jet-fake/61781/ Those red pads they put in the ...
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  • 1,173
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the best practices for gathering preflight weather and information?

As a VFR student pilot, I'm still developing a pre cross-country flight routine. Weather has without a doubt been the most difficult portion of my preflight information to digest, as there are so many ...
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  • 509
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do you check the correct operation of the rudder when it's tied to the nose wheel?

Preflight checklists often contain the item Flight controls: Free and correct However, if the rudder is tied to nose-wheel steering, is it even possible to check if the rudder is correctly connected ...
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do you sump fuel when it's raining outside?

I've been taught to always sump the plane's fuel system before going flying to check for water / contamination / proper fuel grade. However, I've yet to go flying in rain. What's the proper procedure ...
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  • 432
19 votes
1 answer
819 views

Should a pre-flight inspection spot snakes on a plane?

In January 2013, a python hitched a ride on plane, unfortunately exposed on the wing after getting sucked out of its hiding place. Qantas 191 is a Cairns → Port Moresby flight on a DHC-8-400, ...
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  • 1,223
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Could an EFB-based pre-flight check be automated?

Since an electronic flight bag (EFB) is basically an iPad with the right app installed, is it possible that some sort of plane-tablet connection could be formed (either wireless or wired) to automate ...
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  • 820
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Should you sump fuel tanks when the fuel system is below freezing?

I recently saw an argument in a forum I frequent that sumping the tanks when the system was below freezing was a bad idea, as you can't drain solid ice from the fuel system, and there is a chance that ...
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19 votes
4 answers
9k views

What should I do with fuel drained from the sumps during preflighting?

What should one do when done sumping a small amount of fuel during a pre-flight? Should it be dumped on the ramp? Or is it considered necessary to find the container far away from the airplane? Is it ...
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  • 321
25 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the most overlooked item during preflight inspection?

Have there been any studies that gathered statistics on overlooked items on preflight inspections, or even statistics on how many pilots actually perform a good preflight (following a checklist, etc.)?...
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  • 8,137
19 votes
1 answer
976 views

Is it legal to take off with an iced windscreen?

Looking at this video on Youtube, I'm wondering if it is actually legal to take off with a windscreen iced like that? For VFR this is a no go, but what about IFR and under what conditions?
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  • 1,341
16 votes
4 answers
11k views

How do you handle frost on a plane?

If you plan to fly on a cold morning and there is frost on the plane, what needs to be done? Do you have to remove the frost from the windows? wings? tail? fuselage? How should you remove a thick ...
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  • 5,570
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is collaring a circuit breaker considered deactivation by the FAA?

Let's say you discover that your landing light is inoperable during the preflight. Your aircraft doesn't have a MEL, so you follow 14 CFR §91.213(d). Assuming you do everything else required (placard, ...
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  • 2,466