81

I'll limit my answer to single-engine seaplanes as I've never flown a multi-engine seaplane. Typically there is no need to stay stationary in the water when doing a run-up. Just do it while taxiing to your takeoff path, or you can do it on your takeoff path. If the takeoff path isn't long enough to do the run-up and then continue along the path for the ...


51

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer here. To evaluate if an aircraft is safe to fly we use three main reference documents: 1. MEL (minimum equipment list). This document contains the list of elements that are allowed to be inoperative. For example a pneumatic valve, a computer, a seat, etc... All unserviceable elements will have to be fixed within a ...


32

NO, not all airline pilots do a walk-around for every flight. At my airline, maintenance personnel do a "Pre-Departure Check" (PDC) before each flight from all main bases on all wide body aircraft. (A330, B767, B777, and B787) The PDC includes: 1) a walk around 2) a check of critical systems 3) a signature in the Journey logbook As a result pilots ...


24

Aircraft on ski's have the same problem, and the answer is relatively simple... They do an abbreviated run-up on the go. Even if the aircraft has a constant speed propeller, many can't feather the propeller enough to completely prevent motion. There are a few piston light aircraft that have a feathering prop, and one that I know of that can actually ...


23

Stall warning systems generally function on the principle of measuring pressure distribution or angle of attack. As each aircraft will have a different type of stall warning system, the necessary test will vary by aircraft as well. Here, I will answer based on aircraft that I have experience with, but these concepts should cover the majority of light ...


23

I go through the SAFETY checklist with all my passengers. The FAA recommends this as well. Seat Belts - This is where they are and how to use them. Air Vents - Here are the air vents and how to use them Fire - In case of a fire here is the location of the fire extinguisher and this is how you use it. PASS method. Exits, Emergencies and Equipment - Here are ...


20

This FAA article is about using electronic checklists for airline flights (it concludes that they're better than paper ones) and includes this quote: They found the crews averaged 3.2 checklist errors per flight (one of the observed flights had 14.) The most-common checklist error involved the omission or deferral of an item, which was later forgotten....


18

You should definitely not attempt flight if there is frost on the windows that would affect visibility, or on any of the wings or flight control surfaces. Frost accumulation on such surfaces can reduce the lift generated by your wings, possibly causing a crash on takeoff. According to the NTSB, frost the size of a grain of salt, distributed as sparsely as ...


17

Float planes have variable pitch propellers, meaning that the propeller blade can be angled so that it does not provide any forward movement at all, or even turned backwards so it pushes the airplane backwards a little bit. When the engines are started, or during run-up tests, the propeller pitch is set so that it does not provide any thrust. When flying, ...


17

Yes, pilots of airliners do a walk around to visually check the aircraft before every flight, just like pilots of smaller planes do. A quick YouTube search brings up quite a few videos which explains the process. The short version is, for items that are on the ground or within reach of the pilot, comparatively detailed checks are performed. For items that ...


17

I believe there are quite a few misconceptions here: When an aircraft is "pressurised", it means that at higher altitudes, the pressure inside the aircraft is higher than the pressure outside. At lower altitudes, the pressure is exactly the same inside and out. Originally, aircraft weren't pressurised, and at higher altitudes the low pressure is a problem ...


15

I don't know if you're in the US, but if so then by regulation you must remove it from all critical areas before flight, per 14 CFR 91.527: §91.527 Operating in icing conditions. (a) No pilot may take off an airplane that has frost, ice, or snow adhering to any propeller, windshield, stabilizing or control surface; to a powerplant installation; ...


15

When operating under Part 91, taking off with an iced windshield is not permitted. It does not differentiate between IFR and VFR operations. § 91.527 Operating in icing conditions. (a) No pilot may take off an airplane that has frost, ice, or snow adhering to any propeller, windshield, stabilizing or control surface; to a powerplant installation; ...


15

There is a very good reason not to run this test: If it is not done perfectly your engine can become starved of fuel during takeoff. For simplicity let's assume your fuel selector only has two positions (Left and Right) and think about what's involved in the test and a few things that can go wrong: What are we testing? One of the points of an engine Runup ...


14

Based on this Advisory Circular, the answer is yes. g. Deactivation means to make a piece of equipment or an instrument unusable to the pilot/crew by preventing its operation Collaring the circuit breaker prevents it from being pushed in, and therefore prevents its operation.


14

First off you are required by the FAR's to preform a preflight check, Sec. 91.7 Civil aircraft airworthiness. (a) No person may operate a civil aircraft unless it is in an airworthy condition. (b) The pilot in command of a civil aircraft is responsible for determining whether that aircraft is in condition for safe flight. The pilot in ...


13

The FAA issued an Aviation Safety Program publication called All About Fuel which talks about fuel preflight, including sumping fuel. It contains the following: Preflight Action As pilot in command, you have the responsibility to determine that your aircraft is properly serviced. Check your aircraft before each flight and be sure you have the ...


13

Given the location of the snake from the photos/video in the article and the height of the wing/engine assembly (as shown below) I think it's entirely possible to miss this critter in preflight. A visual inspection of the control surfaces is certainly a part of the preflight, but unlike on a small aircraft (say a Piper Cherokee or Cessna 172) you will ...


12

The other answer goes over the MEL/CDL/SRM, but I'll address your specific questions: Is it okay to fly with that? (I assume you are talking about the gear door, not the tire) That depends, specifically in this instance I doubt that there would be any issue flying with that small amount of damage considering it is on a gear door on the bottom of the ...


12

In personal experience, I often look for a step ladder to inspect ground inaccessible engines and control surfaces and I have seen others look at their aircraft from a second story window. My personal practice is to walk around the aircraft prior to every flight, not just at the first flight of the day, but I often had to make time for that. It may not be ...


12

On the first flight of the day, after every refueling, and if you have flown through precipitation or the plane is left in the rain, you check the fuel for water and to make sure you have the right kind of fuel. Since water is heavier than fuel, if there is just a little bit of water in the fuel it could cause the engine to stop. You can’t pull over to the ...


11

Answer 1: WATER RUDDERS As to your question about the "swimming circles" the answer is that the floats have deployable rudders that provide directional control of the aircraft when in the water. They should be retracted before take off as they can be damaged at high speed. They are linked to rudder peddles so you just use a little opposite rudder, if needed,...


9

As Ratchet Freak says, it's going to blow away or cause the engine to fail. Latter might happen if it sits tight enough that it doesn't get blown away before overpressure develops in the engine. Not a good thing, damage may happen. My guess most likely outcome is that it will be blown back, possibly colliding with parts of the aircraft (and thus causing ...


9

The essentials Seat belts—Operation of seat belts is the only FAA-required briefing item. Airplane seat belts can be complicated, even for other pilots. Make sure everyone knows how to fasten and unfasten, and when the lap and shoulder portions should be worn. Doors—Car makers have generally figured out how to standardize door handles. Not so with ...


9

The system you describe was used on large aircraft before hydraulic actuation became standard. The proper name is servo or Flettner tab. The preflight check would ideally have one mechanic move the cockpit controls and a second mechanic walk around the aircraft and command control movements. While the actual control surface would not move, the servo tab ...


8

Every small airplane that I've flown that uses the rudder pedals for nose wheel steering uses bungee cords or springs so that they will stretch when pushing the pedals without the aircraft moving. This allows the pedals to move without requiring the nose wheel to do so as well, and you can check them in the normal manner. Larger airplanes that use the ...


8

An EFB could not be used for this purpose, all your suggestion would do is replicate things that are already done by EICAS (engine indication and crew alert system). The reason for this is that "receiving", "pre-flight" and "before takeoff" checklists all involve physically moving switches. The EFB would be unable to perform these actions (e.g. an EFB ...


8

is there anything I as a passenger can do to improve the safety of the flight You should do exactly what your told, when your told and make sure you keep well clear of spinning propellers. You will have a marshall or the pilot themselves guiding you when airside - do exactly as you're told! what pre-flight checks should the pilot make before taking-off ...


8

True. It is the pilot-in-command's responsibility to determine if the aircraft is safe for flight. 14 CFR § 91.3(a) makes the PIC directly responsible for that. The 2016 FAA Weight and Balance Handbook also states: 4. The pilot in command (PIC) has the responsibility prior to every flight to know the maximum allowable weight of the aircraft and its CG ...


6

At least in the US there are plenty of ways to get a flight briefing. My usual sources of pre-flight information are, roughly in order: The Weather Channel No kidding, if I'm planning a long/multi-day trip I'll start looking at the long-range forecasts 10 days before my flight using The Weather Channel's iPhone app or their website. As far as weather ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible