Inspecting Your Aircraft

images_figures_06fig01It’s said there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots. This is especially true when it comes to preflight inspections. Pilots who are in a hurry to get flying and don’t bother to do the preflight, run a much greater chance of in-flight problems than those who take the time to do the job right.

What is the right way to inspect your aircraft before flying it? There are a variety of methods and your instructor will show you what he or she prefers. However, most are built around the same procedure; starting inside the cockpit, and then working around the aircraft in a counter-clockwise direction until you’re back to the pilot’s door and ready to start the engine. Your flight school or instructor may provide you with a printed checklist for your trainer aircraft. If not, check a pilot shop for a checklist for the make and model you are flying.