Before starting an inspection, be certain all plates, access doors, fairings, and cowling have been opened or removed and the structure cleaned. When opening inspection plates and cowling, and before cleaning the area take note of any oil or other evidence of fluid leakage.


Always use a checklist when performing the inspection. The checklist may be of your own design, one provided by the manufacturer of the equipment being inspected, or one obtained from some other source. The checklist should include the following:

1. Fuselage and hull group.

a. Fabric and skin - for deterioration, distortion, other evidence of failure, and defective or insecure attachment of fittings.
b. Systems and components - for proper installation, apparent defects, and satisfactory operation.
c. Envelope gas bags, ballast tanks, and related parts - for condition.

2. Cabin and cockpit group.

a. Generally - for cleanness and loose equipment that should be secured.
b. Seats and safety belts - for condition and security.
c. Windows and windshields - for deterioration and breakage.
d. Instrument - for condition, mounting, marking, and (where practicable) for proper operation.
e. Flight and engine controls - for proper installation and operation.
f. Batteries - for proper installation and charge.
g. All systems - for proper installation, general condition, apparent defects, and security of attachment.

3. Engine and nacelle group.

a. Engine section - for visual evidence of excessive oil, fuel, or hydraulic leaks, and sources of such leaks.
b. Studs and nuts - for proper torquing and obvious defects.
c. Internal engine - for cylinder compression and for metal particles or foreign matter on screens and sump drain plugs. If cylinder compression is weak, check for improper internal condition and improper internal tolerances.
d. Engine mount - for cracks, looseness of mounting, and looseness of engine to mount.
e. Flexible vibration dampeners - for condition and deterioration.
f. Engine controls - for defects, proper travel, and proper safetying.
g. Lines, hoses, and clamps - for leaks, condition, and looseness.
h. Exhaust stacks - for cracks, defects, and proper attachment.
i. Accessories - for apparent defects in security of mounting.
j. All systems - for proper installation, general condition defects, and secure attachment.
k. Cowling - for cracks and defects.

l. Ground runup and functional check - check all powerplant controls and systems for correct response, all instruments for proper operation and indication.

4. Landing gear group.

a. All units - for condition and security of attachment.
b. Shock absorbing devices - for proper oleo fluid level.
c. Linkage, trusses, and members - for undue or excessive wear, fatigue, and distortion.
d. Retracting and locking mechanism - for proper operation.
e. Hydraulic lines - for leakage.
f. Electrical system - for chafing and proper operation of switches.
g. Wheels - for cracks defects, and condition of bearings.
h. Tires - for wear and cuts.
i. Brakes - for proper adjustment.
j. Floats and skis - for security of attachment and obvious defects.

5. Wing and center section.

a. All components - for condition and security.
b. Fabric and skin - for deterioration, distortion, other evidence of failure, and security of attachment.
c. Internal structure (spars, ribs compression members) - for cracks, bends, and security.
d. Movable surfaces - for damage or obvious defects, unsatisfactory fabric or skin attachment and proper travel.
e. Control mechanism - for freedom of movement, alignment, and security.
f. Control cables - for proper tension, fraying, wear and proper routing through fairleads and pulleys,

6. Empennage group.

a. Fixed surfaces - for damage or obvious defects, loose fasteners, and security of attachment.
b. Movable control surfaces - for damage or obvious defects, loose fasteners, loose fabric, or skin distortion.
c. Fabric or skin - for abrasion, tears, cuts or defects, distortion, and deterioration.

7. Propeller group.

a. Propeller assembly - for cracks, nicks, bends, and oil leakage.
b. Bolts - for proper torquing, and safetying.
c. Anti-icing devices - for proper operations and obvious defects.
d. Control mechanisms - for proper operation, secure mounting, and travel.

8. Communication and navigation group.

a. Radio and electronic equipment - for proper installation and secure mounting,
b. Wiring and conduits - for proper routing, secure mounting, and obvious defects.
c. Bonding and shielding - for proper installation and condition.
d. Antennas - for condition, secure mounting and proper operation.

9. Miscellaneous.

a. Emergency and first aid equipment - for general condition and proper stowage.
b. Parachutes, life rafts, flares, etc. - inspect in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
c. Autopilot system - for general condition, security of attachment, and proper operation.

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