After the pilot is seated in the cockpit and prior to starting the engine, all items and materials to be used on the flight should be arranged in such a manner that they will be readily available and convenient to use.
The airplane manufacturer's recommended engine starting
procedures should always be followed; however, extra caution should be
taken at night to assure that the propeller area is "clear." Turning the
rotating beacon "on," or flashing other airplane lights will serve to alert
any person nearby to remain clear of the propeller. To avoid excessive
drain of electrical current from the battery, it is recommended that unnecessary
electrical equipment should be kept "off" until after the engine has been
Before starting the engine the aircraft's position lights should be turned "on," and checked for operation. The check can be made by observing the lights' glow on the ground under the wingtips and the tail. After starting and before taxiing, the taxi or landing light should be turned "on." However, continuous use of the landing light with the low power settings normally used for taxiing may place an excessive burden on the airplane's electrical system. Also, overheating of the landing light bulbs could become a problem because of inadequate airflow to carry away the excessive heat generated. Therefore, it is recommended generally that landing lights be used only intermittently while taxiing, but sufficiently to assure that the taxi area is clear. While using the lights during taxiing, consideration should be given to other airplanes so as to not blind the pilots with the landing lights. Taxi slowly, particularly in congested areas, and if taxi lines are painted on the ramp or taxiway, these lines should be followed to ensure a proper path along the route.
The pretakeoff runup should be performed using the airplane's checklist, and each item should be checked carefully - the proper functioning of any of the airplane components must never be taken for granted. During the day unintended forward movement of the airplane can be detected quite easily, but at night the airplane could creep forward without being noticed unless the pilot is alert, especially for this possibility. Therefore, it is important to lock the brakes during the runup and attention be given to any unintentional forward movement.