CHAPTER 5. Prefl ight and Ground Operations

Routine Prefl ight Inspection

The accomplishment of a safe fl ight begins with a careful and systematic routine prefl ight inspection to determine if the aircraft is in a condition for safe fl ight. The prefl ight inspection should be performed in accordance with a printed checklist provided by the manufacturer for the specifi c model of the aircraft. However, the following general areas are applicable to all WSC aircraft.

The prefl ight inspection begins as soon as a pilot approaches the aircraft. Since the WSC aircraft can be transported by trailer, fi rst and foremost, look for any damage that may have occurred during takedown, loading, transit, unloading, and setup. Make note of the general appearance of the aircraft, looking for obvious discrepancies such as tires with low air pressure, structural distortion, wear points, and dripping fuel or oil leaks. All tie-downs, control locks, and chocks should be removed during the unloading process.

The pilot must be thoroughly familiar with the locations and functions of the aircraft systems, switches, and controls. Use the prefl ight inspection as an orientation when operating a particular model for the fi rst time.

The actual walk-around routine prefl ight inspection has been used for years from the smallest general aviation airplane to the largest commercial jet. The walk-around is thorough and systematic, and should be done the same way each time an aircraft is fl own. In addition to seeing the aircraft up close, it requires taking the appropriate action whenever a discrepancy is discovered. A WSC aircraft walk-around covers four main tasks:

  • Wing inspection
  • Carriage inspection
  • Powerplant inspection
  • Equipment check

Throughout the inspection, check for proper operation of systems, secure nuts/bolts/attachments/hardware, look for any signs of deterioration or deformation of any components/ systems, such as dents, signs of excessive wear, bending, tears, or misalignment of any components and/or cracks.

Each WSC aircraft should have a specifi c routine prefl ight inspection checklist, but the following can be used as an example and guideline.

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