CHAPTER 5. Prefl ight and Ground Operations

Ready Aircraft To Enter Flight Deck

Either before or after the routine prefl ight inspection, the aircraft should be unsecured, positioned for starting, and readied to enter the fl ight deck. A checklist provides the basic steps.

  • Untie aircraft, secure tie down ropes in aircraft, or coil neatly if they stay at airport.
  • Remove ground chocks and secure in aircraft.
  • Locate a suitable area to start engine that is free of dirt and has minimal dust, preferably a paved or grassy area away from people and objects.
  • Position aircraft so prop blast is clear; verify that brakes are on, throttle is closed, and propeller area is cleared.
  • Position into wind, if possible, for best cooling during warm up.

Occupant Prefl ight Brief

A prefl ight briefi ng is required to ensure the passenger is informed on the proper use of safety equipment and exit information. This can be done before entering the aircraft, and must be accomplished before starting the engine. Manufacturers of S-LSA aircraft typically have printed briefing cards that should be used. The following is a comprehensive checklist that can be used as a guideline for any prefl ight briefi ng:

  • Seat belt fasten and unfasten procedures. Seat belts must be worn for takeoff and landing (and should always be worn during fl ight).
  • What passengers can hold onto and what not to touch.
  • Positive exchange of controls using a three step process : “You take the controls,” “I have the controls,” “You have the controls.”
  • Look for other ground and air traffi c.
  • Flight deck entrance and exit procedures including emergency exit.
  • Ballistic parachute operation procedures.

  • Engine-out situation and procedures for planned fl ight with diversions.
  • Hand signals in case electric loads must be shut off or internal aircraft communications not functioning.
  • Water landings with engine-out situation, if planned fl ight over water.
  • Ensure nothing can fall out of pockets while in fl ight. This is especially important since the propeller is in back.
  • Helmet fastening and unfastening procedure. [Figure 5-62]
  • Review the type of aircraft (special or experimental) which is not an FAA certified standard category aircraft.
  • Fire extinguisher operation, if so equipped.
  • All safety systems, as required.
  • Use restroom before entering aircraft.
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