Preparing yourself before taking to the skies
Thursday, 29 September 2011 15:37

Prepare yourself for the flightPreparation is one of the most important aspects in flying an aircraft considering that being a pilot requires you to be very critical in details and skilled in manning an aircraft. This is the time when the years spent at flight school come into play as you are actually doing something you have been dreaming of and training for many years. Preparing for takeoff is probably one of the most anxious and thrilling moments in flying.

Before a pilot climbs into a plane for takeoff, various routine preparation and safety checks should be performed to make sure that the aircraft is in condition to take to the skies. The pilot can be aided by an assistant to complete certain checks and could also include the help of the local ground crews. The following are several pre-flight tasks that will be useful in making your flights safer and more enjoyable.

An airplane or glider isn’t fit for flying if all of the required pre-flight preparations and routine checks haven’t been performed. Always remember that the plane shouldn’t be be obstructing the launching area, while the pre-takeoff checks and preparations are being done.

One crucial pre-takeoff procedure is the pilot tweaking the flight controls and another person holding the surface of the controls. The pilot should check the controls, which include the airbrake lever, control stick and flap handle among others.

It is advisable practice to roll test steering in a basement or driveway. Always consider that a plane that fails to roll in a straight line at home wouldn’t be able to perform a straight roll on a runway.

Put small marks on the Center of Gravity in order to easily locate balance position. Remember that balancing the aircraft from side to side will bolster its tracking abilities when performing manoeuvres. Keep the position steady at spinner and tall and if required boost the weight on the wing tip.

Check ups should be performed every 2-3 flights and the pilot should regularly keep a log of the length of flights compared with drop in voltage. Flights shouldn’t be performed when the voltage drops below 4.9 volts. A routine should be followed in switches. The transmitter needs to be activated first followed by the receiver and vice versa when turning off.

It is also advisable to complete a range check before takeoff and this should be done with the engine at both idle and full throttle. All in all, preparing these preparatory and precautionary steps before takeoff will help you have an enjoyable flight albeit a safer one. Go out and fly and be safe.


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