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December 07, 2020

Preflight aircraft inspection and maintenance is a crucial safety measure that cannot be ignored. It helps keep your airplane in good condition, enhance its useful lifespan, and ensure safe and sound flying. The acceptable preflight checks are aircraft-specific safety practical, precise, and efficient safety concerns, based on the concerned civil aviation authority’s recommendations mentioned in their advanced preflight checklist pamphlet.

Essential Preflight Aircraft Checks

Pilots and aircraft operators need to perform the following essential preflight checks on a plane and mitigate all shortcomings and discrepancies at the right time:

  • Verify ignition is OFF, inspect fuel content, and check for potential coolant leaks
  • Verify oil tank content, like oil injection engines, and verify spark plug connectors for required security
  • Examine engine and gearbox for possible oil leaks, loose or missing nuts, screws, bolts
  • Verify gearbox security for aircraft engine mounts
  • Inspect propeller for possible chips and splits for repairing or rebalancing purposes before use
  • Verify propeller mounting security
  • Inspect oil injection pump, choke actuation, and throttle for free and full movement
  • Verify the movement of the cooling fan after rotation of the engine
  • Check exhaust system for potential cracks, the security of hooks, springs, and mounting for wear and tear, and verify springs’ safety wiring
  • For single ignition engines, inspect ignition switch’s operation, and flick ignition OFF and ON again at idling
  • For dual ignition engines, check both ignition circuits’ operation
  • Inspect all engine instruments’ operation during warm-up
  • Inspect engine and exhaust system visually for increased vibration during warm-up for correcting possible imbalanced propeller
  • Ensure that the engine reaches full power rpm during takeoff

To perform these essential preflight checks, one needs to have proper knowledge about a plane’s different systems and parts. An aircraft inspection and maintenance expert knows which components are critical and require special attention. Reading off your plane’s preflight checklist and looking at its parts is only half of the job; you also need to understand how your airplane operates to better judge whether or not it is flight-ready.

Don’t Forget To Check Small Parts

It’s easy to miss to skip the following small parts on a routine preflight inspection:

Bonding Straps

The electrical bonding straps are present between various parts of your aircraft, like its ailerons and wing, or horizontal and vertical stabilizers. Their function is to help prevent the build-up of static electricity that could interfere with navigation and radio equipment. Besides this, they also provide lighting protection by passing a current through the airframe with the least arcing.

Although they are built to be flexible and can move with the control surface; they can still rust or break over time and may need timely corrective actions.

Cotter Pins

Cotter pins help ensure your aircraft’s fasteners, like nuts, screws, bolts, and others, stay secure at all times. Ensure that these vital parts are installed at the right spots and don’t get loose over time.

Safety Wiring

Safety wiring is usually found on various engine parts that are susceptible to increased engine vibrations. These prevent fasteners, like nuts, screws, bolts, and others, from falling out or loosening due to vibration.

Brake Pads

Inspect the brake pads present behind your aircraft’s tires to make sure that there’s a usable amount of pad left and that the rotors aren’t damaged.

Static Wicks

Static wicks, much like bonding straps, help regulate the build-up of electrical current on different parts of your airplane. These are useful for preventing navigation and communication radio interference by dissipating electrical energy. For increased airworthiness, refer to your preflight checklist provided by your concerned aviation authority for a minimum number of static wicks on your plane.

Hose Clamps

Hose clamps help connect tubings to their appropriate attachments. Every aircraft comes with large, orange tubes attached to its engine cowling, used to transport air from electrical components to environmental systems. Hose clamps are used to fasten the connection points of these tubes, requiring continuous checks.

Acorn Welding is a renowned aircraft inspection and maintenance company based in Canada. Visit our website to learn about our expert aviation products and services, or contact us for personalized service.