Important things to check before you use your aircraft
Air travel is one of the most reliable modes of transportation because it is safe, fast, and accidents rarely happen. According to the article “2017 Was The Safest Year In The History Of Commercial Air Travel”, published by Forbes last January 2018, not counting acts of suicide, hijacking, or sabotage, there were only 14 accidents worldwide that resulted in 59 fatalities. This is an improvement from 2016 figures which recorded 258 deaths in 17 accidents. However, these scenarios can always be prevented and still be improved, especially if you’re the type who loves flying solo. So here are our two cents of advice to help keep your air travel the safest mode of mobility:
- Mechanics eye inspection Commercial planes inspect a plane every 24 hours without a gap. When doing this, mechanics are on the look-out for the following: visible damages at the airframe, possible leakage of engine and hydraulic monitoring oil and other liquid levels including the fuel, state of the brakes, thickness of tires, level of air intakes, possible cracks on propellers, and functionality of air data sensors. Once all these have been checked and cleared for flight, a report is forwarded to the managers. Some planes can be more difficult to check than others, however, some personal-owned planes like the Cessna 340 are easier to check because of its manufacturing features.
- Pilot eye inspection Yes, the mechanic just did a round of tests, so why does the pilot have to do the same? It is for the safety and security of the pilot, the passengers, and the assets it carries during the flight. Fresh eyes are always welcome for such inspection. Mechanics working round the clock may have already succumbed to fatigue, that is why it is always important to double check. Missing out tiny details can mean life or death during the flight. Before the flight, a pilot is required to do a walk-around. Sometimes, pilots can spot the areas that mechanics often miss like the plane’s exhaust. Not a lot of people know this, but the exhaust is one of the most crucial parts that has to be regularly checked and taken care of (link the sentence to article on checking a plane’s exhaust).
- Systems check This procedure takes only about a minute and a half, but some pilots skip this part and would just head off the runway. Skipping this task can be very dangerous because the systems test would tell the pilot if there are possible unseen problems that might happen during the flight. This 80 seconds can mean a happy trip or otherwise, a tragedy.
- Safety equipment For commercial flights, it is usually the cabin crew who does the safety equipment check. But if you are your own airspace explorer, you might have to do the checking yourself. This procedure only takes about 10 minutes. This is an important part of the preflight procedure to ensure that should the need arise; the passengers of the plane will be equipped with the emergency equipment and is given a chance at survival in case anything goes wrong.
- Check your cargo Everything in your aircraft’s compartment is your responsibility. Thus, it is a must that you make sure that you supervise the loading of items, cargos, and bags into your plane to ensure that no illegal or harmful items will be carried during the flight. While commercial planes will not be able to do this because of the volume of load, personal aircrafts can do this check.
These are the top five tips you should remember so you and your passengers can all enjoy a safe cruise in the sky. For more information about your aircraft’s maintenance, you can keep in touch with Knisley Exhaust for pro tips and tricks.