Pre-flight checkouts tend to become boring and routine after hundreds of flights and years of ownership in the same plane. Overlooking a small item might become a big problem later in flight, and trust me, you don’t need problems at 8,000 or 10,000 feet.
One Technique I still use in my Cessna 185, and have insisted my students do when doing a run-up prior to take off, is to take the check list two steps further than just reading and looking.
For each item, say it out loud (even if you’re alone) and touch it when you say it. This focuses your attention on each item. For example; Say “Fuel,” (Touch the fuel gauges,) DG, (Touch) Altimeter, (Touch) Suction, (Touch) etc.
If you have to touch it, you will have to look at it. I know this sounds overly simplistic, but it has helped me become more aware of my plane. It’s the little things that count!
Next week I’ll discuss landings, since thats one of the most critical parts of any flight and the largest percentage or accidents.
Thanks for reading!
Bill White Insurance — Aviation Specialists since 1977