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Old 04-22-2012, 12:05 AM
AX-O's Avatar
AX-O AX-O is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,545
Default Guys and gals, please don?t forget to do a walk around.

This post is intended just to remind us (myself included) not to get complacent. In the past few months I have observed multiple mistakes by RV people that should have never happen. The first one was an oil door left opened during an airshow. In this particular case the pilot did his engine run up and did not see the open door. He was alerted by a wingman right before entering the runway. The second one was a tie down chain left attached to one wing. The pilot started his plane and his wingman alerted him of the situation. The one I saw today was another one that should have not happen. An RV taxied down the taxi way at Mojave, CA and I saw a red flag hanging at the bottom of the wing. It took me a few seconds to figure out it was the pitot tube cover. The pilot forgot to remove it before flight. I took off running to the closest RV and asked the guy to please pass the information along. A few minutes later I saw the RV take off and I made sure it did not have the pitot cover.

Please remember that the errors that we make as pilots can cause negative results not only to us but also to our families and friends. Please take the extra few minutes and check your plane. If not for you, for your passengers. Thank you and happy flying.
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Last edited by Mike S : 04-22-2012 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:57 AM
jbDC9 jbDC9 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 912

Good advice. I've made my share of dumb mistakes, like taking off in a C-310 with the nose baggage door unlatched... or launching in a Beech 1900 with a loose fuel cap. Duh. I learned from these boo boos; always do a walk around before every flight, even if just after a quick turn fuel/pee stop. It doesn't have to be an up-close poke and prod, but a high speed pass taking in the big picture basically... fuel caps, bag/oil doors, chocks, pitot covers. To some it might be silly since it's just a 5 minute fuel stop, but what if a lineman threw a chock under there that you didn't know about? Also, RVs seem to draw attention when at the pumps; people can gather around asking questions and looking. That's cool and I know we all like to show off our ships, but it's a distraction... this is where the high speed walk around can save some embarrassment.
John Bixby
RV-8 QB sn 82030 - 1st flight Nov 2006
1850 hrs
Houston, TX
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:10 AM
Sig600 Sig600 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: KRTS
Posts: 1,798

Habit patterns. They'll save your life some day. If my walk around habit pattern gets interupted for any reason, I always start over. Once the walk around is over, I always do one more from a distance looking for major items like inlet plugs, tie downs, chocks, covers, fasteners, latches, etc. YMMV.
Next?, TBD
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:17 AM
TSwezey TSwezey is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,849

I always did one thorough walk around and one more distant walk around looking for stuff that one doesn't see when it is right in your face. My instructor when I was getting my ppl always screwed with me. Hooking tie downs back up. Turning fuel caps and open latches. It was good training.
RV-10 Vesta V8 LS2/BMA EFIS/One formerly flying at 3J1 Hobbs stopped at 150 hours
Savannah, GA and Ridgeland, SC
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:22 AM
dav1111 dav1111 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 654

After getting everything loaded, including passangers I now do a walk around before I get in the airplane (don't bother asking why).
Russ Daves
Lubbock, TX
Proud to be a Veteran
N710RV - RV-10 Sold
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:57 AM
cubdriver cubdriver is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 146
Default Preflight

We had a guy in a 172 start his engine yesterday with the tow bar attached. The continental sucked the tow bar into the Prop taking a few inches off the end of each tip. Nobody was hurt however a vood lesson learned. Removing towbar will be on my checklist.
Jim Potter - Ramona, CA
RV9A Owner- landed it at Osh on yellow dot
Previous Owner of 1940 J3 Cub
Currently Building RV14a

Once you have tasted flight you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return - Leonardo DaVinci

"There's a big difference between a pilot and an aviator. One is a technician, the other is an artist in love with flight." - Elrey B. Jeppesen
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:03 AM
Sig600 Sig600 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: KRTS
Posts: 1,798

Originally Posted by dav1111 View Post
After getting everything loaded, including passangers I now do a walk around before I get in the airplane (don't bother asking why).
Good practice, why do you need a specific reason?
Next?, TBD
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:23 AM
Randy Randy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sedona Arizona
Posts: 349

I saw a major airlines check pilot take off and then land with his tow bar still attached. It did not hit the prop but he was sure embarassed.

I just attended an FAA "safety standown" Wings program seminar. One of the main focuses of the program was preflight checks, stressing the importance of feeling things rather than just looking at them. This will often show that a fastener is loose where just looking won't indicate that condition.

I started out feeling I was somewhat above the need to be in the training as it seemed so basic, but I did get some good reminders and in the end I was glad I went through it. I actually did learn some and the reminders of the importance of continuing education was worth being there to hear.

At the end of the program I was impressed by the statistics quoted regarding accident rates. Those who don't attend some type of refresher training are much much more likely to become an accident statistic.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:31 AM
sailvi767 sailvi767 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 1,388

Habit patterns are important. I made a major error at the formation clinic yesterday. I closed the canopy on a tip up and latched the canopy latching mechanism without actually pushing on the canopy to insure it was latched. Since my canopy warning comes off the latch I would not have received a warning when adding power. A very alert flight lead (CB from team RV) noted the canopy did not appear fully closed. The section section takeoff would have been much more interesting had he not caught the canopy not fully latched.

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Old 04-22-2012, 09:55 AM
aerhed aerhed is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Big Sandy, WY
Posts: 2,567

I once saw a guy in a pie chaser fly by me with a towbar hanging. I watched one of TWA's first & finest 747 drivers taxi past me with a tailwheel dolly hooked to his RV4. What a couple of idiots! I'll NEVER do that! Last week I took a friend for a ride. Preflighted in the hangar (can you see it coming?), pulled the plane out and got distracted giving my buddy harness instruction, walked behind the plane to close hangar door and FIRED UP WITH TOWBAR ATTACHED. Good thing I'm invulnerable AND complacent or I might have hurt someone.
Actual repeat offender.
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