Those who have traveled know the familiar, momentary feeling of panic when realizing they may have forgotten something. That’s why most of us check and double-check our luggage and documentation before leaving home. Feeling confident that we have everything we need is a key component of an enjoyable trip. The same holds true for the ground support crews that are responsible for confirming the aircraft is ready to fly. Whether you’ve noticed it or not, technicians and crew members perform extensive inspections and checks before a plane is cleared for takeoff.
For example, multiple points on the exterior must be examined before the plane leaves the gate. The engines, fuselage and landing gear all receive comprehensive checks that are meant to spot any potential signs of trouble. Red flags may include worn wiring, missing bolts or suspicious dents. The wings and tail section also receive a close examination to make sure they perform as intended while in the air. If anything suspect is discovered, it typically means the aircraft has to be pulled out of service and repaired immediately.
Inside the cabin and cockpit, another set of inspections are performed by the pilot and co-pilot. These include making sure all lights are functional, all doors open and close properly, and all switches on the control panel are in their proper positions.
For flight crews, the responsibility of ensuring the safety of dozens of people means absolutely nothing can be left to chance. The next time you fly, take a moment to consider everything that goes into these crucial preflight inspections. Consult the accompanying checklist to learn more.
Author bio: Allen Jones is Chief Operating Officer of National Aero Stands, a world leader in engine stand leasing — founded with the purpose of providing aircraft engine transportation stand support. Jones, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, currently oversees daily business and leasing operations.
Courtesy of National Aero Stands