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What we are supposed to do... but don't.

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Most of us know what we are supposed to do before we go flying. I would argue that most pilots do some of that work in their heads, not at all, or they know the area and aircraft so well that detailed planning isn't required.


Too often, the client shows up with a demand to go to XYZ and you are expected to run out to the aircraft and crank. I would contend that few pilots sit down and go through the thorough flight planning that would be required if it was a long X-C to an unfamiliar destination.


For those who fly tours, GOM, EMS, and CFIs: Do the loaders/ground personnel do the W&B for you? Are the pax/patient/student (and bags) weighed or just asked their weights? Or do you just look at them and estimate?


To the uninitiated, it can look like no preflight planning was done because no one saw the pilot arrive early and do the pre-flight, plan a route, check weather, file a flight-plan, do a W&B, etc. I don't want anyone to tell on themselves here but I want to hear what kind of pre-flight plannning is done in the real world.

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Guest pokey

This one can be a "touchy" and controversial subject, however i will get out my "10 foot pole" In my situation i "usually" only fly 2 aircraft, ( not at the same time either) and i know the weight and balance and have worked out the for/aft extremes ( as a mechanic). A friend of mine is a B I G boy, (just over 300 pounder--years of too much pizza) and i know that we are in limits w/ him, also i am in limits solo. I dont allow any baggage. so for me weight and balance in those 2 ships is not an issue. (BTW empty/full fuel is part of the extreme fore/aft calculation)


The preflight? very thorough ! (being a mechanic, my pre-flight covers alot of the 100 hour requirements)


Fuel? either dip tanks OR shine bright flashligt in & look.


Weather? if local flight & sun is out? -- good enough for me. If substantial distance or time, ( over say 50 miles, OR leaving early AM & returning PM or overnite) definately check notams and weather.


AD's signed off? WHAT ?!!!? yes, some AD's are daily requirements & allowed to be signed off by the pilot and are "REQ'd" the 300 owners/pilots out there? take a look @ 89-20-3



Did i forget anything?---probably !

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Guest pokey

Yip, i DID forget something !


required paperwork onboard? OOPS !! son of a ! ------ was flying a friend of mine's 150 years ago giving one of HIS friends a ride, ( he didnt have his license yet) He had also removed all of the plastic interior pieces to clean & repaint. Nedless to say after the flight i park the plane & up walks an FAA inspector, ( that i knew from being a mechanic) He wasn't paying me a "friendly" visit,,,,,,, YIP ramp check time ! No biggie, i go into plane, reach into pocket where all the stuff he wants to see is/i mean WAS?!! WTF? Yip its attached to the plastic piece that is at home in Don's garage. Then as i try to weasel my way outtah that one, he asks to see MY license, no biggie, its right here in my wallet in my,,, ummmm "truck"? Meanwhile he's writing all this down in his little book........ & walks away !


Needless to say I was to say the least "sH***ing bricks" everytime i went to the mailbox. I was finally relieved when i ran into him a few weeks later and asked him "what did you ever do about that time you caught me flying w/ no paperwork"? He calmly replies "You didnt get anything in the mail didja"?

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Guest pokey
i bet those are on your preflight check list NOW :D


well 67, in MY defense "it wasnt MY checklist" :rolleyes:


altho that was the only piece of paper in the aircraft that day, unless ya count empty chewing gum wrappers. ( we had a little plastic one & kept it wedged between the transponder & radio)


and come to think of it, i dont ever recall seeing that on the list,,,,,


reminds me of the time,,,,,lady here at the airport used to have all kinds of animals, birds, rabbits, peacocks, dogs, fish,,, YOU name it ! Kid from costa rica & his wife were "hired hands" here a the time. & lady was going on vacation & specifically wrote a "to do" list for the 2 caretakers about how to feed/ water/ take care of the animals.... She comes home from vacation & rabbits are verry dehydrated & 1/2 dead. She is furious & ask "habier" why didnt you water the rabbits " he gets out his instrux & in his best broken english says" rabbits not on list"


SHEeeeeeeeeesh !! B)

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