Your connection with the sky

3 Things You Should Be Doing In The Cockpit

Aviation is more than just a passion. It is a discipline. Because it is a discipline, it is a must that a private pilot develops good habits from the days of being a student pilot and during the days that he is operating as a private aviator. Unfortunately, some individuals in the aviation industry forget some crucial steps during their practice. To add insult to injury, these things they forgot are very important in maintaining a reputation as a safe and good private pilot.

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I cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining safety during every private pilot flight that you undertake. Safety is especially a concern when you are ferrying passengers, and you are responsible for both their lives and yours. Here are three things that you should keep in mind and that you should always be doing in the cockpit in every flight.

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Check Engine Instruments During Flight

Some pilots forget to continually check the status of their engines when they are in cruise. This is true both for the private pilots and the student pilots.

Checking engine gauges regularly during a flight is important. By keeping your eye on the engine gauges, you are also making sure that your aircraft is free of problems. If any problems do arise, you must spot it before it is too late.

Use Your Checklist For More Than Just Takeoff

The checklist is important not just for takeoff and landing procedures. It is also useful for performing procedures when you are on air. Some pilots take the checklist for granted when they are still en route or before they initiate landing procedures. Just think of the checklist as a guide. All the answers that you need are in the checklist, so always keep it handy.

Brief Your Passengers About The Airplane

A preflight briefing is important not only for pilots, but for passengers as well. Small private aircraft need a passenger preflight briefing, since they don’t have the PA systems that big airlines do that teach aircraft what to do in case of an emergency landing, what to do before takeoff or landing, etc. However, some pilots do neglect that for a lot of reasons which can result to more problems if something happens in air and the passengers have no idea what to do.

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11 Responses to “3 Things You Should Be Doing In The Cockpit”

  1. Lets not forget the effort in futility of sumping the fuel tanks for water hiding in the wings. Rock your wings up and down, dip your tail down and jump up and click your heels trying to get the water out of the Cessna fuel tanks. Ask yourself have I ever noticed any water in my sump cup during the flawed pre-flight procedure? Have you ever looked at the inside of your fuel tank? Have you ever actually tested your fuel tank by pouring red dyed water into the tank to see for yourself if the sumping of your tanks actually works? Do you think not seeing any water in your sump cup means there is no water in your fuel tank? Do you blindly believe in the FAA certification?

  2. Actually, I've gotten water a number of times from the sump drains on a Cessna... Alternative to this practice would be what?

  3. Trust me! I find water ALL THE TIME in fuel tanks. I just keep on sumping until im sure it's clear.

    Jason

  4. Robert Scovil Says:
    July 17th, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Jason,

    What kind of plane do you see water all the time in?
    Cfinder what Cessna did you get water out of?

    Have either of you seen the inside of any aircraft fuel tank? How many aircraft fuel tanks have you tested for positive detection and elimination of water in the fuel? Sumping the tank until you get a clear sample you think means there is no more water in the fuel tank? Until both of you have actually tested the fuel tanks to which you refer you are only telling what you think, not what you know.

  5. Again, I ask, if sumping is not the answer, what do you suggest as a reasonable and practical solution?

  6. Solution is not to fly in an "certified" aircraft unless and until you have actually tested the sumping procedure to ensure the aircraft meets the certification requirements. You cannot and should not trust the FAA certification! You should perform a red dye in the water fuel tank test yourself! If a test is not an option then you should ground the aircraft like I have since April 6, 1999. My Cessna 172P bought new in 1981 failed all FAA witnessed tests. With the FAA present we introduced 52 ounces of red dyed water into both fuel tanks. With 104 ounces of red dyed water on board we did not see one drop in any of the ten wing sump drains. Do your own test then figure out your solution to FAA certification at its worst!

  7. "reasonable and practical solution?"

    Mr. Chris Findley do you, by any chance, work for AOPA? It seems I remember the mantra of reasonable, practical and low cost AD,s. espoused by AOPA.

  8. Nope. Don't work for AOPA...just find "reasonable and practical" to be pretty helpful on most things.

    Don't know what to tell you if you can't find the equivalent of 2 stadium cups of water with 10 fuel sumps. I suppose I'll keep sumping for now as a) I get water from them and b) engine runs fine

  9. Sorry...didn't intend to be so gruff in that last post. But in my experience, I've had no problem with sumping and have gotten water out of my tanks numerous times (C140,150,152,172,182,172RG,177RG, PA28, BE76 etc...) You may be right, but I've not found this to be a problem that sumping hasn't solved. But that's just me.

  10. Andrew Johnson Says:
    July 21st, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Robert,

    You're a over reactive moron. We don't remove the wings and inspect every little square inch of the tank before we fly like you do.

    You must be a real nag to any flight instructor or mechanic.

    Stop trying to make yourself look high and mighty by copying and pasting a bunch of jargon you yourself didn't write, read, nor even believe yourself.

    This post is for flight training students I suggest you keep your comments on topic or take them else where like... annoying-pilot.org

    And leave Chris alone he's more qualified than you'll ever be.

    Andrew

  11. Read this with interest - learned a lot from it! I am only 16 but looking to start flying. I am starting with a few gift experiences I got for Christmas then I will try to join my local club.

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