Task A: Preflight Inspection

Task A: Preflight Inspection (ASEL and ASES)

References: FAA-H-8083-3, FAA-H-8083-23; POH/AFM.

Objective: To determine that the applicant:

Private Pilot PTS What this means... What you can do to prepare
1. Exhibits satisfactory knowledge of the elements related to preflight inspection. This shall include which items must be inspected, the reasons for checking each item, and how to detect possible defects. The examiner will observe you during the preflight inspection and will ask you questions about what you are looking for, and why certain items are important to look for. The examiner may also ask you to explain how your airplane’s systems work or to explain the function of any component installed outside or inside your airplane. Review your airplane’s checklist for preflight inspection. Consider what you are checking on each item. Ensure that you understand how to detect unairworthy conditions for each check, and that you understand why each is relevant to safe flight.

Ensure that you can describe every aspect and component of your airplane. Take a very thorough walk around your training airplane, looking for anything that you’re unsure of its purpose of function. Look it up in the airplane’s AFM, or ask your instructor or a mechanic to learn more.

2. Inspects the airplane with reference to an appropriate checklist. The examiner will be looking to ensure that you reference a checklist during the preflight inspection. The examiner will typically ask you a few questions while you preflight, and will want to see if you become distracted, and thus omit items in the checklist. While conducting your preflight inspection, after checking each major area (i.e. left wing, empennage, cowl), stop to review each item in the section to ensure its been checked.
3. Verifies the airplane is in condition for safe flight. If you find a condition during the preflight that renders the airplane unairworthy, you need to make the PIC decision to ground the airplane. Don’t let the pressure of the practical exam push you to ignore even the smallest issues during preflight. If a tire needs a pound of air, take the time to put it in. If the windshield needs to be cleaned, take the time to clean it. The examiner wants to see you make the right decision regarding airworthiness.

If you can arrive early before your practical exam starts, preflight the airplane and take care of any these issues before the exam starts.

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