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User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3036 posts, RR: 10
Posted (14 years 10 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1862 times:

I know that, every time a crew is preparing an aircraft for takeoff, they test the ailerons, spoilers, elevators and rudder.

But, my question is: how do they know they work? From the outside it's easy to see, but how do you see this from the inside?

Yesterday, when I jumpseated a Sabena 737, I noticed that the crew took a look outside, so I think it's possible on a 737 to see the wing, but then how about the elevators and rudder?


Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 27
Reply 1, posted (14 years 10 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1836 times:

There are two ways to tell if the control surface is moving when called for.

1. A respective drop in hydraulic pressure when the surface is moved.

2. A control surface indicator relaying the position of the control surface.


User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3036 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (14 years 10 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1816 times:

Thanks for the answer, JETPILOT.


Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlineFBU 4EVER! From Norway, joined Jan 2001, 998 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (14 years 10 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1805 times:

In addition to JETPILOT's reply,which is valid for planes with hydraulically operated flight controls,there are other ways to tell,as well:
On the DC-9 and MD-80/90 series with manual flight controls,a "SPOILER DEPLOYED" light will appear on the Annunciator panel when the ailerons are tested.Elevators have no indication except for a green "ELEVATOR POWER" light which comes on when the control column is pushed fully forward (nose down) indicating that the Stall Recovery Augmentation System is working.
The MD-90 has a fully hydraulically operated elevator,and full forward and aft motion of the control column will activate an "ELEVATOR AT LIMIT" sign.
The checs are mainly performed to check that the controls move freely without obstructions.

"Luck and superstition wins all the time"!
User currently offlineM80 From Finland, joined Mar 2001, 36 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 10 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1800 times:

A very small correction to FBU 4EVER!'s good explanation: DC-9/MD-80 annunciator panel has no green lights: advisory lights are blue, for example ELEVATOR POWER ON, IGNITERS ON and ANTI-ICE lights. (Caution lights are amber and warning lights are red.) And some additional info for DC-9/MD-80: Spoiler deployment starts when control column is moved 5 degrees from its neutral position, spoilers remain retracted with down aileron. Also the elevator power test (DC-9/MD-80) aligns the elevator surfaces (normally performed before takeoff to make sure that there are not any control column forces affecting takeoff.)


User currently offlineILOVEA340 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (14 years 10 months 21 hours ago) and read 1766 times:

smaller private planes it is stil visual though.
anyone know about regional planes like Saab 340's or ERJ's?

User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3036 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1756 times:

Thx for all the answers, guys...

But, as already mentioned, I saw the FO looking out of the window, to the back of the plane, when he was testing his control surfaces. The plane was a Boeing 737-329. Does this mean that he could still see the (end of) the wing, and preferred to see (some of) the surfaces work visually, instead of looking to some anunciators.?


Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
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