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Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew  
User currently offlineCX711 From Singapore, joined Jun 2011, 46 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6600 times:

This may have been asked before, but I cannot find the thread.

I often see a member the flight crew doing a walk around of the aircraft on the ground when it is being loaded. This is done whatever the weather conditions, raining heavily or bitterly cold. He/she looks at the tires & undercarriage, shines a torch into the engine inlet and looks at the rear end. It often seems like just a quick cursory inspection. What are the things he is looking for? What can he see by shining a torch at the engine intake, especially at night, or looking up sat the bottom of the fuselage? Is this done before every take-off?

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinesyncmaster From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 2032 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6603 times:
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Yes, this is done by all pilots (or should be), no matter the aircraft type. They are simply looking for any visible aircraft damage or other issues (such as tires, fluid leaks, etc.) to make sure the aircraft is in "shape" before flying.

[Edited 2012-09-22 23:46:11]

User currently offlineEK413 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 4920 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days ago) and read 6478 times:

Quoting CX711 (Thread starter):

Probably you been searching in the wrong discussion forum...

Pre Flight Walk-around By Pilot (by Dmanmtl Dec 16 2007 in Tech Ops)

EK413



Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment!
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5453 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 6097 times:

Here's another, more recent, thread:

Preflight Walk-arounds (by B737900 Dec 6 2010 in Tech Ops)?threadid=289260&searchid=295237&s=preflight#ID295237



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlinehorstroad From Germany, joined Apr 2010, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 6061 times:

this summarizes quite well what a pilot or mechanic should look at dureing a walk around check

http://www.md-11.org/md11/Walkaround/Wa1.htm

in general you look for any damage, wear, fluid leaks and abnormalities


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17040 posts, RR: 66
Reply 5, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6022 times:

Quoting CX711 (Thread starter):
What are the things he is looking for? What can he see by shining a torch at the engine intake, especially at night, or looking up sat the bottom of the fuselage? Is this done before every take-off?

As mentioned this is done by the pilot (or in the case of multi-crew, one of them) in any aircraft. The reason is to check for stuff that is potentially hazardous for the flight. Sure, the ground crew have been over the plane. But stuff gets missed, which is why you have the pilot do a walk-around.

If nothing else, the Captain is responsible, in a very real legal sense, for the safe conduct of the flight. So you can trust the ground crew, or double-check yourself. I know what I would do. Certainly on the little Cessna 172 I am anal retentive about the walkaround. Same exact sequence every time and no castellated nut is too small for me to check.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2798 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 5988 times:
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Is there a checklist for larger aircraft what to check? I am just curious because in the little C172s I fly there are specific things we have to check on preflight. Do you have to flip on the lights and check them etc?
Blue



You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17040 posts, RR: 66
Reply 7, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5927 times:

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 6):

Is there a checklist for larger aircraft what to check? I am just curious because in the little C172s I fly there are specific things we have to check on preflight. Do you have to flip on the lights and check them etc?

I haven't seen one myself but I'd bet good money there is a checklist. Checklist usage becomes ever more important the bigger the iron.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5453 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5923 times:

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 6):
Is there a checklist for larger aircraft what to check?

Yes there is. Each airline has a checklist that walks the flight crew through their preflight procedure. Some even have an illustration of the path the Captain (or his designee) should walk.

The actual check will vary from airline to airline and from aircraft to aircraft.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 9, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5906 times:

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 6):
Is there a checklist for larger aircraft what to check?

Yes. It's part of the normal procedures (documented in Flight Crew Operating Manual). Many airlines will then modify it under the procedures of their Ops Spec.

Tom.


User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4200 posts, RR: 37
Reply 10, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5853 times:

The preflight inspection is a flow pattern- i.e. you're not following a checklist, you're following a procedure.

The entire thing is memorized and done the same way every time.



Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineCX711 From Singapore, joined Jun 2011, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5777 times:

Quoting horstroad (Reply 4):
Here's another, more recent, thread:

Preflight Walk-arounds (by B737900 Dec 6 2010 in Tech Ops)?threadid=289260&searchid=295237&s=preflight#ID295237

Thanks, the two threads you both pointed to are very informative.


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5761 times:

For us there's a DVD that shows all the items to be checked on the walk around. It's quite extensive actually and it's aircraft specific.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5340 times:

Walk around or preflight Inspection is carried out by a crew member pre and post flight.Out here Maintenance carries out a transir/preflight inspection too thats more detailed.


Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9643 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5332 times:

Sometimes it is a pilot, sometimes it is a mechanic, the only requirement is that it is someone with enough training to know what they are looking for. Each airline can modify the procedure in the Flight Crew Operations Manual to their own operating conditions and environment. Some airline shave the flight crew do it before every flight, some before each flight with a new crew, some at the start of the day. Some handle transit checks with ground crew.

There are people working around the airplane that may notice problems. However you can’t take credit for a ground crew member finding anything unless they have a specific requirement to look. Often times ground crew aren’t training in much if any maintenance at all and sometimes they don’t work for the airline at all. They may notice problems, but if you are concentrating on loading bags, you might not notice the hydraulic leak coming from the wheel well.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineTristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4009 posts, RR: 33
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5319 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 13):
Out here Maintenance carries out a transir/preflight inspection too thats more detailed.

We used to in Europe, and signed for a Transit Check. But finished about 15 years ago. Now the flight crew check suffices, but our pushback headset man, who is usually a loader, does a walkround just prior to dep.

In Sweden in 2000, the technicians did the walkround and signed the Transit check on Every departure. The pilots did not leave the cockpit. We had to fly out to the Greek islands on charters to sign the transit. The suddenly it all changed. The flight crew were trained up, and the technicians stopped doing transit checks.
Now SAS nightstops in Swedish Domestic stations with no licensed engineers at all. Any problem and the technician flies out from Stockholm.


User currently offlineLitz From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1765 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5229 times:
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Several years ago, I was on a Delta flight from Melbourne FL, back to Atlanta ...

Pilot was doing the walkaround and everything checked out fine, until he realized there was some kind of weird metal-on-metal banging sound ...

He looked and looked, and finally looked UP, and there was some kind of access panel up on the rudder of the MD80 flapping in the breeze.

Needless to say, we didn't go anywhere ... and it was almost 5 hours later that the replacement hinge arrived from ATL (via MCO a DL mx pickup truck), and it got fixed.

Turned out the center pin wire of the piano-style hinge and come completely out, and the only thing holding the panel in place were its latches. The fix was a new hinge (the MX guys actually brought an entire panel complete w/hinge).

But it's stuff like that ... that's why walkarounds exist.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5225 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 14):
Sometimes it is a pilot, sometimes it is a mechanic

And sometimes it's a ramper, especially at UA.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineJetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2788 posts, RR: 32
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5175 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 17):
And sometimes it's a ramper, especially at UA.

The ramp agent responsible for the walkaround are looking for obvious damage that could be caused by the previous station. More or less, a cover your ass walk around. We have 15 minutes from the time the parking brake is set at the gate to have a report filed of any "found on arrival" damage, or else that damage is charged to the receiving station.

For example, a dent caused by a belt loader in the upline station. If we do not catch it (and was not reported at the upline station before departure) and have a report in the computer within 15 minutes, we would get charged with the damage.

This is completely separate from the pilot's walkaround which is more detailed and more important. The ramp agent walk around is about accepting the aircraft as-is at the gate, and catching any damage potentially caused at the previous station. That same walk around is done before departure as well, to ensure we didn't cause any damage before dispatching the aircraft. Transferring the aircraft as-is back to the captain.



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