CX711
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Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:43 am

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?
 
syncmaster
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:45 am

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]
 
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EK413
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:41 am

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
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fr8mech
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:42 pm

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.
 
Horstroad
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:44 pm

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
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:58 pm

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." - John Ringo
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:53 pm

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?
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Starlionblue
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:45 am

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." - John Ringo
 
fr8mech
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:54 am

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.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:18 am

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.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:55 am

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.
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CX711
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:57 am

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.
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:40 am

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.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:19 pm

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.
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roseflyer
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:46 pm

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.
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Tristarsteve
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:37 pm

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.
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litz
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:26 am

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.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:44 am

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.
 
jetmatt777
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RE: Ground Inspections Of Aircraft By Crew

Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:09 am

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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