No need for a full preflight
When I was working for the flight school back in the day, some of my customers, who own their own aircraft, always gave me a hard time for doing way too detailed of a preflight. They called it “a mechanic’s preflight”, which actually hits the nail on the head. Those of you who reside in the States and watch TV, are surely familiar with the insurance commercial that has the tag line “We know a thing or two, because we’ve SEEN a thing or two.” That’s how it is when you are an aircraft mechanic. You see too many things. It makes you trust people less.
Of course, if the aircraft is your own, hangared in your own hangar, and you are the only one ever touching it, there might be a few things on the preflight you may browse through a little quicker. You probably remember where you left your headsets, and what your seat position is, seat belts, that sort of thing. I see that. But since I am the contract CFI and haven’t seen their aircraft in a while, I always take extra time to look over it.
And today I fly a helicopter that is too big to preflight for just one guy. It would take me all day. But what we do as a crew is switch things around so everybody pre-flights a different portion of the aircraft every day. However, should I happen to actually find something on my pre-flight, it just got longer since my inner Julio immediately comes out and now, I want to check as much of the entire aircraft as I can. The confidence in the night shift is gone and the hackles are up. I feel common sense must be applied when doing a preflight. No need to open the fridge every 2 hours to see if the light inside still comes on, but the way Chuck goes about it, is definitely not the way to go either. Somewhere in the middle maybe?
How do you guys feel about the subject?
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