Pilot's Tip of the Week
Featuring Bob Nardiello
"I'm planning a flight from Connecticut to Florida in a few days. Anything special or different I should do on the preflight before a long trip like this?" - Steve M.
"What you want to do is minimize the difficulty or the hassle you will have on the day of the flight. On the day of the flight you want to be doing your tactical planning and you want to be able to preflight your airplane smoothly without any difficulties.
So, if you haven't looked at your airplane in a couple weeks, it is a good idea a day or two before the flight that you pre-preflight the airplane. And what I mean by this is get out to your airplane and take a look at the tires; be sure the tires are inflated. Check the battery; be sure the battery is up to snuff. If you live in a climate where it snows as it does in Connecticut, it might be a good idea to dig out your airplane at this point if there is any snow around it. You could even check your avionics out to be sure everything is functioning.
It's a good idea to do this a day or two before the flight when you have an opportunity to correct it if need be without influencing your actual preflight and tactical flight planning on the day of the flight.
Additionally, this is a good time to check your GPS equipment for a current database and inventory your chart materials for your planned route and alternate routes.
If during the pre-preflight you find you are missing something essential, you still have time to round it up. That might be difficult on the day of the flight."
Next week's tip: Emergency checklist