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The Finer Points of Flying
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 12:06 pm 

Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 8:48 am
Posts: 4
I've always wondered why you are supposed to check the flight controls during the runup rather than doing it during preflight, or before engine start after adjusting the seat and buckling in. It seems to me that runup takes an awfully long time as is, and if some of the work could be done earlier I wouldn't feel as pressured to get through the whole checklist if there is a lineup waiting to take off. If the controls AREN'T free and correct, I'd rather find out earlier in the process! Also, I flew a DA-40 once and I didn't feel like I could see the elevator well enough during the runup to verify that it was working correctly (fortunately I had looked at it during preflight while familiarizing myself with the stick, so I knew it was working correctly).

 Post subject: Control check
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 2:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:20 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
I agree. Never understood why checklists placed it in the run-up. I always check the controls during pre-flight, and then again in run-up. If something isn't right I want to find out about it before I get away from the ramp area. It also allows me to lean out of the cockpit with the canopy/door open to see the tall controls better.

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - John Lennon

 Post subject: Correct & Free
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 2:03 am 

Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 7:12 am
Posts: 8
I see this check as a 2 point check ...

1) During pre-flight I check to make sure the flight controls are CORRECT (as I was taught to make sure that any potential miswiring from any potential mechanical work did not result in an incorrect rewiring). So, I literally move the ailerons and see that the stick (or yolk) move correctly, etc.

2) During run-up I check to see if the flight controls are FREE ... mainly free from my passenger's knees or my own kneeboard. Usually the controls aren't free and so I have to remind my passenger to keep their legs away from the stick (or keep their legs low so that I can turn the yolk).

Hope this helps someone else.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:11 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 132
Location: San Francisco
FREE is to be sure that there are no obstructions blocking the cables or rods that actuate the flight controls. I know a pilot that was performing loops in a Citabria when his stick got jammed in the full aft position from a loose wrench left in the fuselage from a recent trip to maintenance.

CORRECT is to be sure that when the cables and actuators where installed correctly after inspection. It only takes one to be 'reversed' and right becomes left and left, right. There are accidents on record attributed to this.


"To Live is To Fly" - Townes VanZandt

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