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Pre-flight checks

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Pre-flight checks

Old 4th Apr 2019, 09:54
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Pre-flight checks

I have seen recently a couple of GA aircraft (in the US) where all the pre-flight checks are done automatically with the pilot just observing. Presumably computer controlled.
I canít think of any logical reason against this but it just does not seem right to me. Going through the pre-flight routine does seem something that should be a hands on job by the person who is to fly the aircraft.
Or am I just out of date?
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 12:40
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Perhaps it depends whether you are dealing with a check-list or a do-list.
Many out there are a pragmatic hybrid of the two.
Me?
Happy to have a computer doing the doing, but will keep checking for myself.
We are in a game where everyone, including computers and particularly me, is guilty until proven innocent.
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 14:00
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To clarify, the ones I have seen have checked ailerons, rudder etc, i.e. mechanical surfaces. One pilot just watched from the outside and when checks were complete, by a verbal message, he just got in and flew off. Don’t know about pre take off engine checks though.
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 16:19
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Who checks the computer? And how?

Sounds like only adding a level of complication, and a source of failure/misunderstanding/poor documentation/teething issues/&c &c
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 20:41
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How can the computer spot damage? Aileron bent, but moves freely, for example. The traditional walk-around is still needed.
Learn by heart: A) the meant-to-move bits and B) the not-meant-to-move bits.
If A bits don't move, spray WD40 and wiggle them until they move.
If B bits move, fix them with duct tape.
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 10:47
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Maoraigh, you forgot for A) hammer and B) cable ties.

I'm interested to know what "checks" were done by the computer. Are we talking about instruments, avionics, systems etc.? If so a BITE check for these things is pretty ordinary but the onus is still on the pilot to properly check everything is working. HAL won't tell you if you've tuned the wrong ILS, forgot to turn on teh landing light or if there's a bunch of popped rivets underneath the wing...
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 12:28
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HAL won't tell you if you've tuned the wrong ILS
actually HAL tunes his own ILS on most modern airliners!
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 13:47
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Originally Posted by foxmoth View Post


actually HAL tunes his own ILS on most modern airliners!
​​​​​​​
Ah, of course. The pilot isn't allowed to touch anything on commercial aircraft unless HAL goes TU!
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 17:06
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What aircraft?

G
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 19:24
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Certainly on the Airbus you put the approach you want into the arrivals page and it tunes itself, you dont ident it by the morse signal either, it decodes the morse signal and gives you the ident.
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 19:36
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The only example I can think of is the 'automated' run-up that is available on a Thielert (sorry, Continental) diesel. Press and hold the button and the FADEC runs through its spiel, revving up the engine, exercising the prop, switching to 'B' FADEC and back. Easy to follow and in my view an acceptable way to check the functioning of this engine. If there are other examples of automated checks out there, I'd like to hear more about them.
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Old 5th Apr 2019, 23:24
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I think Funfly is referring to the engine checks on some FADEC controled Diesel engines that just require a push of a button and observation of small RPM rises and FADEC Channel changes.
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Old 6th Apr 2019, 08:39
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Originally Posted by foxmoth View Post
you dont ident it by the morse signal either, it decodes the morse signal and gives you the ident.
Even a G1000 in a C172 does that. But I was still told that I should listen to the ident and check it for myself it I wanted to pass an instrument flying test.
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