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4 Answers

Why do I need to start my engine with the pilot’s door open?

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Private Pilot

After pre-flight and when ready to start the engine my instructor always had me to leave the pilot's door open. Once the engine kicked in and was stabilized to a good warm up RPM I'd close the door. I recognize that it is important to shout "Clear" before turning over the engine, but can't I shout "Clear", close the door, then start the engine? What was the purpose for keeping the door open? Thanks!

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4 Answers

  1. Jim F. on Mar 08, 2014

    First I’ve heard of that… On a hot summer day in some planes without good windows/ventilation, I’d keep the doors open for fresh air, but that’s obviously not what’s going through your instructor’s head. I’d ask, and let us know what they say.

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  2. Kris Kortokrax on Mar 08, 2014

    Your instructor is probably concerned about egress in the event of a fire during start.(Unnecessarily so) Does he leave his seatbelt off also? What would be his procedure in a plane with a door on the passenger side only?

    In seaplanes, if the pilot is launching the plane without a helper, he will leave the door open until after the engine is started. This is so that in case the engine won’t start, he can get out and return the plane to the dock.

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  3. Peter Wilson on Mar 18, 2014

    I`ve never heard of this one, it is certinally in the Regulations, either cooling breeze, or in event of having to egress in an emergency. You should ask your Instructor why.

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  4. DavidJ on Mar 18, 2014

    Thanks for the feedback! The instructors I had that requested that I do it this way have closed their shop. But your comments have helped clarify a practice that I always thought a bit odd. Thank you.

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