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5 Answers

CFI preflight?

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Flight Instructor

A CFI is doing training in a C182 with a current pilot with a PPL. The non-CFI pilot performs the preflight and notices a slight curve in the prop tips but doesn't mention to CFI. The CFI checks oil and fuel but doesn't notice the prop tips. Flight is uneventful, but clearly shouldn't have flown. Responsibility? Non-CFI or CFI?

Most CFIs check oil and fuel but don't do full preflight. Do you? 



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5 Answers

  1. Meredith Tcherniavsky on Feb 22, 2012

    I always carefully observe the ENTIRE preflight inspection whenever I’m flying with someone for the first time, especially if it’s an owner with his/her airplane. I also insist on reviewing the maintenance logs before the flight.

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  2. Kris Kortokrax on Feb 22, 2012

    Who provided training to the Private pilot such that he didn’t think that a damaged prop was a problem?
    Whose airplane?  What kind of training?
    From a regulatory standpoint, the PIC is responsible.
    From a safety standpoint, (i.e. who stands to be injured or killed if there is a problem) both are responsible.
    I may not do a complete preflight, depending on the person I am flying with.  I always do walk around the aircraft looking for anomalies, especially with main & tail rotor, unexplained fluids on the ground, certainly, the prop area (bird’s nests).

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  3. Brian on Feb 22, 2012

    I check the following regardless of who I’m flying with:

    Major flight surfaces attached (shake wings, vertical, and horizontal tail)
    Movement of all control surfaces freely
    All control surfaces counter weights intact/present (flutter is bad)
    Propeller ok
    Oil ok
    Idiot check – stand back and check for chalks, tiedowns, plugs, etc

    The above list takes about 2 minutes and I can typically finish it while the student is still getting settled in the cockpit. I will occasionally add an item or two for airplane specific issues, but this list is a bare minimum for me. Again, I check this even if the other pilot is an airline pilot or has 5,000 hours in type. To steal from Kris, “from a safety standpoint, both are responsible.”

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  4. Bill Trussell on Feb 22, 2012

    While the PIC would be held accoutable for determining if the aircraft was in airworthy condition prior to the flight, the CFI would be held accountable for the outcome of the training being conducted. In addition to the statements of safety, the CFI could be found to be negligent in terms of the quality of the instruction and held professionally liable for any and all outcomes.  The FAA could very well call the CFI into an administrative hearing or investigation situation resulting in a suspension or revocation of his/her CFI certificate.  In addition to common sense approach to this situation the CFI should do what is necessary to protect this certification, including not assuming anything with regard to the quality of a preflight action.  This would also include weather briefings and TFR compliance as well.

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  5. Kris Kortokrax on Feb 22, 2012

    Revocation is mainly an outcome of falsification, drug & alcohol violations.
    Woe be it unto any of us whose student fails a practical test if poor quality instruction were cause for suspension.
    If an accident or incident occurred as a result of missing the bent prop tips on preflight, how would the FAA know that the preflight was inadequate and that the prop tips weren’t bent in the accident?  (Unless the PIC were to admit it during the ensuing investigation?)

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