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The Private Pilot Flight Training Course 3

Updated on August 21, 2011

The Internal Inspection and Pre Take-Off Checklists

As I stated in the previous article, the same warnings apply to the Internal Inspection checklists as it did to the External one; the ones below are generic checklists. Always refer to the one designed for your particular aircraft. This will be found in your Pilot’s Operating Handbook or as a separate document provided by your Flight Training Organisation.

The following Checklists will take us through;-

the initial inspection of the cockpit,

the engine start up,

the pre take-off checks and

the after take-off checks when we have left the runway and started our initial climb.

Internal Checklist

This list will take you from the point of entering the aircraft to starting the engine.

Seat: Adjusted Correctly

Harness ON

Brakes: ON

First Aid Kit: Checked and in place

Fire Extinguisher: In place and Serviceable

Fuel: ON

Master Switch: ON

Fuel Gauges: Rising

Circuit Breakers: All In

Cabin Air: Set Closed

Flaps: Operate and Leave Up

Mixture: Fully Rich

Throttle Nut: Finger Tight

Carb Heat: Set Cold

Controls: Full and Free Travel

Trim: Check Travel and Set for Take-Off

Instruments: No Broken or Cracked Glass

Radio: OFF

Beacon: ON

Starter Key: Insert

Primer: Prime as Required

Fuel Pump (if fitted): ON

Engine: Look Out. Shout “Clear Prop.” Start Engine as required.

After Starting Checklist

As the engine starts, carefully go through the following checks;-

Tachometer: Set to 1,000 rpm or as required for your particular aircraft

Oil Pressure: Check. If it is not in the GREEN ARC in 30 seconds, SHUT DOWN THE ENGINE

Temperature Gauge: Check that it is rising towards the GREEN ARC

Ammeter: Charging (giving a positive reading)

Suction: Available

Magnetos: Operate the Live or Dead checks

Instruments: Set as Required

Radio: Select Frequency. Obtain a Radio Check and the current Airfield Information.

Taxiing Checks

As you apply power the aircraft starts to move forward. Carry out the following checks;-

Brakes: Test they Work effectively

Rudder: Correct Movement

Direction Indicator: Correct and Sensible Indications

Turn Co-Ordinator: Correct Indications as you turn

Attitude Indicator: Functioning Correctly.

Power Checks

When you reach the area of the airfield designated for checking aircraft power go through the following checklist;-

Aircraft Position: Into Wind and Clear of Obstacles

Brakes: ON

Oil Pressure: Within Limits

Temperature Gauge: Within Limits

Tachometer: Set to Correct RPM for your Power Checks

Carb Heat: Operate. Look for an approximate drop of 75 rpm

Magnetos: Check for Drop. Check Limits for your Aircraft

Suction: In the GREEN ARC

Ammeter: Showing a Positive Charge

Oil Pressure: In the GREEN

Temperature Gauge: In the GREEN

Throttle: Reduce to 500-700 rpm. Check Slow Running

Engine: Back to 1,000 rpm or as Required for your particular aircraft.

Pre Take-Off Checks

You are now positioned at the designated area of the airfield where you can conduct your pre take-off checks. These are;-

Controls: Full and Free Movement of Control Column

Trim: Set it to the Take-Off mark

Throttle Nut: Tighten to Finger Tight

Mixture: Fully Rich

Magnetos: Both ON

Master Switch: ON

Fuel: ON.

Fuel Pump (if fitted): ON

Fuel Selector: Select Highest Quantity Tank

Flaps: Set as Required

Direction Indicator: Align with Compass

Altimeter: Select QNH or QFE as Required

Strobe, Landing Light and Transponder (if fitted): ON

Harnesses: Secure

Hatches: Doors and Windows Secure.

Take-Off Checks

You are now positioned on the active runway ready for take-off;-

Clearance from ATC (if required): Obtained

Look Out: Any Conflicting Traffic

Heels: On Floor. Feet on Rudder Pedals/Toe Brakes

Tachometer: Increase to Maximum Power

Oil Pressure: GREEN

Temperature Gauge: GREEN

Airspeed Indicator: Increasing.

After Take-Off Checks

The aircraft has just left the runway and you are in your initial climb;-

Look Out: Check for the aircraft drifting off line

Flaps: Retract as Required at the Appropriate Height

Oil Pressure: GREEN

Temperature Gauge: GREEN

Fuel: Check

Clearance: As per ATC requirements

Fuel Pump (if fitted): OFF (above 1,500 feet)

Landing Light (if fitted): OFF.

Okay, we are in the air and flying. In the next article we will look at the basic handling techniques for controlling the aircraft.

The author, John Pullen has been a professional writer and producer of factual media programmes for over 25 years and a pilot for over 20 years.

The key to successful pilot training is preparation. Background reading of flight manuals is very important, but there is also another way. Flight Training DVDs are now available to take the aspiring pilot from their first lesson right through the Private Pilot’s Licence to the Commercial Instrument Rating. Each DVD follows the JAA syllabus completely. For further information on pilot training and details about how this series of flight training DVDs can help you to reach your dream of becoming a pilot, go to


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    • profile image

      Flight Training 6 years ago

      Thank you Reynold for your kind comments. There will be over 40 Hubs in this series, so keep reading and we'll make a pilot of you by the end.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 6 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I feel like I could fly a plane with the checklist in hand!

      Welcome to HUB writing. I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and Useful.” I'm now your fan! RJ

      Based upon your HUB, you might enjoy…

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      skymaster 6 years ago