Even if you aren’t normally a nervous flyer, it is not unusual to become a little anxious before boarding a plane. Whether you fly once a year for vacation or criss-cross the country on a weekly basis for work, you may only stop to consider safety when you are worried about it. However, if you knew all the work that goes into inspecting every commercial airliner leading up to departure, you would probably enjoy the flight much more. One of the best ways to gain peace of mind while traveling is to understand all of the precautions and protocols that ground crews have to complete before the plane takes to the air.
For instance, on the exterior of the aircraft, technicians ensure the engines are in good working condition. This means checking fan blades for signs of damage, looking over the structural hardware and performing any necessary de-icing. The wing flaps also receive a thorough examination for any indications that they could fail during flight. These inspections extend all the way down to assessing the landing gear tires for proper inflation and tread depth.
Inside the cockpit, the pilot and copilot have their own checklist of items to go through prior to starting the engines. This includes checking the fuel quantity as well as making sure the lights on the instrument panel are functioning. They also verify that every switch and control is in its proper position, as any mistake can have serious consequences.
Whether or not you ever think twice about the safety of air travel, you should take time to appreciate all that goes into keeping a plane safe in flight. If you are interested in learning more about the elements of a preflight inspection, consult the accompanying infographic.
Author bio: Allen Jones is Chief Operating Officer of National Aero Stands, a world leader in engine stand leasing — founded with the purpose of providing aircraft engine transportation stand support. Jones, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, currently oversees daily business and leasing operations.