After Landing Check

Prevent the disappointment of being grounded unexpectedly. Flying

If you are a responsible pilot you run through a before takeoff checklist that includes a runup of the engine that makes sure the magnetos are both grounded and that there is no gunk preventing the spark plugs from firing to produce a smooth running engine. But if there is an issue during the runup, you may be grounded for a day or more.

To prevent the disappointment of an aborted departure, you could add a post flight runup. Just because the engine appears to run smoothly in flight doesn't mean that a problem has not occurred. It's better to catch it after you land than just before you are ready to take off on your next adventure.

Also, if you have a gauge that shows the battery charge, you should take a look at it before you shut down. A low battery won't affect you in flight, but the amount of remaining power may not be sufficient to start the engine after you shut it down.

It is also a good idea to wipe down the airplane. Giving a rag to the metal or composite not only removes bugs and other debris that could otherwise damage the paint. The wipe down could also reveal cracks or leaks.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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