Post-Flight Procedures

Give your airplane some TLC after you fly.

Post-Flight Procedures
Take as much time looking over your airplane after you fly as you do during the preflight.Flying

We all know the importance of a preflight inspection to make sure the airplane is structurally sound and has enough fuel and oil to get you to your destination. After the flight is over, however, most pilots simply park the airplane without paying a whole lot of attention other than to tie the airplane down or push it into the hangar space. But there are things you can do after you fly to protect the airplane and to reduce the chance of finding any issues during your next preflight.

While most pilots use a checklist to start up and to conduct the before takeoff checks, very few use one during the shutdown. Without the use of a checklist, it's easy to forget critical items such as shutting off the master switch or turning the key to the off position. If your airplane has a shutdown checklist, use it. Even so, unfortunately most airplanes' shutdown checklists are quite limited. You may want to create your own.

In addition to items such as turning the key to off and shutting off the master switch, you could add things like installing the control lock and pitot tube cover. Another item worth taking care of is wiping off the airplane, particularly the leading edges of the wings, vertical and horizontal stabilizers and the front of the engine cowl, to protect the paint against bugs or other debris that may have attached itself during flight. While you wipe off the surfaces you may find cracks or leaks that need to be addressed before your next flight. It's better to find those kinds of issues after the last flight rather than during the next preflight.

If you are not parking the airplane in a hangar or designated parking area with proper tiedowns, make sure the airplane is secured in a safe spot.

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