Back in a flash
You arrived at the first stop on your long cross-country within minutes of your estimated time of arrival. Now, as you prepare to head off on the second leg, fortified by a snack from the coffee shop and with updated weather, you observe that a wind shift has led to a change in the active runway.
How fortuitous: Your parking spot on the ramp is closer to that end. You clear the area, start the engine, and add a touch of power to get you rolling slowly forward on the ramp, which is active with other aircraft in motion, and people walking up and down the line.
You don't seem to be rolling yet, so you add a little more power, then a bit more. Now your engine is putting out enough horsepower (and noise) that people are looking in your direction.
What in the world?
That's when you look out your side window and notice that the wheel chocks that had been lying there earlier are gone. Care to guess where they are?
There's no escaping the realization that you must shut down the engine, get out, and remove the wheel chocks—those brightly painted yellow wheel chocks—from the nosewheel. At least you wisely quit while you were ahead and didn't keep adding power until the aircraft jumped the chocks hazardously.
What's the larger lesson? Any time you leave your aircraft unsupervised, give it your usual walk-around inspection on returning. Look it over for oil or brake fluid leakage, or any external damage. Was it grazed by another aircraft or a ground vehicle in your absence?
As the change in the runway in use shows, things happen fast at an airport. Going inside the FBO for a hot dog and a weather briefing may not take long, but outside, activity continues. Sometimes you may even come out and find that your aircraft has been relocated so the line crew can make room on the ramp for a larger aircraft, or to tow the company charter aircraft out of the main hangar. As a courtesy, the line crew likely will chock your wheels.
Bottom line: Whenever you return to an unattended aircraft, ask yourself, "What could have happened out here while I was gone?" Then inspect the ship carefully before you (attempt to) depart.
King Schools adds ATP written course
King Schools has added an online version of the ATP/Part 121 Dispatcher Knowledge Test Course.The online course uses existing videos from King Schools' DVD series, broken down into 10-minute clips that end with quizzes.
Jeppesen offers the Private Pilot Ultimate Kit
Jeppesen's Private Pilot Kits, developed for both FAR Part 61 and FAR Part 141 training programs, offer complete private pilot training packages. Kit materials lead student pilots through essential aeronautical knowledge and expose them to interesting and useful information that will enhance and expand understanding of the world of aviation.
Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.
Question: I'm an aircraft owner and am about to start flight training toward my instrument rating. I am hiring a flight instructor, but want to use my airplane for the flight instruction. Do I need to perform a 100-hour inspection?
Answer: No. Since the aircraft is owned by the student and the student is providing the aircraft, a 100-hour inspection does not need to be performed. Read FAR 91.409(b) to find out when a 100-hour inspection would be required. Also get more information about aircraft inspections in the Pilot Information Center's subject report.
Got a question for our technical services staff? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.