Pre-Flight Checklist

Published on 08 October 2012

"This pre-flight check list is an excellent flight training help for both student-pilot and instructor. The second page of this check list (still under review) is a reminder list, if different instructors are teaching, what the student-pilot has accomplished to date. I strongly recommend use of a buddy-box which guaranteed takes the frustration from the Instructor and the fear from new pilots."

INTERNAL (Remove Wing)

[ ] 1. Check all servos, mounts, and servo arms for security and tightness.
[ ] 2. Check that pushrods are secure.
[ ] 3. Check that the receiver and battery are padded and secure.
[ ] 4. Check for loose items that could foul servo or pushrod movement.
[ ] 5. Check for fuel leaks. Is the tank area fuel-proofed?


[ ] 1. Check for breaks, warps, and other defects.
[ ] 2. Ensure center section is adequately reinforced.
[ ] 3. Check aileron pushrods and clevises (if used) before securing wing to aircraft.
[ ] 4. Brief new pilots on adequacy of rubber bands.
[ ] 5. After wing is in place, check for proper incidence and alignment as best as you can.


[ ] 1. Is the fire wall area fuel-proofed?
[ ] 2. Check engine mount, engine, muffler, and prop nut and spinner (if used) for security.
[ ] 3. Check prop for nicks, cracks, or other defects. Brief new pilots on the importance of this check.
[ ] 4. Check nose steering mechanism for security (if present).
[ ] 5. Check engine for obvious thrust misalignment.


[ ] 1. Check vertical stabilizer, rudder, and clevis for security.
[ ] 2. Check tail wheel for security (if present).
[ ] 3. Check horizontal stabilizer, elevator, and clevis for security.


[ ] 1. Balance airplane with fuel tank empty.
[ ] 2. Show new pilots proper balance point and balance technique.
[ ] 3. Explain danger of a tail-heavy aircraft.
[ ] 4. Correct a tail-heavy plane before flight.


[ ] 1. Ensure that radio batteries have been properly charged.
[ ] 2. If frequency pin is available, put pin to antenna & range check the plane with antenna collapsed. Explain this important check to new pilots.
[ ] 3. Check to ensure that all flight controls and the throttle move smoothly and in the proper direction.
[ ] 4. Check flight control surfaces for proper trim.
[ ] 5. In a area far from the pits, fill the fuel tank, and start the engine. Be certain new pilots understand how to adjust the engine.
[ ] 6. If a buddy box is not available for flight training, be certain to have a clear understanding with new pilots on how you want to handle transfer of the  transmitter in case of trouble.