Ex. 1 - Aeroplane Familiarization and Preparation For Flight


To teach the student to:

  • conduct a thorough pre-flight inspection
  • determine that the aeroplane is ready for flight
  • be familiar with the primary systems and controls
  • properly use the performance data available
  • compute weight and balance data for various load conditions
  • start the engines and conduct the run-up using the aeroplane checklist


This exercise covers areas of knowledge essential to the safe operation of the aeroplane.  It may have been some time since students last dealt with portions of the subject material. In the meantime, information may have been updated, requiring the instructor to inform the student of current material.

Multi-engine flying exposes pilots to complex systems, controls and procedures that students must understand if they are to operate the aeroplane effectively.

Advice to Instructors

Proceed at a comfortable pace for the student in the early stages.  It takes time to become familiar with the aeroplane.

Even though the student may hold a licence, do not assume they already know the information or will research the information without your assistance.

Assign from the POH study material related to this exercise.  Completion of an open-book written examination on this information is recommended before the student proceeds to the aeroplane for the first flight.

Spend sufficient time with the student in the cockpit becoming familiar with the location and operation of various items.  Caution must be exercised not to inadvertently select such items as landing gear "UP" during this familiarization.

Prior to each flight, have the student check the weather and compute the weight and balance, accelerate stop distance, take-off distance, and landing distance.  Also, computation of take-off performance and one engine inoperative climb performance will make the student aware of how drastically aeroplane performance is reduced in an engine-out situation.

Assign additional practice using realistic scenarios.

Ground Instruction

Documents and Airworthiness


  • documents that must be carried on board the aeroplane
  • validity of all documents
  • requirements for Certificate of Airworthiness validity

Performance and Limitations

Explain use of performance charts including:

  • limitations
  • take-off and climb performance
  • accelerate/stop distance
  • one engine inoperative performance
  • cruise performance
  • descent and landing performance
  • any other performance charts applicable to type

Explain essential performance speeds:

  • Minimum Control Speed (VMC)
  • Intentional One Engine Inoperative Speed (VSSE)
  • Manoeuvring Speed (VA)
  • Maximum Landing Gear Extended Speed (VLE)
  • Maximum Flap Extended Speed (VFE)
  • One Engine Inoperative Best Rate-of-Climb (VYSE)
  • Stalling Speed (VSO)
  • any other speeds applicable to type

Explain one engine inoperative performance limitations:

  • rate of climb
  • service ceiling
  • climb gradient
  • cruise speed
  • cruise range

Weight and Balance

Review specific terms including arm, moment, datum, centre of gravity, take-off weight, landing weight and zero fuel weight.


  • weight and balance limitations
  • how to calculate weight and balance under various load conditions.
  • how to correct various overload and out of balance conditions.
  • various graphs and envelopes that are available to calculate weight and balance.
  • effects of various centre of gravity positions on flight characteristics.
  • use of a weight and balance calculator if available.
  • any specific items for the training aeroplane used.

Pre-flight Inspection

Explain using the POH and the aeroplane:

  • basic aeroplane familiarization.
  • pre-flight inspection.
  • ELT location, operating procedures and limitations.
  • how to determine the fuel and oil quantities.
  • appropriate action to be taken on finding an unsatisfactory item.

Engine Start, Run-up and Use of Checklists

NOTE - If the operator does not have an adequate checklist, one could be developed to include at least the items recommended in the AFM/POH.  For efficiency, the sequence of items on a checklist should be consistent with a natural flow of items across the cockpit and instrument panel.

Review the correct use of written checklists.

Explain the importance of a thorough pre-flight passenger safety briefing, which should include:

  • emergency exits
  • ELT
  • fire extinguisher
  • smoking limitations
  • use of seat belts
  • items specific to the aeroplane type being used
  • action to take in the event of an emergency
  • other items for use in an emergency

Familiarize the student with:

  • parking brake usage
  • door operation
  • pre-start checks
  • start and warm-up techniques
  • run-up and pretake-off checks
  • cross-feed checks
  • procedures for flooded starts and hot starts
  • use of the ground power unit

Explain the appropriate action to be taken on discovering an unsatisfactory condition.