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Aviation Learning Center Document Meet Your Aircraft P-8740-29
Author: FAA Date: 1995
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Normal, Abnormal, and Emergency Procedures
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One of the best and safest ways to become familiar with these procedures is in a flight simulator designed for your particular make and model of aircraft. Since the majority of the smaller general aviation aircraft do not have simulators, there is another way to become proficient in such aircraft at no cost when the actual aircraft is available and not in use. Just get into the aircraft with the owner's manual and begin to familiarize yourself with the location of the knobs, switches, and handles in the cockpit, and the pattern that develops when running the checklist. Some flight training institutions require their students to pass what is known as a "blindfold cockpit check," which is literally just that. You have to memorize the location of each item in the cockpit, then put on a blindfold and be able to touch each item called out by the check pilot without being able to look for it. If this seems a little extreme, think how invaluable this ability would be during a high-workload situation under single- pilot operations. Envision yourself alone in the cockpit on a dark and stormy night on an instrument approach when the landing gear indicator does not indicate a normal down and locked position. It certainly would be nice to know exactly where the landing gear motor and landing gear circuit breakers are, so that you could reach over and feel to see if they are popped. The alternative would be to have to look for them, which could compromise your scan or, worse, possibly induce vertigo.

When using a static aircraft as a training device, you should run through all the checklists as many times as necessary to become thoroughly familiar with their content and the location of all the controls and items contained in the list or lists. Do each item that can be safely done on a static aircraft. However, do not move the landing gear handle at any time during this training activity. Also, be aware that there may be other persons around the aircraft when you are operating such items as flaps and spoilers, so you must use extreme caution when activating such devices. When applying power to any aircraft or staring any aircraft, you must alway ensure the safety of others in the immediate area. You must never apply power when others are working on an aircraft without coordinating your actions with those doing the work. The reverse is also true. When you are working on an aircraft, you should either lock out or mark those controls and switches that would endanger you if someone inadvertently activated them while you are working on the aircraft. This is particularly true when you are working on large aircraft where you may be out of sight of someone in the cockpit.

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