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How well do you know your aircraft?

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

As a professional pilot, flying many different aircraft over the years, I remember the first aircraft I ever trained in, and I am sure you do too. As I stood next to it, amazed that I was going to go fly in this airplane. I had no idea about what anything was on it, or even how it flew, but I didn’t care, I just wanted to fly it.

We all have the passion to want to fly all sorts of airplanes, and that’s a great thing, but, with the passion to fly, comes a responsibility to learn. So let’s get started.

I am sure you all know the regulatory requirements that have to be met for your aircraft, and this is usually taught to you by your instructor, starting with the ARROW and AVIATES acronym, along with the appropriate regulations. For now, I want to stay focused on why you are reading this, learning your airplane.

When you are walking around the aircraft you are getting ready to go fly, you use your preflight checklist to ensure you cover everything necessary to ensure it will be safe to fly. But, do you know every part of your airplane? It has two wings, a propeller, rudder, and three wheels. OK, let’s go fly. Wait a second. What are those hinged surfaces behind the wings? OH, the flaps, and ailerons. Do you know what those do for us during flight, and what are the different types of flaps or ailerons? Also, what is the tab attached to the elevator, and what is it used for?

These are just a few questions for you to answer, especially if you are prepping for your next checkride.

Below is a link to lead you to these answers, as well as other possible questions that may come up on your next training session with your instructor, or even your checkride.

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