Blind Cockpit Check

April: Often times pilots will strap into a rental or borrowed aircraft and depart into the sky without being as familiar as possible about that particular aircraft, after all, a 182 is a 182 right? Well that might be pretty close to true, but night flying can increase our anxiety levels especially when we discover that the cockpit light controls are not where we thought they were - or worse don't even work (this is why you have a FLITELite right?) Anyway, one of the tried and true learning tools we can use to check ourselves out in an aircraft is a blind cockpit check. Could you pass a blind check in that aircraft your friend was nice enough to loan you? Here is how it works, simply make a short list:

  • Magnetos
  • Fuel Controls
  • Primer
  • Lights
  • Landing Gear
  • Flaps
  • Critical Circuit Breakers
  • Fuel Pump
  • Critical Switches
  • Etc - you get the idea
Take the list, close your eyes, and make sure that you can locate the items before you take a new aircraft, even if it is the same make a model you regularly fly into the air. Before you say you won't fly at night, what about smoke in the cockpit or the stress of a high workload emergency? Having yourself to the blind cockpit level of proficiency is always a safe bet...Of Course, when you have your eyes open - always verify and pause before manipulating any control or switch, just to make sure we are making the right adjustment.


- Dave MCFI

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