Start & Run-up

Introduction:

  • Prior to starting jet, air intakes and the surrounding area shall be inspected to eliminate the possibility of Foreign Object Debris, or FOD
  • Whenever an engine is started, personnel with adequate fire extinguishing equipment, if available, shall be stationed in the immediate vicinity of the engine but safely clear of intakes or propellers
  • In starting an aircraft, all challenges and signals between the person operating the starting device and the person at the engine controls shall be clearly understood and so indicated by repetition before action is taken by either person
  • Where the engines are started entirely from the cockpit, the person at the engine controls should exchange signals with a person observing the engine from outside the aircraft

Night:

  • After the pilot is seated in the cockpit and prior to starting the engine, all items and materials to be used on the flight should be arranged in such a manner that they will be readily available and convenient to use
  • Extra caution should be taken at night to assure the propeller area is clear
  • Turning the rotating beacon ON, or flashing the airplane position lights will serve to alert persons nearby to remain clear of the propeller
  • To avoid excessive drain of electrical current from the battery, it is recommended that unnecessary electrical equipment be turned OFF until after the engine has been started
  • After starting and before taxiing, the taxi or landing light should be turned ON
  • Continuous use of the landing light with r.p.m. power settings normally used for taxiing may place an excessive drain on the airplane's electrical system
  • Also, overheating of the landing light could become a problem because of inadequate airflow to carry the heat away
  • Landing lights should be used as necessary while taxiing
  • When using landing lights, consideration should be given to not blinding other pilots
  • Taxi slowly, particularly in congested areas
  • If taxi lines are painted on the ramp or taxiway, these lines should be followed to ensure a proper path along the route
  • The before takeoff and run-up should be performed using the checklist
  • During the day, forward movement of the airplane can be detected easily
  • At night, the airplane could creep forward without being noticed unless the pilot is alert for this possibility
  • Hold or lock the brakes during the run-up and be alert for any forward movement

Aircraft Engine Flooding:

  • An engine is considered flooded when too much fuel has entered the cylinder, thereby disturbing the fuel/air ratio
    • This can be caused by over priming or too many start attempts
  • Cold weather makes an engine particularly susceptible to flooding with engine pre-heat being a preventative measure
  • Aircraft manufacturers will have specific procedures to clear a flooded engine, but generally speaking, pilots may:
    • Reduce the mixture to idle and crank the engine (blowing fuel out of the exhaust)
    • Allow the aircraft to sit (for gas to evaporate)
  • Of course, extra fuel in the system carries at least some level of risk and so engine fire procedures should be reviewed just in case

Aircraft Run-up Considerations:

  • Before conducting a run-up before takeoff, it is generally a good idea to point the aircraft into the wind while still able to see final
  • Doing so will allow you to monitor airport traffic and allow airflow over the engine during the run-up

Surface Area Dangers:

  • Personnel must always be aware of the dangers associated with moving surfaces
  • Rotor wash created by the blades of a rotary-winged aircraft or thrust from the exhaust section of a fixed-winged aircraft may cause severe personnel injury
  • The proper safety equipment must always be worn when working on flight decks and flight lines

Conclusion:

  • Learn more about turbine engine start-up by reviewing hot, hung start
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