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Don't Forget To Check These 6 Small Parts On Every Preflight

It's easy to skip or miss these tiny parts during a preflight inspection. Here's why they're so important...

1) Bonding Straps

The electrical bonding straps between different components of your airplane prevent static electricity build-up that can interfere with radio and navigational equipment. More importantly, they provide lightning protection by allowing current to pass through the airframe with minimum arcing.

You'll find these metal straps connected between parts like the ailerons and wing, or elevator and horizontal stabilizer. They're built to be flexible, and to move with the control surface. But over time, they can corrode and snap.

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2) Cotter Pins

Cotter pines ensure that bolts, screws, and nuts stay secure. Make sure these pins are installed in the correct locations, and haven't come loose over time.

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3) Safety Wiring

Safety wiring prevents fasteners from loosening or falling out due to vibration. You'll find safety wiring on many engine components that are susceptible to engine vibrations.

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4) Brake Pads

Make sure to check the brake pads behind the tires to ensure there's useable pad left, and that the rotors are't corroded or damaged.

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5) Static Wicks

Like bonding straps, static wicks help control electrical current build-up on aircraft parts. They dissipate electrical energy to prevent communication and navigation radio interference. Most aircraft have a limit for how many static wicks can be missing for the aircraft to remain airworthy.

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6) Hose Clamps

Hose clamps are used within aircraft systems to connect tubing to their attachment points. If you open the engine cowling, you might notice large, orange tubes. These are usually used to transport air for anything from environmental systems to electrical components. Their connection points are fastened with hose clamps.

Swayne Martin

What are some other easily missed items during preflight checks? Tell us in the comments below.


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Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at swayne@boldmethod.com, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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