MaxSez: Ya it’s IF and you can just light the fire and zoom. But wait, let’s keep it real! Think real world every time you strap on an aero plane when you open the App. Run a check list in your mind or with an add on. At a minimum do a “walk around”, check the control surfaces, fuel check, calibrate then route plan prior to contacting ground or Unicom for taxi. These are rote action that will become indelibly fixed in your psyche should you matriculate to a real “left seat”.
Now the cautionary tale from a RW incident report:
I had a student meeting me for a lesson [early in the morning]. My student was running late, so I performed the preflight and got the aircraft ready to fly. It was cold out, so once I pulled the aircraft out I hopped into the aircraft to stay warm and let my student know where I was (newer student) and that the aircraft was ready to fly.
He showed up shortly after, and we got ready to go and started up and went on with the lesson. I had left the tow bar on the front of the aircraft nose wheel. I did not notice it or remember it at the time. The tow bar didn’t make any noise I could hear as it scraped across the ground, but looking back it did seem a little more difficult to steer than usual, but not enough to raise a flag. Not outside of the realm of possibility for a Cessna in my experience.
On takeoff I heard a bump that sounded like a door opening. I looked around, didn’t see anything unusual and continued with the lesson. We landed, and as soon as I looked in the back of the aircraft for the bar I immediately knew what happened. I called the Tower, they sent Operations to find the tow bar (it was on the runway), and then I went and told my Chief Pilot. I ordered a new tow bar for the aircraft and maintenance took a look to make sure nothing was damaged. No damage occurred.
Factors that I believe led to this:
- not getting a great nights rest beforehand
- I have a new job as a first officer, so flight instruction is now a side job, lack of consistency in instruction
- it was cold, so I rushed my preflight and hopped inside the aircraft to wait for student
- inconsistent chain of events (normally my student is with me for preflight)
- it was dark, sun was just starting to rise
Analyzing the event:
- steering was slightly abnormal, but still maneuverable with nose steering
- takeoff I heard an unusual bump
Had I correlated these at the time it would have been evident what had occurred.