Aerobatics - Safety Checks

In-Flight Saftey Checks

Before each aerobatic maneouvre, the pilot will carry out saftey checks to make sure it is safe to do the maneouvre or sequence of maneouvres.

These are remembered using the acronym HASELL.

H - Height

The pilot needs to check if there is sufficient height for the aerobatic maneouvre or sequence to be completed. This includes both height above the ground, and above any legal heights the pilot must recover by. For example, in New Zealand beginner aerobatic pilots must not fly below 3000 feet above the ground during any aerobatic maneouvre. Pilots who are qualified to participate in airshows are legally allowed to fly much lower during aerobatic maneouvres.

A - Airframe

The aircraft needs to be in a specific configuration for aerobatics. This includes checking the airframe integrity, and checking the flaps are retracted.

S - Security

This check involves ensuring that everything is securely fastened down, and everyone is wearing their seatbelts. Things like the aircraft flight manual, any papers and pens, and the fire extinguisher should be strapped down or placed in a compartment.

E - Engine

The engine needs to be checked to ensure it is ready for aerobatics. The engine needs to be warmed up, and all the temperature and pressure guages are checked in this phase.

L - Location

It is illegal to practice aerobatics in most countries while over a town or city. It is also not best practice to conduct aerobatics over cloud or on days when there are strong winds or low visibility.

L - Lookout

The last check involves a thorough scan of the surrounding area for other aircraft. During this check the pilot may conduct a slow turn to ensure all blindspots are also checked. Some pilots transmit their position and intentions during this check aswell. It is a good practice to make sure the entire area is clear of other aircraft.

What check has the pilot in this video forgotten?
Video embedded from YouTube 8th Oct 2009

Want to know more?

Aviation Knowledge - Aerobatic Maneouvres
Information about the types of maneouvres pilots can conduct.
Aviation Knowledge - Aerobatics
Information about Aerobatics in general, including about air shows, and air races.

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