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Rainy Night
05-31-2007, 08:00 PM
I really know nothing about airplanes... if I was flying a small plane, like a Cessna, how would I turn it on? Is it like a car, pump the gas and turn the key? I'm sure it's not that easy. It's not a major part of my story, it just needs to be authentic. Thanks.

wordmonkey
05-31-2007, 08:33 PM
Tell it it's sexy and you wanna cuddle on a beach at sunset, listening the waves, then kiss, then see where the evening leads.

(Sorry. Had to. Somebody would have anyways) ;)

johnnysannie
05-31-2007, 08:53 PM
A small private aircract - like a Cessna - IS actually about the same as starting a car with ignition and a key to start it.

Larger jets, however, don't even have that - just flip a few switches and you're up, up, and away (well, it's a little more complicated than that but there's no iginition switch or key)

alleycat
06-01-2007, 12:29 AM
Here's a Cessna 172 manual: http://www.okwg.cap.gov/form/Cessna_172S_Checklist.pdf Page three or four gives the preflight and starting information.

It sounds like a lot, but it's all done quickly. It takes maybe three or four minutes to do a preflight, less than a minute to start it up. You also do a runup check at the end of the taxiway One thing I always made sure to do during a preflight was to check the fuel level visually and to be sure the moveable surfaces were all free and clear.

The funniest thing when I was just learning to fly was learning to steer with my feet when it on the ground (the pedals control both the rubber and the front wheel). I was so used to using a steering wheel to turn a car that I was using the yoke the same way. Often an instructor pilot will make a new student pilot cross his arms across his chest while he taxis to the runway.

TheIT
06-01-2007, 03:36 AM
Is the character who's starting the plane an experienced pilot? If so, you might be able to skip over the full description. A friend of mine is a pilot for small planes, and he once commented that starting up the plane seemed like a very complicated procedure when he was learning to fly, but after a while he didn't have to think about it much at all. He knew the procedure so well, so he just did it.

alleycat
06-01-2007, 03:44 AM
Is the character who's starting the plane an experienced pilot? If so, you might be able to skip over the full description. A friend of mine is a pilot for small planes, and he once commented that starting up the plane seemed like a very complicated procedure when he was learning to fly, but after a while he didn't have to think about it much at all. He knew the procedure so well, so he just did it.
That's the way it was for me. After a few times, it all becomes second nature. It's really not complicated for a small plane like a Cessna.

The worse thing on a bigger small plane is fuel tank management. There have been quite a few crashes where the plane ran out of fuel . . . but there was actually fuel in one of the other tanks. The pilot got confused and didn't switch the tanks over.