Pilot's tip of the week

Engine Start at Night


Subscriber question:

"When starting your engine at night, are there any special precautions you should take?"
- Ryan M.


engine-start-night.jpg“Starting an airplane engine on the ramp at night can create a dangerous situation for other personnel on the ramp. In some cases where outside ramp lighting is poor, it can be difficult for personnel on the ramp to be certain of which airplane has started its engine strictly by sight or sound alone, particularly on a ramp with multiple airplanes parked in close proximity to one another.  Injuries can and have occurred when ramp personnel or passengers have walked into turning propellers, even during daytime.

Before starting your engine at night, be sure to visually clear the area around your airplane. This may require that you exit the airplane to inspect the area so that you can inform ramp personnel of your starting intentions and advise them to move away from your aircraft.

Additionally, before starting, be sure to call clear. Of equal importance, turn on your nav lights and rotating beacon so there will be no doubt as to which aircraft is preparing to start.”

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