Being Safe Around Airplanes

There are many things at and near aircrafts that can harm you and safety is key. In order to develop safety habits, there are several factors to keep in mind.

With single engine airplanes involving a propeller, the prop is probably one of the most dangerous components of the airplane. Although a beacon light should be on or strobe light flashing whenever the prop is spinning, it can be difficult to see the prop in motion which at any speed can be extremely dangerous.

Safety measures around the propeller during a preflight inspection:

  • Make sure the engine is off, the key is not in the ignition and is visible in plane sight.
  • Make sure the mixture control is idle cut off
  • Make sure the throttle is pulled back in the closed position
  • When moving the prop, do not use your fingers and use a flat hand instead

Safety Before Starting the Engine and Getting the Prop Spinning:

  • make a visual inspection to check for vehicles, people, animals or any other items around the propeller
  • Loudly should “Clear Prop” to alert any potential passerby’s to be aware that you are preparing to start the engine
  • Provided you do not hear or see any response, you should be clear to turn the key and start the engine

Although the engine may not be running, it is possible that the propeller could start if bumped with the ignition key in any position other than the “Off” position.

It is important to always remember to keep your head, feet, arms, hands or anything in the path of the propeller, especially when connecting or disconnecting a tow bar.

Seat Belt & Shoulder Harness

just like an automobile, the seatbelt and shoulder harnesses are required to be worn whenever you are in your seat with the aircraft moving. Many people believe that a good safety habit is to always have your seat belt latched anytime the engine is running.