Kicking the tyres on an Airbus A330

Published on 5th October 2016 at 14:44

Once the outside checks are complete, then it’s getting everything else ready for take off

Rain, hail or shine, you will always see a Qantas pilot completing a walk around of the aircraft before your flight.

It’s a crucial part of the pre-flight checks to ensure the aircraft is fit to fly.

Pilots will inspect under the fuselage, looking for any ice because at cruising altitude it can get as low as -50 degrees centigrade so any moisture in the air is likely to freeze.

Fun fact – aircraft wings and parts of the engine covers are heated. This stops ice building up as frozen water can affect aircraft performance and reduce the aerodynamics, meaning the plane won’t fly as efficiently.

In very cold places, such as New Zealand in winter, you’ll see aircraft being coated with a special de-icing fluid to make sure the plane is ready to fly. And there’s usually a Qantas pilot quite rugged up making sure the job is done right.

Next on the inspection list is a check of the aircraft tyres and landing gear.

The tyres must be able to absorb the impact of touching the runway at 250km/h as well as the enormous pressure of helping the aircraft come to a safe stop.  Watch here to see how we change a tyre on an A380.

The brake pads and hydraulic systems connecting the landing gear are also given the once over before the engines are inspected.

Then it’s back on board to run through the departure checklist. Watch Qantas A330 First Officer Tim Burton complete his checks below.

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