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FAA Guidance on 2021 Preflight Checklist for All UAS Aircraft

FAA Guidance on 2021 Preflight Checklist for All UAS Aircraft

The FAA has just released guidance on what an acceptable preflight inspection should consist of. This applies to both Part 107 and COA operations.

They indicate that if the manufacturer requires any additional items that those can be added to this list.

When the FAA says things like, “pilots may choose to use this checklist” what they are actually transmitting is this is the minimum of what they expect pilots to do.

Less is not more.

Here is the link to the checklist.

The checklist will create conflict for public safety operations since it will delay some immediate flights. However, all pilots need to remember that an absence of making sure your aircraft is in safe operation and ready for flight is not an excuse if an accident or incident happens. It is inconvenient, not unnecessary.

Here is what the FAA currently says about using this checklist:

“The remote PIC must complete a preflight familiarization, inspection, and other actions, such as crewmember briefings, prior to beginning flight operations (§ 107.49). The FAA has produced many publications providing in-depth information on topics such as aviation weather, aircraft loading and performance, emergency procedures, risk mitigation, ADM, and airspace, which should all be considered prior to operations (see Preflight Assessment and Inspection Checklist). Additionally, all remote pilots are encouraged to review FAA publications” below.

FAA Handbooks, Manuals, and Other Publications. You can find the following handbooks, manuals, and other publications on the FAA website.

But this checklist is not the limit of what the FAA should be considered prior to flight. They add more requirements the pilot must comply with as well. See the checklist for more details.

About Steve Rhode

Steve is an experienced and certificated UAS pilot and aircraft instrument-rated pilot. He is also the Chief Pilot with the Wake Forest Fire Department and North Carolina Public Safety Drone Academy. He is also a member of the FAA Safety Team.
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