People think airliners fly themselves. This videos shows how much prep it actually takes to get an Airbus A320 in the air.
There is nothing more important when it comes to flying than safety. You need to be constantly ready and on the lookout for any problems that exist before taking off, and you must always have a plan and a level head in place in case of an emergency on the ground or in the air.
It’s a popular misconception that in this day of automation that pilots are nothing more than passengers with a computer override option. That’s just not true. Pilots are professionals with attention to detail more akin to a surgeon than a bus driver.
Safety is paramount
The only way a pilot can guarantee the safety of themselves and others on board is to follow the checklist! That starts by completing a preflight check in which the pilot (or copilot) walks the aircraft in search of any damage or issues, completes a visual check of wings and landing gear, and makes sure every switch is in the correct position prior to starting the engines. Once engines are started, they enter the dynamic ramp to safely guide their jet to takeoff all while completing additional checklists.
A deep knowledge of the aircraft
Another way to guarantee safety within the aircraft is by knowing the steps by heart but constantly referring to the aircraft checklists for backup. There are checklists for every stage of flight and every emergency you could ever imagine: from starting the aircraft, to taxi, to the takeoff and landing, all the way to engine failure and in-flight electrical fires. A checklist will guide you through each of the required steps to maintain your safety and make sure no important step is forgotten.
Here in this video by Planes Weekly, we get a great view of the takeoff in an A320. We notice that even these well experienced airline pilots are still looking at and using their checklists to guarantee the safety of those on board and the well-being of the aircraft. You’ll see a safety centered culture where each step is meticulously followed. You’ll also notice that the pilots know their aircraft like the back of their hand. What a great reminder and lesson to pilots of all stages of their career…if you want to be a pro, follow your checklist and know your jet. If you are a passenger, be sure to say thanks to the crew up front. The skills it takes to fly such a complex piece of machinery safely isn’t easy (or cheap) to master. They are pros.