Pre-Flight/Pre-Takeoff Checklists

January 2003

Recently, a Fly Baby builder preparing for his first flight asked if I had any pre-flight or pre-takeoff checklists.  I didn't...but got to thinking that folks might find them useful.  So here goes.

First, one precaution:  THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST OF ITEMS TO CHECK.  The intent is to list the what I think are good Fly Baby-specific items to include on your own checklists.  For instance, I'm ignoring the engine and propeller(mostly) because there's nothing really different between what you'd do on a Cub or Champ.  To generate your own detailed checklists, get hold of one from another airplane, copy it, then add these Fly Baby items to it.

You'll also need to add items specific to your own configuration, too.  If you've got a biplane or a canopy, add the appropriate steps.




Between a combination of tailwheel spring stiffness, tire condition, tire inflation, temperature, and taxi speed, the airplane sometimes starts bouncing up and down on its tires as it taxies along.  It's not dangerous, it doesn't affect control.  It's just an odd boing-boing-boing as you taxi merrily along.  It's like someone dribbling a basketball.

It is totally harmless.  I've never had it happen during takeoff run or landing roll.  It tends to occur when the tires are tires, freshly-inflated, and especially in colder weather.  If you get the "dribbles", just slow down or speed'll go away.


This is addition to your normal pre-takeoff checks...instruments set, engine runup, etc.  I'd do the above prior to the runup, so you have your goggles in place.

Ron Wanttaja

Note on Elevator Horn

The tailwheel is steered by a bellcrank bent out of flat 0.090" steel, as shown in Figure 6-6 of the plans (page 6-11 in my copy).  Several high-time Fly Babies have experienced cracking in a leg of the horn.  While the design is similar to the rudder horn, the rudder horn is flat and incorporates a bend at the leading edge to strengthen it. The legs of the Tailwheel Horn bend down at a 45 degree angle and thus can't incorporate a bend.

If you're flying a completed Fly Baby, keep an eye on this area.  If you notice cracking, remove the horn and weld up the crack, adding stiffeners as shown in the diagram.. If you're building one, go ahead and install a modified horn instead of the stock one.

Comments? Contact Ron Wanttaja .