Aviation Sri Lanka 




Flight Operation


Flight Operation involves a number steps which you may not have been aware of. For your reference, they are listed at the bottom of this page.  However, this page is mainly focused on some of the important steps involved in Pre-Flight preparation.  These are namely,



Flight Planning


Collecting Meteorological information 


Route Planning


Fuel planning


Although all the above topics are interlinked, for the easiness of understanding, they are discussed separately in the subsequent pages. The theory of flight operation is described taking the example of a flight from Bandaranaike International Airport to London Heathrow. Therefore, flight planning, route planning, fuel planning, meteorological information and other flight data are presented according to the said VCBI - EGLL route.    


The sequence of above steps are not in order but flight planning and collecting meteorological information would come last in the list as there might be last minute changes to them. The figure shown below depicts the flight, like every other commercial airline flight, follows a typical profile.




1.       Preflight: flight checks, push-back from and taxi to the runway.

2.       Takeoff: powers up the aircraft and speeds down the runway.

3.       Climb: The plane climbs to a cruising altitude.

4.       En route: travels through one or more center airspaces and nears the destination airport.

5.       Descent: descends and maneuvers the aircraft to the destination airport.

6.       Approach: aligns the aircraft with the designated landing runway.

7.       Landing: lands on the designated runway, taxis and parks at the Apron.

Flight Control Center or Flight Service Station (FSS) provides information (weather, route, terrain, flight plan) for pilots flying out of airports. Trained personnel in these centers make possible the flight by dispatching these information to pilots and other parties involved in the flight.







           Plan the flight

           Prepare log sheets

           Compute fuel load

           Departure procedure reviewed

           Charts and docs at hand

           Set weather parameters /activate real weather



Pre-Engine start:

           Brakes set

           Nav points and frequencies checked

           Nav radios set

           Com radios set


Engine Start:

           Parking Brake Set

           Engine Area Clear

           Throttle Set to Idle (stick throttle!)

           Start Fuel Flow

           Start Engines

           Check Engine Operating Normally



           Flaps 1 (or appropriate)

           Check Control Continuity:

           Confirm Full Aileron Movement

           Confirm Full Rudder Movement

           Confirm Full Elevator Movement

           Get Taxi clearance (GND)

           Identify (squawk)

           Release Parking Brake

           Taxi to departure runway - set parking brake when holding short of runway




           Check parking brake set

           Check Set to Flaps 1

           Check engine operating normally

           Auto Pilot on (no service engaged)

           Airspeed set to 230 KIAS (or appropriate)

           Request Take off from Tower/Departure

           "Cleared to" altitude set

           Departure heading set

           Timer reset

           Taxi into position and hold



           Release Parking Brake

           Set power to maximum thrust (full throttle)

           @ V1 (Decision Speed) - go/abort

           @ Vr (Rotate Speed) roll gently

           Initial climb at 4-12 BA (Body Angle)

           Positive Rate Of Climb >500 ft agl. - Gear Up

           Retract Flaps:

           Flaps Two: see POH

           Flaps One: see POH

           Flaps Retracted: see POH

           Contact Departure


Post Takeoff:

           Engage Auto-throttle

           Engage Heading Hold

           Engage Altitude Hold

           Check gear up

           Check flaps up

           Check A/P Functioning Properly

           Head for filed flight plan



           Rate of Climb - see POH (Set to (see POH) for expedited climb.)


           250 KIAS under 10,000 ft.

           see POH for cruising airspeed above 10,000 ft.

           Increase throttle as needed to hold published climb airspeed

           Log Take off data onto log sheet




           Ensure On Course Navigation

           Log cruise data continuously

           Prepare landing by revising the arrival airport charts



           Get TIS(Terminal Information Service) for arrival airport

           Contact Tower (inbound)

           Set Auto-Throttle to desired airspeed

           "Cleared To" Altitude Set



           Approach Plate Out

           Approach Brief

           Missed approach Brief

           ILS Freq. Set (Once turned/cleared for approach)

           Check for traffic



           Spoiler Armed

           Fly published approach as briefed.

           Normal Approach Airspeed:

           see POH (Short Field Landings - see POH)

           Landing Configuration set at outer marker

           Gear Down

           Flaps Full

          EXECUTE MISSED APPROACH, establish a stabilized approach or deviate significantly from the ILS localizer and/or glide slope.




           Target Airspeed: see POH (Short Field Landings - see POH)

           After touchdown:

           Apply Brakes as needed to safely exit runway

           Exit Runway at 15 Knots or less


Post Landing:

           Flaps Ups

           Clear runway (and notify Tower)

           Taxi To Terminal/Ramp



           Parking Brake Set

           Flaps Up

           Spoilers Retracted

           Engines Off

           Log landing data




          Log into logbook (or  local despair logbook)

                  Log/Close your flight and don't forget to enter any aircraft relevant data




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