Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Clear Prop Actually Means Something

That's either a really big prop or a really small Pitts.  Actually, it's both.  Hugh flies Unlimited in it (S1E).

We take safety more than seriously at IAC competitions and a student I had yesterday reminded me of a pet peeve - and for what are blogs if not pet peeves?

What good is yelling "CLEAR!" if the prop is turned before there's time for an answer from a surprised individual in front of the aircraft?  What good is saying it if not loud enough that someone in front of the plane would hear it?  Isn't that the point?  I sometimes say "hey, wait!" to a student right after they say "clear!" and guess what - most start the engine anyway because the key was turning even as they shouted out the window.

At IAC competitions we provide a "Starter" person who clears the area and signals the pilot before the plane is started.  If you don't have a Starter person, I strongly suggest waiting a few seconds to see if a surprised voice says anything from out under the cowl before turning the key.  If you don't think there's any possibility of that then stop looking stupid and yelling clear.  It obviously doesn't mean anything.

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