All pilots must ensure that they place a strong emphasis on ground operations as this is where safe flight begins and ends. At no time should a pilot hastily consider ground operations without proper and effective thoroughness. This phase of flight provides the first opportunity for a pilot to safely assess the various factors of flight operations including the regulatory requirements, an evaluation of the airplane’s condition, and the pilot’s readiness for their pilot in command (PIC) responsibilities.

Flying an airplane presents many new responsibilities that are not required for other forms of transportation. Focus is often overly placed on the flying portion itself with less emphasis placed on ground operations; it must be stressed that a pilot should allow themselves adequate time to properly prepare for flight and maintain effective situational awareness at all times until the airplane is safely and securely returned to its tie-down or hangar.

This section covers the essential elements for the regulatory basis of flight including an airplane’s airworthiness requirements, important inspection items when conducting a preflight visual inspection, managing risk and resources, and proper and effective airplane surface movements including the use of the Airplane Flight Manual/Pilot’s Operating Handbook (AFM/POH) and airplane checklists.