General resources


Pilot responsibilities

Pre take-off

Listening watch CAR 243

When an aircraft is equipped with radio apparatus for use during flight, the pilot in command must maintain a listening watch—or must ensure that a listening watch is maintained—at all times commencing immediately prior to the time at which the aircraft commences to move on the manoeuvring area prior to flight. This will last until the aircraft is brought to a stop at the apron or other point of termination of the flight.

If communication between air traffic control and an aircraft under its control is a voice communication channel, the pilot in command and any other pilot for the time being operating the controls of the aircraft shall personally maintain a listening watch on the appropriate radio frequency.

Movement on manoeuvring area CAR 246

Immediately before take-off, the pilot in command shall manoeuvre the aircraft so that they are able to observe traffic on the manoeuvring area of the aerodrome and incoming and outgoing traffic, in order that they may avoid collision with other aircraft during the take-off.

Safety precautions before take-off CAR 244, CAO 20.2

Immediately before take-off on any flight, the pilot in command of an aircraft shall:

  • test the flight controls on the ground to the full limit of their travel and make such other tests as are necessary to ensure that those controls are functioning correctly
  • ensure that locking and safety devices are removed and that hatches, doors and tank caps are secured
  • ensure that all external surfaces of the aircraft are completely free from frost and ice.

Tests before and during the take-off run CAR 245, CAR 138

CASA may give you directions specifying the tests you carry out as the pilot in command of an aircraft before the commencement of, and during, a take-off run in order to be satisfied that the engine and associated items of equipment are functioning correctly within the permissible limits of performance.

Before and during a take-off run, the pilot in command of an aircraft shall:

  • carry out all tests required to be carried out in relation to the aircraft as above
  • test all flight instruments, and, in particular, all gyroscopic flight instruments, that it is possible to test so as to ensure that they are functioning correctly
  • ensure that all gyroscopic flight instruments are correctly set and uncaged
  • perform such checks and tests as are required by the flight manual, or other document, for the aircraft.

If an inspection, check or test made under the above indicates any departure from the permissible limits or any malfunctioning in any particular (not being a departure or malfunctioning that is a permissible unserviceability), the pilot in command shall not commence the take-off or, if the pilot has commenced the take-off, shall abandon the take-off or take such other action as the pilot considers appropriate to ensure the safety of the aircraft and of those on board the aircraft.

Pre-flight altimeter check AIP ENR 1.7

A pre-flight altimeter check is required at sites of known elevation and where an accurate QNH is available. An example of a known elevation point is at the runway thresholds at an aerodrome with a published departure and approach (DAP) procedure as part of the AIP. This may be found on the Airservices website.

The VFR altimeter accuracy requirement is ±100 ft or 110 ft at sites above 3300 ft.


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New rules come into effect from 2 December 2021 that cover the general operating and flight rules. We are currently updating this guide to reflect the new rules. A new version will be available to download from 2 December.
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