Part 141 Preflight competion

My friend in IL is going through part 141 training to move up the aviation chain.

How much of the following would you have caught on a competition on preflight? Never heard of such a competition until today.

From his email to me and my response below.

“Yep… they bug an airplane (an Arrow this year) and you have to find what is wrong with it. For the try-outs, we took one of our 172R’s and took the right brake pad off, took the gas out of the nose strut, put a rubber band around the flap push rod, loosened the prop spinner cap, stuffed something in the engine cowl over the cylinders, loosened up the instrument panel, turned the TC upside down, took a seat rail out, and marked several instruments inop. The trick is, you are told that you are going on a night VFR flight out of DBQ (tower is closed at night), so you do not report inop equipment that you don’t need for the flight… like a TC or transponder, those are marked as deductions.”"

"Oooh, I may have missed the loose instrument panel, seat rail if it was passenger seat. I definately would have failed the transponder not being needed, not thinking things all the way through.

I would have noticed the upside down TC on taxi, but not during preflight so that I probably would have missed. Missing brake I would have noticed for sure. Rubber band around the flap push rod, if it was the same color as the paint, I for sure would have missed that. After losing screws on the prop spinner before getting prop balance, I always checked that as well as missing screws."

Just how much would those reading this post would have missed, inquiring minds like to know.

My 141 school did a preflight contest as well at the annual profiency picknick. The thing they loved to do was reverse the colors on the Nav lights and put the red on the right and green on the left.

No body ever got that one!

The local pilots association sponsored them from time to time. Since the local part 61 FBO was an integral part of the association you could say they were drumming up business, if you were a skeptic. The one time I participated I found something they hadn’t “fixed”.