General Information     Daily Inspection     Tug Equipment     Starting     Engine Ground Run     Taxiing     Refuelling
    Hangaring     Cleaning

General Information

  • It’s impractical to get the PA25 in/out the hangar without help, as it’s heavy and you can’t see much from the pushing position. Two helpers is best, one is the bare minimum.
  • Manoeuvring handles are low on the fuselage ahead of the tailplane – which means you can’t see one wingtip. Take care not to lean on the tailplane or fin when manoeuvring. The lower end of the struts can be pushed / pulled on (carefully). Wingtips are vulnerable to damage so take care through the doors.
  • The anti-collision light should be ON whenever the engine is running.
  • The landing light should be switched ON prior to flight.
  • There is no electric fuel pump.
  • The safest place for any loose objects is in the hopper. There is nowhere safe to have them in the cockpit.
  • The PA25 records the hours with the tachometer.
  • The winch has been deactivated.

Daily Inspection

Pilots must complete a daily inspection and this must be recorded in the Tech. Log before flying commences.

In addition, special attention should be given to the following items:

    1. Max Oil capacity is 12qts, but only fill to 8-9
    2. Tyre pressures are 25psi (Main) 50psi (Tail)
    3. Check strut fairing screws are not missing
    4. Check tailplane bracing wires are not slack
    5. Check tailwheel assembly is secure, straight and has no broken leaf springs
    6. Check the release cable is attached to the TOST hook, not the guillotine
    7. Check for cracks in tubes in tailwheel area
    8. Check for water at fuel strainer on lower firewall
    9. Check chocks are in hopper, then check hopper lid is securely closed

Tug Equipment

The standard issue of removable equipment for each tug is:

  • A rope – a spare could be carried in the hopper.
  • 1 headset
  • 1 clipboard for tug log cards and a pen
  • 1 hand fire extinguisher
  • The Tech. Log and airspace maps
  • 1 Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)


The aircraft should not be started where the slipstream would affect other aircraft or gliders or where debris could be blown over aircraft, gliders or buildings. It should be faced into wind and not facing downhill.

To start: Use the ‘Scan’ method and include the following;

Remove and stow chocks.
Check fuel by gauge and by determining amount of flying since last refuel.
Check seat position allows full control movement/access
Close doors, check both latches.
From cold; 5 pumps of throttle.
From warm; 1 pump.
Throttle slightly open, check carb heat 'cold'
Stick back
Set toe brakes - if when starting the aircraft starts to move, release the brakes.
Start, set 1000rpm (note - may need one throttle pump during start when cold)
Check oil pressure - it can be slow to rise.
Alternator ON
Strobes ON
4 mins warm up in cold weather.
2 mins in warm weather.

Note: It may be necessary to use a higher rpm for the engine to run smoothly particularly if ice has formed during cranking. Reduce to 1000 rpm when smooth.

Engine Ground Run

The time at which you do the ground run should be considered carefully. It should occur within a few minutes of flying. If you taxi out to the West run or North East run in anticipation of launching, it is very tempting to do the ground run when you get there, fine if you immediately start towing. If it looks like a wait of more than 10 minutes, you should shut down until needed. After start re-warm the engine, then do the ground run up (as shown below) and then the flight, at a pace to prepare the engine for full power. Taking off with a cold engine is a sure way to damage it. For SW run operations, don’t leave the parking area until you can see a need arising, then allow sufficient time to taxi across, warm the engine, carry out the ground run up and then start flying, this will avoid the need for an unnecessary shutdown.

After the engine has reached a reasonable temperature, the ground run up should be completed.

The PA25 has the same parameters as the Robins, but the carb heat should show a greater drop. Remember to keep the stick back. If the aircraft moves forward, close the throttle rather than standing harder on the brakes. DO NOT CARRY OUT POWER CHECKS FACING DOWNHILL.


Remember it’s a fairly heavy taildragger with an engine that is harmed by excessive throttle changes. Forward vis is good, but occasional turns are still required. Think about stick position; back going upwind, neutral or slightly forward going downwind (will require a firm push) unless there is more propwash than wind. Set about 1000-1200rpm once moving, don’t ‘hunt’ up and down with the throttle but do close it if you need to slow down, rather than brake against power. The high seating position can mean you are taxying faster than you think. Take great care on downslopes – try to take them at an angle and avoid braking. Start down them at low speed. Tailwheel steering is available, if differential braking is applied the tailwheel unlocks and castors. It will engage again once rolling straight. Only use differential braking if rudder/steering are insufficient, plan ahead so it’s not needed on downslopes.

Choose your route carefully and use only the smoothest areas of the airfield – standard routes can be viewed on the ‘Launch Points’ pages.


It is the tug pilot’s responsibility to refuel their aircraft when 22,000′ worth of towing has been completed.

Due to the height between the propeller and the ground, it is ok to taxi across the peritrack and up to the pumps. Ensure the electrics are off and connect the earthing strap to a metal part of the aircraft. Fill the tank to full – note, you will need to hold the trigger for the full time that you are fuelling – ensure the tank is full by looking into the tank rather than relying on the pump cut off.

After refuelling, stow the fuel pipe and earthing wire and record the uplift in the fuel record shed and tug card.

Once fuelling is complete, return the aircraft to ‘air side’ or to the hangar.

More information can be found on the Fuel page.


Care should be taken when either taking out or putting the PA25 into the hangar. It is larger than the Robins so extreme care should also be taken when manoeuvring the Robins around it.

The PA25 should be placed in the rear, left hand corner of the hangar, through the doors with the less slope.

Before leaving the hangar, update the Tug Status Board with the details from the Tech Log.

Tug Cleaning

Cleaning equipment is available in the tug hangar. Tugs should be cleaned of mud and bugs after flying. Canopies and propellers should be clean before flying.

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