This paper deals with an automated preflight aircraft inspection using a pan-tilt-zoom camera mounted on a mobile robot moving autonomously around the aircraft. The general topic is image processing framework for detection and exterior inspection of different types of items, such as closed or unlatched door, mechanical defect on the engine, the integrity of the empennage, or damage caused by impacts or cracks. The detection step allows to focus on the regions of interest and point the camera toward the item to be checked. It is based on the detection of regular shapes, such as rounded corner rectangles, circles, and ellipses. The inspection task relies on clues, such as uniformity of isolated image regions, convexity of segmented shapes, and periodicity of the image intensity signal. The approach is applied to the inspection of four items of Airbus A320: oxygen bay handle, air-inlet vent, static ports, and fan blades. The results are promising and demonstrate the feasibility of an automated exterior inspection.