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Preflight and Checklists
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Items; ...Flight Preflight; ...Pilot Preflight; ...Experienced Advice...Aircraft Preflight; …Preflight after Maintenance; ..Risk; ...Landing Gear Checks; ...Tires as a Safety Factor; ...Seating; ...Cockpit Checkouts; … Key Elements of Preflight Planning; ...Checklists; ...NASA and Me on Making Checklists; ...Famous Pre-takeoff Checklists; ...Peace Sign; ...Preflight Options; ...Develop a Pattern; ...Pre-start/Start Checklist; ...Start/Post Start; ...Runup; ...Runup Pre-takeoff...Pre-takeoff Considerations; ...Pre-takeoff; ...Prelanding; ....Post-Landing; …Changing Terminology; Revisiting Checklist Making; …Emergency Checklists; ...Personal Minimums Checklist; …Caveats on Making Checklists; ...Mnemonics; Cockpit Management; …Checklist During Checkride; ...Checklist Use; ... Making an Aircraft Specific Checklist; …Checklist Complete Ready, …Ground ChecklistsGood to Go Questions; ...Aircraft Club 6-month Ground CheckAlarms; ...News Group Question on Checklist Use ...Survival Without a Checklist; ...DAY/NIGHT VFR LISTS; ...

--When self-fueling aircraft, always fuel the right side first and the left side second.. That way anything used, like a ladder will be visible when you go to get into the airplane.
|--If tanks can cross-feed set the selector to one tank before fueling.
--The Last item of a preflight checklist should also include a squat-test to confirm all tie-downs, tow-bars and ground objects are clear of the aircraft and its departure route.
---If you are running fuel consumption checks of a specific aircraft it is important that the same person do the re-fueling to the same level of fullness every time.  
---Learn how your tanks cross-feed or shut off the fuel selector to prevent
cross-feeding between tanks.

Flight Preflight
--A part of all ground preparation of a flight SHOULD include a review of the checklists to be used throughout the flight.

0)Draw out expected route to active runway.
1) Pre-departure briefing aloud
2) Review departure and route
3) Density altitude vs. runway available vs. runway needed
4. Acceleration distance to rotation
5) Wind shear conditions
6) Minimum safe altitude
7) Engine failure plan
8) Highest obstacle
9) Approach self briefing

FAR 91.103 refers to weather, airport data and POH information on aircraft performance. FAR 91.7(b) refers to inspection of aircraft condition for safe flight. If a situation exceeds your knowledge or experience, get expert advice.

91.203 Operation must be with appropriate and current airworthiness certificate and registration that is visible to pilot and all others.

91.3 The pilot in command is responsible for safe operation.
        Every time you look into a mirror, you see the person responsible for your safety.

91.7 Aircraft operation requires an airworthy condition. The PIC is responsible for determining if aircraft is capable of safe flight and what it takes to make it so.

91.9 No operations not in compliance with operating limitations of flight manual, markings or placards. Older aircraft do not have a flight manual so they must be as originally found on approved type certificate. Newer aircraft have manuals specific to the aircraft and serial number. The pilot must use such information to determine weight and balance as well as operating limitations.

91.103 The PIC must be familiar with all available information concerning a 

Pilot Preflight
I llness
M edication
S tress
A lcohol
F atigue
E motion

Experienced Advice:
--Play ... what if...
---Safety switch is...ON
----Be the best you can be.
-----Shortcuts can be lethal
------Efficiency is not a shortcut
------Shortcuts switch is ...OFF
-------Efficiency is thinking ahead
-------Only proficiency ... COUNTS
---------Complacently switch is ... OFF
----------Attention is at the edge of the seat...
-----------Know your airplane...know it well
-----------You always plan another a way out...
------------Play ground games... where to land?
-------------Your usual career is best left at home...
--------------Give every situation the 'common sense test'
---------------Read safety rules of flying rules...the FARs
----------------If it's not in doubt, you don't need to prove it.
-----------------Instinct is your enemy; calm reason wins every time.
------------------By controlling yourself you can control the airplane.
-------------------The pilot is the most unreliable factor in an airplane.
--------------------As a pilot you don't need to prove anything to anybody.
--------------------------Anticipate with your brain rather than react with your body
-----------------------The pilot who is not thinking two steps ahead is already behind

Aircraft Preflight
--Remove tiedown from left wing on arrival

--Take a guess as to wind direction and velocity from windsock. Your guesses will improve with time.

--Open both doors to the aircraft.

--Check time logs, fuel reading, fuel selector, electrical, flaps, trim setting, lights, belts, and interior

--Drain the left wing sump and put cup and oil rag on seat so that it will be available when you get to the other side. You don’t need to carry them all around the aircraft.

--Don’t pour the gasoline in one spot on the tarmac. By giving it a flip downwind it will evaporate in seconds. Better to have an environmental disposal

--Note setting of trim wheel and then trim tab. Discuss the effect that the trim setting could have had on the resulting landing. For a C-172 the trim setting tells a great deal about the aircraft loading during the last landing. For Pipers use identification plate on impinge to set stabilator and trim to neutral.

--Avoid being all ready to start the airplane, only to find that the key cannot be retrieved from the front pocket without getting out of the plane. Put key on floor in front of seat. On dash can fall into defroster.

--Preset seat adjustments and block into position to protect against unexpected seat movement.

--Carry your pre-flight checklist hanging from the bottom on a necklace. It allows you to have both hand free and is readily available just by looking down.

--Break oil cap loose with left hand but remove with your right. If you clean off oil between thumb and forefinger of the left hand you can wash oil off when you pull engine sump strainer. Propeller makes nice place to hang dip-stick while adding oil. Be careful.

--Discover the reality of P-factor by noting the horizontal propeller blade angles as tail is lowered to the ground. It makes clear the different control inputs required for left and right climbing turns.

--Rolling the tires 30-40 inches is a required procedure in preflight. Bald is beautiful only on flight instructors. At what point is a tire unsafe for flight? Get tires across cable, if any, to reduce initial rolling power required to taxi.

--Use overflow tube to demonstrate the wastefulness of having full fuel tanks in an airplane that is going to sit in the sun. Present real time airborne vs. POH figures.

Preflight after Maintenance
--Every aircraft component has a life cycle the end of which will require replacement.
--New means as originally built.
--Serviceable means within the allowable tolerances for continued use.
--Go over with mechanic all work done and evaluated
--Confirm that all work has been properly documented and endorsed by AI.
--Was 337 or STC needed and approved by FSDO
--Written record of changed parts, pressure values, instrument readings and standards maintained.
--Determine what you should look for and expect as check pilot.
--Use billing sheet to determine accuracy of written record.
--Use maintenance notes as guide to preflight procedure.
--Determine what you will do in your maintenance flight
--Pilot/owner becomes responsible party once out of sight.
--Confirm latest weight and balance papers.
--Aircraft papers must be visible.
--Take second party as recorder of data.
–Pre-takeoff and runup readings (warm-up)
--Vy initial climb readings
--Cruise climb readings
--Level cruise readings for power and airspeed
--Climb to altitude and level checks
--Cruise descent settings
--Arrival settings and instrument readings
--Post landing readings and shutdown.
--Pull cowling for final engine check for oil and security of accessories.

Some of us certainly wonder why so many pilots keep right on flying, knowing that the papers and TV are a constant reminder source of the serious risks involved. It must be because there is a factual discrepancy included in the 'official' cause that couldn't be determined. If the cause is indeterminate then pilots are unable to see how any pilot anticipation or preventive measures could have made a difference.

There is, however, very positive evidence that a careful and complete preflight is a powerful protective shield around subsequent flying activity. Preflights seem to work as they are supposed to. We are now ready to go through the preflight. Every effort is made to minimize the wasted time and movement about the aircraft while maximizing a through inspection. As though walking up to the C-150 for the first time we unchain the left wing. Note right main tire for yellow chalk mark showing that refueling has taken place since last flight. (This is so that we don't have to walk over to it again when we roll the aircraft tires for inspection.) We use a single key to open the door and place it on the floor below the trim wheel. (A single key is not as likely to result in an accidental turning off of the magnetos as is a key ring full of keys.) (Placing the key on the interior cowling has caused many a key to disappear down the defroster hole.)

Landing Gear Checks:
Brakes for fluid, leaks, wear, softness
Wheels for cracks and bolt security
Airworthiness depends on inflation
Low tires are likely FAA violation
Inflation and wear, cuts and flats
Use valve as clock measure (as place of tire damage)
Disks for rust and wear
Pads for thickness.

Tires as a Safety Factor
Tire wear is more related to abuses and under inflation than hours of flight. Heat is tire's greatest enemy. Under-inflation causes more heat and damage than over-inflation. Use aircraft inflation recommendation rather than tire maker's suggestion. Measure pressure only when cold. A new tire should be inflated again one day after installation because of stretching. System failures are more related to manners of use rather than hours of aircraft operation. An under-inflated tire bulges and covers more surface. Visually easy to detect this condition internally causes heat friction, which over a short time will destroy the tire. Over-inflation must be judged by becoming familiar with the surface covered with normal inflation and then judging accordingly.

Wheels are two halves bolted together. Wheel cracks are most common cause of wheel failure. Keep wheels clear makes cracks more visible. Do not brush wheels with stiff brushes or scrapers. Brakes are designed to dissipate heat without loss of braking effectiveness. The distance between the brake disk and the pad housing is a measure of pad wear. Soft brakes are indicative of air in the fluid lines. An aircraft that pulls to one side may be caused by a dragging brake. Any unusual brake feel or sound is a cause for concern.

A tire has a red dot as a balance mark indicating the lightest point. The tube has a yellow line on it that indicates the heaviest point usually near the tube valve stem. Proper installation should align these two markings.

Braking is most efficient in slowing the aircraft and minimizing heat when braking is sufficient to make the slowness if the wheels slightly less than the speed of the tire. The tire friction will produce drag without slipping. Excess braking will produce skidding and reduced braking effect. Most poor brake use occurs during taxi. Many pilots tend to taxi too fast and use the brakes instead of reduced power to slow and control the aircraft. The constant use of brakes during taxi creates the most damaging heat in the system.

Fuel may be ordered by radio using 122.95. This is the universal frequency used at airports with towers for Unicom services such as ordering a taxi or fuel. At CCR we normally use Chevron and call the truck as "Chevron one". If the truck fails to answer contact "Chevron Base". Give your location as "East Ramp Golf two Cessna 6185K". With the new aircraft cover you should check the logbook to ascertain if any remark is there that would make the aircraft less than airworthy.

Preset radios and transponder. Remove the control lock, turn on the master, check the fuel gauges, and say, "Clear flaps" before lowering the flaps. (Get fuel as necessary.) The "regulations" requires that a fuel gauge be accurate ONLY when reading full and empty. Open right door and get fuel sump cup. Drain and check fuel in left tank. Place sump cup in right seat. (You don't need to carry it) Check wheel faring (brake lines if visible), front and back side of left flap and antennas. Check empennage, horizontal and vertical stabilizer, elevator hinges and movement on left side. Remove tail chain. Check rudder hinges and movement. Check elevator (under side, too) and trim hinges and movement on right side. Check empennage. Check back side of right flap, front and back of right flap hinges, counterweight and movement. Wing tip and right leading edge. Unchain right wing, check underside of right flap and drain right wing sump. Return sump cup. Check right fuel tank and cap.

Check nose wheel faring, strut, and damper, inside engine compartment, loosen oil stick with left hand, remove with right hand, clean with left hand, re-insert and check for 4 quarts minimum. Pull fuel strainer with right hand and clean left hand with gasoline. Oil stick can be hung on prop blade while adding oil. (Be sure not to lose seal off lid of bottle into engine.) Don't make oil cap too tight. Check leading edge of propeller, spinner mounting plate for cracking, and cowling inlets. Make sure air filter is secure and intact. Watch for 'working rivets, those that have gray powder around them. Roll aircraft at least 40 inches to check tires. If diagonal cord shows in a smooth area the tire is unsafe for flight. Check static air hole, overflow, pitot tube, and stall warner. Don't blow into any aircraft instrument intake hole. Check left fuel tank and cap. Check left leading edge and tip. Check left aileron front back, movement and counterweight. Rocking the wings and gently moving horizontal stabilizers is a good way to pick up internal damage via sound. Do the 'squat test' to make sure everything is clear of the aircraft. The only difference in pre-flighting a C-172 is the luggage door and alternator belt.

The preflight requires the student to be aware of the possible causes of accidental propeller movement. That the key may possibly be removed from other than the off position. That the magneto can be otherwise grounded and allow a short movement of the propeller to start the engine. That, while there is no absolute safe way to turn the propeller, backwards is the safest. (Do not turn propeller of C-150 backwards). The only time you can have too much fuel is when you are on fire. From full tanks the maximum safe flight time of a C-150 is three hours. The tanks are full and the caps are tight only when checked by the pilot. No C-150 flight should be undertaken with less than four quarts of oil. Failure to monitor a radio frequency prior to transmitting as well as being poorly prepared to talk impinge on the flight safety of everyone. Poor use of the radio is the most common failing of the incompetent pilot.

Throughout the first preflight the instructor keeps up a running commentary into the tape recorder as to the why's, wherefore's and how to's for each check. On successive flights additional operational checklists are added. The first student effort is usually pages long. The second effort is more concise. For the third effort the instructor provides a twice folded 4 x 6 card cut half way through one fold. This card can be made into a compact but complete checklist covering all operations from preflight to shutdown. Arrows can be used below each list to indicate direction to fold card. Emergency list is in outlined red. Finally the pilot developed list is cross-checked with the manual approved one to make sure that all items are covered.

Where the student has previous flight experience the same process is used but the pilot is allowed to build on his experience. I feel it is vital that a pilot have his own personally developed checklist for every aircraft flown. Build on first learned skills and habits. The published and universal lists omit or rearrange the order of items so that mistakes often occur. The checklist must contain all items from the aircraft manual BUT there are many supplementary items of radio, transponder, leaning, taxiing, braking, and clearing that are not mentioned. Time is never wasted giving a careful preflight.

Confirm ability to get full use of rudder and brakes. Use cushions as required. Adjust so you can see instruments, over the glare shield, under the wing of Cessnas and below the aircraft. Don't sit where head movements are required to see instruments related to IFR control. Be aware that having to reach to rotate head can induce vertigo. Always confirm locking of seat rails. Consistent setting of the seat will make your flying more consistent.

Cockpit Checkouts
Pilots compensate for an aircraft cockpit poor design and layout. Experienced pilots, who have been exposed to more aircraft of all ages, are able to compensate better than the neophyte. Any pilot who first sits in a cockpit should make a mental and physical survey of controls and instruments. The direction things move are better when consistent with your past training. Some older VOR heads are read from the bottom not the top. Same with older heading indicators which are built like, and read like a compass.

All switches, knobs, handles, need to be checked for identification, operation, and function. The controls may obstruct at least one or more instruments or knobs. A gauge that is hidden or obscured is a no-fly consideration. It is not unusual to have one side of an instrument face be hidden from one seat or the other. Sit in the cockpit and confirm you know what every instrument, knob, and button is used for.

Many Cessna flap switches operate differently from year to model year
. Some aircraft only have brakes on one side of the cockpit. Others have only a yoke on one side. Breakers or fuses? Colored or not? Grouped or long rows of identical? Pull, push, turn? Warning lights or sound?

A cockpit layout that requires excessive head movements is not going to be safe for single pilot IFR. Older instruments have needles that give parallax reading problems. Seeing does not mean you can reach handles. I was recently asked to check a 285 # potential customer in a PA-28 by an FBO. We sat in the aircraft for nearly an hour just checking what he could see and do. He could not safely reach the fuel selector. Some switches require two-finger operation and a longer reach.

Your introduction to a cockpit is a good time to initiate a blindfold training sequence for night operations. Consider looking at how well the cockpit can be adapted to a flow pattern checklist for basic operations. The feel of a switch should go a long way toward telling you its function.

Key Elements of Preflight Planning
Preflight preparation and planning is the foundation of safe flying. The failure to recognize the importance of a comprehensive preflight is an invitation to in-flight difficulties. Primary consideration is the condition of the pilot. It takes only one 'risk element' to make a flight no-go.
0.5. Aircraft papers
--Airworthiness certificate
--Registration certificate
--POH or FM on aircraft
--Weight and balance papers

1. Charts
--The line on the chart represents true course
--The sectional has 8-miles to the inch so a ruler can be used to mark checkpoint distances from the straight-line
destination back to the departure either in 8 or 16 mile segments as desired. Quick and easy. Use visual
checkpoints to the left of course where possible and VORs left or right when the intercept angle is 60-degrees
or greater.
-- WAC charts are 16 miles to the inch.
--WAC charts have limited communications and airport information but are useful on longer flights.
--The use of out of date charts or WAC charts for local navigation is a hazardous practice.
--Any flight within the boundaries of an area chart requires possession of that area chart in the aircraft.
--Carrying a current AF/D will give you considerable information not available on charts.

2. Route
--The temptation to fly direct air routes is great. However, the economies of direct route often expose the flight to unnecessary hazards.
--Select alternate routes.
--Review minimum en route altitudes.
--Fly low to study terrain clearance. Use this knowledge when flying at night.
--By flying small ifr (I follow roads) or an airport vicinity route you increase your options.
--A slight bend in your route will allow you to avoid over flying high peaks, desolate areas or large bodies of water.
–Plan an airport vicinity route.

3. The Aeronautical Information Manual
--Answers most airspace questions

--Ask the FSS for all NOTAMS for the route you are taking. This applies to information for all NAVAIDS and

5. Weather
--What you are looking for is any information that will affect the go/no go decision

6. Navigation Log
--Computed from true course to magnetic course to compass course with wind correction angle to get true
heading to magnetic heading to compass heading for each straight leg of the route.
--get all NOTAMS related to navaids for the route. Put radar frequencies on chart of each area.

6.5 Avionics
--Confirm latest VOR check
--FCC station license
--Com frequencies in and squelch checked
--Navigational frequencies in
--ELT check within five after the hour

7. Flight Plan
--Filing is not required by FAR but it is both a good operating practice and to be expected on a PP checkride.
Along with filing you should know the proper radio procedures for contacting an FSS. how to open, extend,
make a position report, and all the methods to close a flight plan. The FSS often has difficulty handling a
DUATS flight plan. An FSS may have up to twelve different frequencies so you must know how to get the
proper frequency from a sectional. On occasion the transmitter frequency (122.1) will be different from the
VOR receiver frequency.

8. Aircraft Manual (Pilot's Operating Handbook)
--Here you will find the operating limitations, performance capabilities, normal and emergency procedures and many other performance suggestions. Considerable testing has been used to develop the takeoff, landing, distance, fuel consumption and weight/balance charts that insure safe operation. Knowing how to use these charts and V numbers is an integral part of flight planning.
--Know your aircraft performance figures for the planned route.
--Plan into every stop and departure for delays.
--Review the airworthiness requirements as they apply to the route and time of the flight.

8.5 Finding the Runway
--Airport diagram
--Planned radio call-up and request
--Taxiing speed and yoke positions

9. Takeoff Planning
–What to say and when to say it
–Clearing the approach and base legs for traffic
--The takeoff is the second most dangerous single phase of flying. The hazards of the takeoff extend from the inability or failure of the aircraft to perform, the deficiencies of the airport, the obstructions beyond the runway and the deficiencies of lighting or navaids used leaving the airport.

9. Gross Weight
--The takeoff distance and climb capability is based on data from the POH. Every increase in weight makes the takeoff longer and the climb rate lower. Takeoff distance varies with the square of the weight. Gross weight is defined as the empty weight of the aircraft plus its useful load.
--Gross weight directly affects stall speed and takeoff velocity

--A 10 percent increase in takeoff weight gives:
--A 5 percent increase in the speed needed for liftoff
--A 9 percent decrease in acceleration capability
--A 21 percent increase in required liftoff distance
--Any weight above maximum allowed gross weight makes the aircraft unairworthy
--A pilot who ignores or is ignorant of his takeoff weight is negligent.

9.2 Balance
--Any aircraft load must be arranged to fall within allowable center of gravity limits
--An improperly loaded aircraft out of the C.G. limits will have poor handling qualities.
--A forward CG can overload the nose wheel and cause an uncontrollable condition
--A forward CG will decrease performance
--A forward CG will make the stall speed higher
--An aft CF will decrease static and dynamic longitudinal stability
--A stall with an aft CG will be sudden and violent
--An aft CG will dangerously affect recovery from a stall
--An aft CG will allow the elevator to overstress the aircraft and cause structural failure
Out of balance is more dangerous than over weight.

9.5 Pre-takeoff Check
--Time check
--Mixture check
--Flap check
--Transponder code in and on

10. Altitude
--Aircraft instruments are calibrated under standard conditions for sea level 59 degrees Fahrenheit and 29.92 inches of mercury
--Density altitude is computed by correcting for pressure and temperature variations from standard
--Density altitude can increase takeoff requirements by 25 percent for every 1000' of elevation
--POH takeoff charts require you to use pressure altitude and temperature figures accurately.
--Air temperature and air pressure normally decrease with any increase in altitude
--Higher density altitudes reduce engine power, propeller efficiency and wing lift
--Density altitude is the combined effect of pressure, altitude and temperature.

--At high densities use the same usual indicated airspeeds. True air speed changes.
--Be sure to lean the engine for best power at density altitudes above 5000 feet.
--For best performance the air/fuel mixture must be properly leaned.
--Add 10% to your performance figures in high humidity situations.
--If ever in doubt about density altitude effects, stay on the ground.
--Humidity affects engine performance more than anything.
--Plan for early morning and late afternoon departures.
–Hemispheric rule en route altitudes

11. Wind
--A headwind that is 10-percent of your liftoff speed will lower T.O. distance by 19-percent
--Regardless of the wind the indicated airspeed for takeoff will be the same.
--Failure to select the proper runway is a major cause of takeoff accidents
--The same amount of tailwind will increase T.O. distance by 21-percent
--A 90-degree crosswind is effectively the same as a calm wind.

12. Runway
--If power loss occurs on takeoff, land straight ahead
--Manual information is for level, dry and hard surfaces
--Acceleration and braking is affected directly by surface condition
--Maximum runway grade and longitudinal grade change is 2 percent
--Dry short grass on firm ground requires 107 percent of book figures.
--A one-percent upslope raises takeoff requirements by two to four percent
--Runway length must be increased 20-percent for each 1 percent of upslope
--Each pilot must make his own decision but doubling is a minimum requirement
--Known effect of water, snow, sand, gravel, mud and grass is hard to determine
--An uphill into the wind takeoff is preferred to a downslope and downwind takeoff
--Runway gradient is maximum difference in runway centerline elevation divided by its length
--Any slope, gradient, composition or condition other than level, dry, and hard makes a difference

13. Ground Effect
--It is best to lift off in ground effect and stay close to the ground to accelerate
--Drag is reduced close to the ground due to restricted airflow around the wing.
--Ground effect makes it possible for an aircraft to lift off the ground and not be able to climb.
--Leaving the ground in ground effect at too high an angle means that the nose must lowered to regain
flying speed. With insufficient altitude to do this a crash is certain.

14. Radio
--Prepared departure, en route and arrival frequencies
--Prepared departure, en route and arrival what to say and when to say it.

The use of checklists prevents accidents. The most likely misuse of a checklist is when an interruptions occurs in mid-use. With two people the challenge-response process is best. Professionals use checklists.

One checklist development process is devoted to the flow of the list. The list starts at the top of the panel and works down, or left to right or right to left. The flow can even be a series of S-turns. Try to make your student checklist one that will flow with later and higher-performance aircraft.

I have always emphasized anticipation over reaction in flying. Correct use of the checklist is the first step in that direction. I have always believed that developing your own checklist is to be preferred to using the inadequate POH forms or the canned versions at an FBO. You are required to use the POH items but they seldom contain anything related to communications or airport procedures that might be a part of a self constructed checklist.

The development process begins by collecting all the possible items from the POH and a tape recording of what you do and in what order. You want to have available all the operating instructions and limitations arranged for ease of use and sequence of operation. You are seeking to develop a tool that ensures that all required and supplemental items are completed and verified. You are going to divide the items into elements that flow in an orderly manner.

Finally all of the foregoing must be ordered and reordered several times by the area of flight operation. Preflight planning, systems inspections, pre-start, start, taxi, runup, pre-takeoff, takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, pre-landing, landing, post landing, taxi, shutdown post flight check and post flight review.

The checklist is a guide of what but not how to inspect and prepare the aircraft for flight. This is an orderly flow of items that make doing the sequence of what must be done to fly an airplane possible. The more orderly and thorough your list is the more likely it is to both functional and used. A checklist, like a chart, should be kept current for the equipment involved.

NASA and Me on Making Checklists
--Laminate only after the fifth version
--'Killer items should come first on list.
--Your checklists should wear out from use.
--An excessively long checklist will not be used.
--Suggest breaking lists into air and ground divisions.
--'Killer items can be duplicated where list space allows.
--The reverse side should be your emergency checklist(s)
--Items should be grouped sequentially, for a given system,
--Your checklist must be as individual as are your oldest shoes.
--The preflight checklist is most convenient if on a neck lanyard.
--Use only one sans-serif font type for easier recognition. (Arial)
--Double space developmental checklists to allow insert of additions.
--Make a shorter 'killer' (Items that kill) list if just making a fueling stop.
--I have tried using 4 x 6 sized cards with one cut halfway to the middle.
--While it may be 'completed' in about five revisions, it will never be finished
--It folds into eight separate 2 x 3 'pages' for easy grouping and ordering items
--Phraseology with abbreviations is essential ingredient due to space constraints.
--Use an ordered sequence of colored borders or print for each grouping of items.
--It can clip to the yoke and not require the lowering of the head but only the eyes.
--Left to right and up to down is best direction. Avoid turns or reversals…start a new list.
--Last item on every list should be a verbal call that the (name of list) has been completed.
--Suggest using five item lists and use a different finger to touch each item while saying it aloud.
--Next ground lists include rollout, post landing, radio, taxi, shutdown, tie down, post flight check,
--Make a specialty checklist for situations such as short approach, short operations, soft operations.
--Use on/off; up/down; in/out; open/closed; lean/rich; high/low; number/number; and use actual status.
--Legibility of print requires the items be numbered, not bulleted, with the first letter of item capitalized.
--Make the lists fit what you actually do. Similar aircraft may have an additional item in distinctive color
--A 'flow' list that moves in one direction in logical order that helps you do things in sequence is easiest.
.--Memory can recall at least five items and up to nine. Seven item checklists allow for fatigue and hypoxia.
--Everything in the POH for your aircraft must be included. Consider underlining POH items or 'killer" items.
--After preflight major ground lists are pre-start, start, post-start, radios, taxi, runup, pre-takeoff, and takeoff.
--Airborne lists repeat takeoff, then comes departure, climb, level, cruise, descent, pattern entry, and landing.

Famous Pre-takeoff Checklists
C - Control: check for proper motion of ailerons and elevator with the stick or yoke
I - Instruments: check for proper readings
G - Gasoline: do you have some?
A - Angle of flaps
R - Runup: mags and carb heat
T - Trim
I - Interior: seat belts and door latches
P - Pattern: check for other aircraft

W. I. R. E.
(Before entering terminal area)
Weather, (ATIS)
Instruments, (Alt baro, DG set,)
Radios, (Approach, tower, ground, Loc, VOR),
Environment, (Traffic patter alt, DH traffic pattern, active runway.)

G. U. M. P. S
Gas (select tank or on both)
Under-carrage, (gear down)
Manifold pressure set
Prop on High
Seat belts on

After station passage during a full instrument approach

5 - T's
Turn (to outbound heading)
Twist (Adjust any Vor's)
Talk (announce outbound if needed)

Magnetic Compass Errors/Lags:
ANDS - Accelerate North, Decelerate South (when heading east/west)
UNOS - Undershoot North, Overshoot South (when turning to/from North/South)

West Coast Rail Road
...(Another before entering terminal area)
Compass (set the HI)
Radios (approach, tower, ground)
Review (the approach chart)

On entering runway:
Heading; set to runway
Attitude; final check of attitude indicator
Lights; on as required
Transponder; on and proper code
Timer; actually two timers, one for lost comm (expect higher in x minutes), one for tanks

Aircraft VFR Day
A nti-Collision
T achometer
O il Pressure
M anifold pressure
A irspeed indicator
T emp gauge
O il temp gauge
F uel gauge
L anding gear indicator
A ltimeter
M ag compass
S afety belts

Aircraft VFR Night
F uses
L anding light
A nti-collision
P osition lights
S ource of energy

Missed approach:
C - Cram it (throttle in)
C - Climb it
C - Clean it (flaps up, gear up, etc)
C - Cool it (carb heat off, etc)
C - Call it (ATC)

Boost pump & Brakes
Lights (on as necessary)
Engine (check gauges)
Seatbelts & Switches

ANDS = Accelerate North/Decelerate South
NAGS/SEADS = North Lags/South Leads

COWLS Check for forced landing in a field

HASEL Check for Stalls/Spins etc

ARROWJILI - For documents on board
Radio Station License (NO longer required)
Operating Handbook (POH)
Weight & Balance
Journey Log
Intercept Orders
Insurance (No longer needed I think)

Transponder codes
seventy five, taken alive
seventy seven going to heaven

I - Information
W - Winds
A - Altimeter
R - Runway

Runup/Ground Check
C - controls check
I - instruments set
G - gas (proper tank, pump on, etc)
A - attitude (flaps, trim, etc.)
R - runup

Before Takeoff
Lights - strobes, navs, landing
Camera - transponder (so ATC can "see" you)
Action - any other actions to be performed like boost pump on, control
checks, flaps and trim set, etc.

B - boost pump on
L - lights as required
I - instruments set
T - transponder on
T - takeoff time noted
S - seat, belts, doors secured

F - flaps set
L - lights as required
A - auxiliary fuel pump on
R - radar transponder on
E - engine (lean mixture for high altitude)

Climb and Cruise/Before Landing
G - gas (proper tank, pump on or off, etc.)
U - undercarriage
M - mixture set
P - prop set and/or primer in/locked
S - switches (lights, pitot heat, etc.)
*Note: add C in front of GUMPS for carb heat (becomes "Charlie GUMPS")

M - mixture set
P - prop set
G - 3 green (landing gear indicator)

4 C's
C - cram it (full throttle)
C - clean it (flaps up)
C - cool it (cowl flaps)
C-Carburator heat
C - call it (make radio call)

After Landing
F - flaps up
A - auxiliary fuel pump off
C - cowl flaps
T - transponder standby
S - switches (pitot heat, lights, etc.)

F - flaps up
L - lights as required
A - auxiliary fuel pump off
R - radar transponder standby
E - check for ELT activation after a particularly crappy landing

Securing the Aircraft
M - master off
I - ignition off
D - doors/windows locked
G - gust lock installed
E - ELT off
T - tiedown plane

Crossing a Fix/On Approach
6 T's
T - turn to proper heading
T - time hold or approach
T - tune/twist OBS to appropriate course
T - transition to proper configuration and airspeed (could also be "throttle")
T - talk to ATC
T - test directional compass by comparing it to magnetic compass

Nearing Destination Airport
W - Weather (AWOS, ATIS, ASOS, etc.)
I - instruments set
R - radios tuned
E - elevation (check final approach fix altitude)
T - timing to missed approach point
A - altitudes for decision height or minimum descent altitude
P - procedure for missed approach
*Note: VFR pilots can get rid of the TAP and use "elevation" to mean pattern altitude

Items in a Sequence
A PTA TEN Remark
A - aircraft identification
P - position (name of fix)
T - time crossing fix
A - altitude
T - type of flight plan
E - ETA at next reporting point
N - Next reporting point

Required Items to be Reported when IFR
H - holding (time and altitude)
A - altitude changes
M - missed approach
S - safety of flight (if anything affects it)
A - airspeed changes (of 5% or 10kts)
C - communication or navigation capability loss
C - climb rate (when unable to maintain 500fpm)

Before Takeoff – SPLIFF 4-Tango
S - seats/belts/doors secure
P - primer in and locked
L - lights as required
I - instruments checked and set
F - fuel on
F - flaps as required
T - trim set for takeoff
T - throttle up (check mags, carb heat, engine instruments, ammeter, suction)
T - transponder to altitude report
T - takeoff time - note

Climb – ATM
A - airspeed Vx, Vy, or cruise climb
T - trim (adjust)
M - mixture (lean above 3000’)

Cruise – MET LIFE
M - mixture (lean)
E - engine instruments (check)
T - throttle (set for cruise)
L - landing light off
I - instruments (check and set)
F- fuel on
E - elevator trim (adjust)

Descent – PHLEGM
P - power (adjust for descent)
H - heat (carb) on
L - landing light on
E - engine instruments (check)
G - gas (check on)
M - mixture (enrich as needed)

After Landing
F - flaps (retract)
L - lights as required
T - transponder to standby
C - carb heat off
M - mixture (lean 1" for taxi)
P - power (adjust for taxi)
L - landing time (note)
T - trim (set for takeoff)

ABCCCDDT (Sailplane Takeoff)
Altimeter - set to local
Belts - seatbelts and shoulder harness
Controls - free and correct
Canopy - closed, locked
Cable - hooked up, tested
Direction - winds, traffic
Dive Brakes - stowed and locked
Traffic - check with wing runner

ABCCCDDE (Sailplane Takeoff)
Altimeter - set to local
Belts - seatbelts and shoulder harness
Controls - free and correct
Canopy - closed, locked
Cable - hooked up, tested
Direction - winds, traffic
Dive Brakes - stowed and locked
Emergency - where am I going if the rope breaks here (<200AGL, >=200AGL)

ABBBCCCDDE (Sailplane Takeoff)
A-Altimeter Field Elevation
B-Ballast Installed if needed
B-Belts Buckled
B-Barograph Aboard and running
C-Controls Free and Positive Control Check
C-Cable Test Release - No knots - Weak Link
C-Canopy Closed and Locked
D-Dive Brakes Closed and Locked, i.e. Spoilers
D-Direction of wind and traffic, in case of emergency turnback
E-Emergency Land straight, or Turn back, or Enter the pattern

BUMPFISH (Airplane Landing)
Brakes check pedal pressure is there
Undercarriage select down, confirm down
Mixture rich
Propellor fine pitch
Fuel quantity,fullest tank
Instruments engine instruments
Seats upright and secure
Harnesses secure

Landing Light
Carb heat
Hatches & Harnesses

(Airplane Takeoff)
Gas - fullest tank
Attitude - indicator set level

CIGARTIPS (Airplane Takeoff)
Controls - Free and correct
Instruments - Nominal
Gas - on fullest tank
Altimeter - correct
Radio - on tower frequency
Trim - set to takeoff position
Interiors - doors and windows closed
Propeller - set
Seatbelts - fastened and passengers briefed

(Sailplane Landing)
Undercarriage - down
Speed - min approach + 1/2 wind
Trim - landing position
Airbrakes - deploy & check dive brakes
Lookout - for traffic
Land - on selected runway

WATTSS (Sailplane Landing)
Winds - check direction and speed
Altitude - proper
Trim - landing position
Traffic - position and clear of others
Spoilers/Dive Brakes - check, set
Speed (1.3 Vso + 1/2 Wind) - 60 + .5 wind

GUMPS (Airplane Landing)
Gas - fullest tank
Undercarriage - down and locked (welded)
Mixture - enrichen
Propeller - High RPM
Switches - Lights/Flaps/Belts

(Airplane Landing)
Cowl Flaps - closed
Gas - fullest tank
Undercarriage - down and locked (welded)
Mixture - enrichen
Propeller - High RPM
Seatbelts & Switches - Lights, Strobes set
Flaps - set

(Airplane Takeoff)
Controls - free and correct
Instruments - set
Fuel - both or fullest tank
Flaps - set for takeoff
Trim - set for takeoff
Runup - mixture set, mag check, carb heat
Seatbelts - on

THAT (Airplane Landing) Entering Runway for Departure, make sure you do - THAT
Time - record time of departure
Heading - first heading assigned (set manual ADF card to this as reminder?)
Altitude - say the first altitude to level at
Transponder - ON+ALT

TTTTT (5 "T"s, crossing any fix)
Turn - Turn to the outbound heading (begin turn).
Time - Begin timing (to know at any time how far you are from the fix)
Twist - Twist the NAV OBS and/or frequency to the next information to use.
Throttle - Consider if a throttle change is necessary for descent/climb/cruise.
Talk - Talk to Center, traffic, UNICOM, stating position and intentions.

C-MARTHA: performed as you begin an IFR approach.
C = compass check - set the DG to current compass heading.
M = missed approach - review published or record revised instructions from
A = airport altitude - be sure you know exactly how low you want to go.
R = radios - start with the audio panel and touch each instrument and be
sure you've got everything set up the way you want it.
T = time - check/set the time inbound from the FAF to MAP, find stop watch,
H = heading - check/set inbound heading for final approach (think about
wind correction, etc.)
A = altitude for DH or MDA decide on how low you are going to go (might
want to use a number that's real easy to see and will give you some
margin of error above the published minimums. E.g.: 1500 is lots
easier to see than 1470 and you get 30 feet in case of turbulence,

GUMPSICLE (Airplane Landing): not a POPSICLE, a GUMPSICLE
Gas - both/pump/fullest
Undercarriage - Gear and Flaps
Mixture - forward
Prop - forward
Seatbelts & Shoulder Harness - secured
Icing - typically the call is "delayed", until reduced power
Cowl Flaps - open
Landing Lights - on
Emergency - if emergency... think! What are my plans right now?

(Airplane Engine out Emergency Check List):
ZOOM - the plane, set best glide, start scan for set-down
Icing - carb heat vary
Fuel - pump / selectors / gauges
Mixture - rich
Oil - temp and pressure
Spark - left / right / both
Throttle - vary

How to put down a WWII fighter, off field: (just thought you wanted to know)
4 "G"s (WWII Fighter Landing)
Gear - down
Gas - off
Glass - open canopy
Grass - land on the grass

6-Ts (IFR, a Change of direction or altitude)
Twist (Tune)

PTA-EN (IFR sequence for required position reports)
Estimated time to next fix
Next fix beyond that.

PATTEN (IFR sequence for required position reports)
Position (i.e. location)
Type (of flight plan)
Estimated time of next position report
Next point that will be reported

(Airplane, Post Landing, clear of the active)
Carb Heat
Flaps (Wing)
Flaps (Cowl)

TITS (Airplane Instrument departure... at Takeoff)
Time - note time off
Instruments - set
Transponder - set squawk
Seatbelts - on

TITS (Airplane Instrument departure... at Takeoff)
Tune - set radio frequency
Identify - confirm station identifier
Test - instrument operational (NAV / OFF flag, needle motion, etc)
Set - gyros, heading indicator, etc

STT (An emergency in anything... consider:)
Skin - Safety for yourself/passengers/others
Tin - THEN the plane
Ticket - THEN the FAA

CBART (Sailplane Takeoff, "waiting for a towplane" checklist)
Controls - free and correct
Belts - Seatbelts fastened, adjusted
Altimeter - set to field elevation
Radio - on, frequency, volume, squelch
Trim - set for takeoff

ABC (Sailplane "departure imminent" checklist)
Antecedent - Check towrope and hookup
Brakes - close and latch dive brakes
Canopy - close and latch

CISTRC (Sailplane Takeoff)
C - Controls
I - Instruments
S - Straps
T - Trim
R - Release (ie put rope on and check release)
C - Canopy

SWAFTS (Sailplane Landing)
S - Straps
W - water and wheel
A - Airspeed (ie figure out your circuit speed)
F - Flaps
T - Traffic and Trim
S - Spoilers (ie do they work)

TWAGS (Sailplane Landing)
T - Traffic and Trim
W - Wind
A - Airspeed (ie figure out your circuit speed)
G - Gear (Down)
S - Spoilers (ie do they work)

CHAOTIC check (Sailplane takeoff):
C - Controls - First control check is done outside the canopy.
H - Harness
A - Airbrakes (Dive Brakes)
O - Outside
T - Trim&ballast
I - Instruments
C - Crew & Controls again

CHAOTIC check (Sailplane Takeoff):
(we checked the release before climbing into the airplane).
C - Controls - free and everything moves in the _correct_ direction
H - Harness - snug and secure
A - Altimeter - set to field altitude
O - Outside - check the pattern to be sure you're okay
T - Trim - full forward (adjust once in the air)
I - Instruments - check the panel that everything is still cool
C - Canopy - closed and locked
Just before takeoff:
O - Outside - check the pattern to be sure you're okay
C - Controls (rudder last, as you fan the rudder to signal ready for takeoff)

I'M SAFE (Pilot self-preflight check)
I = Illness - do you have any symptoms?
M = Medication - what have you taken lately?
S = Stress - any job, family, financial or health worries?
A = Alcohol - any within 8 hours? Within 24 hours?
F = Fatigue - do you feel rested?
E = Emotion - are you mentally prepared for flight?

DEATH (Pilot self-preflight for exhaustion and debilitating circumstances)
D - Drugs
E - Exhaustion
A - Alcohol
T - Tobacco
H - Hypoglycemia

The crew queries canopy and dive breaks locked - it must be confirmed - then
informs of other traffic in the area and checks the tail dolly.

The crew hooks on, confirming ring size (TOST rings).

If it is the first launch for this glider, do release check and hook on again.

Crew on outside wing (i.e. out on runway) to run the wing gives signals, once
the thumbs-up is given by the pilot.

Signals are under-arm wave to take up the slack, over-arm wave to go.

The pilot drops the thumbs-up as soon as the aircraft is moving, to give quick
access to the release controls.

AVIATE for maintenance requirements..
A - Annual inspection
V - VOR check. Required if the plane is to be used for IFR, has to be done
every 30 days, can be done by the pilot.
I - I00 hours (100) If the plane is to be used for hire
A - Altimeter/Pitot-static system check. Every 24 calendar months
T - Transponder. Every 24 calendar months
E - ELT. Battery must be replaced every half-life of the battery or 1hr of
cumulative use.

G gas
U undercarriage
M mixture
P prop pitch
B brakes (see recent post about loss of brakes on the runway!)
L landing light
E engine gauges
S seat belts & harnesses (passengers too)

CRAFT - IFR clearance and readback is in this order:
C - Clearance Limit _____
R - Route ________________
A - Altitude _____________
F - Frequency ____________
T - Transponder __________

Instruments required for IFR flight.
G enerator
R adios (nav and com)
A ttitude indicator
B all - slip indicator
C lock (dash mounted)
A irspeed
R ate of turn indicator
D irectional gyro
(D) ME for above 24000 feet.

Paperwork needed onboard.
Airworthiness certificate
Operating limitations (placards)
Weight and balance.

VFR equipment
Tach, Oil pres, manifold pres, airspeed, temp gauge, oil temp, elt, fuel gauge, landing gear position lights, altimeter, magnetic compass, emergency equipment, safety belt/shoulder harness

FLAPS vfr night -
fuses, landing lights, anticollision lights, position lights, source of power

Peace Sign
Holding a Cessna throttle with an upright Peace Sign will allow you to hold on to the friction lock mount and the throttle at the same time. This will allow you a handhold to keep the seat from sliding back as it is prone to do.

Preflight Options
-- Doing all that needs doing well and efficiently means that every item is sequenced for a minimum of body, head, hand movement and time. Try to develop a flow pattern checklist for the procedures that remain constant for the aircraft. Arrange and rearrange the items into sequences and groups that flow the way you flow. Then give each item a finger in your sequence that will be used to touch each item as it is checked.

Develop a Pattern
1. Arrival

Consider getting the servicing of the aircraft completed the night before or phone before leaving for the airport. Check the tires while walking to the plane. Check the wind sock and traffic pattern while driving into the airport.
2. Cockpit
Leave the baggage door unlocked since it makes an excellent emergency exit.
-- Place the keys in plane sight on the floor or hanging off the compass. Check the aircraft to Arrange and rearrange the items into sequences and groups that flow the way you flow. Then give each item a finger in your sequence that will be used to touch each item as it is checked.
3. Exterior
Check antennas for corrosion, cracks and security. Knock on spinner and propeller to confirm that sound remains the same. Changes in sound would indicate cracks.
4. Prestart
For some aircraft this would begin with (1) prime since several minutes may be required to allow fuel to spread through the intake manifold. Do not make this list a how-to-do list. (2)Seats, belts, doors , (3) Master, pump
pressure, gauges (4) Mixture, Prop, Throttle, C. H. (5) flaps (2)
5. Taxiing
Check attitude indicator, turn coordinator and heading indicator.
6. Runup
Check VOR sensitivity (10 degrees to each side of center both TO/FROM.
ADF selector switch to ADF.

Pre-start/Start Checklist.
Once in the aircraft we begin the pre-start tape recording. Seats, doors, window open, belts. FAR 91.107 requires the pilot to brief all passengers on how the seat belt and harness operates this may be done via an series of questions or an informational card. The passengers must be advised to buckle up before the aircraft moves and again before takeoff and landing. FAR 91.105 requires the pilot, a required crewmember, keep his belt fastened at all times. The shoulder harness need be fastened only during takeoff and landings if other duties at other times require its removal.

Two people of aggregate weight below 170 pounds may use one seat belt. Under such usage the likelihood of injury is much greater. As of 1992 child seats were approved and must be labeled as certified for use in aircraft. This is in addition to the allowing of holding, outside of the belt, children less than two. The requirement that passengers have seat belts available and used on takeoff applies to parachutists.

FAR 91.107(3) states that seat belts and shoulder harnesses are required for all occupants during takeoff, landing, and movement on the surface. The FAR is unclear in this regard since requiring the belts to be available is not the same as requiring that they be worn. The PIC is not required to make occupants wear belts. The government-gods are crazy.

I require my students to advise me of my belts. (It is surprising how often my door seems to open on takeoff when student has failed to call it from a checklist.) Key in. (Amazing how often the key is in the pocket beneath the tightened seatbelt.) Check trim, radios set, Carb heat cold, and mixture rich. Prime. In cold weather it helps to give the primer a squirt or two during the preflight.

Seats/belts/doors/window "Clear" 800 rpm Brake check
Radios set/Brakes Brakes on Flaps up Heading set
C.H./Prime/Mixture/Pump Radios Off Lean 1" Wind direction
------Key/Master/ Start ATIS on Dive away
.................................................................... Oil Pressure Climb into
ATIS copy

Start/Post Start
Make several dry-run engine starts on the tape recorder to develop the checklist. Emphasize used of the left hand all the time holding the mike. The right hand remains on the throttle unless using radios. Try adding a pencil in the right hand. There is no reason holding such objects in either hand needs to interfere with the use of these hands during flight operations. Later on, this ability will become a very valuable asset.

After priming, hold the brakes, set the throttle for 1/4 inch in, yell "clear", look to both sides of the aircraft, and turn the key to start. The position of the forefinger on the throttle is used to index the power at start at 800 RPM. If the engine has not started by the time six blades have passed, stop cranking. Review your starting procedure and try again. As soon as the engine has started reach over with your right hand and close the window. Leaving the propeller blast through the open window to make a draft of cold air on the instructor's neck will not improve an already questionable personality. Avoid initial rpm higher than 800. This initial start is without oil pressure or lubrication and rpm should be kept low. Turn on the radio and listen to ATIS while confirming oil pressure, amps, and suction.

Use the Prestart, Start, and Post Start lists during each dry run. Show the student that an alternative for quick checking of a few things can be with fingers. A different finger for each item. Thumb for beacon, index for radios, middle for flaps, ring for oil pressure and little for leaning.. Show how the throttle settings can be 'indexed' by holding index finger on the friction lock of Cessna aircraft. Don't make the final start of the engine until you have practiced the radio work.

Use a run-up checklist. Always face the wind. (Engine cooling is the reason.) We are not teaching a flying career made only of C-150s. We should teach with the C-150 the procedures that will follow over to high performance aircraft. An efficient runup should take only a minute or two at most. When checking controls your thumb always points to the up aileron. Index with your finger how much throttle will give the desired RPM. Learn the sound/feel for 1700 and 800 to save time. An airplane is just a expensive to operate on the ground as in the air.

Check your controls with the 'thumbs up' technique and multiple head movements. The left thumb up always points to the up aileron and the head turn confirms both an up and down aileron. Elevators are confirmed up and down and rudder left and right.

The right hand remains on the throttle while the left locates and touches the ampere meter and suction. Touching the item on the checklist is an insurance confirmation for the observer. (examiner)) The power is indexed to 800 rpm by feel and sound. (Instructor covers tachometer.) Flight instruments and set and checked. A frequent error is in setting the heading indicator with the compass.

I teach indexes for throttle position. From idle at 800 rpm, the throttle held in the palm of the hand and the index finger moved back the length of a fingernail. Throttle is moved in until finger tip touches throttle clutch. This should give the 1700 rpm required for the magneto check. Repeat this exercise several times. Student should learn to do this by sound and feel. (I have had several instances where this kind of operational knowledge of position and sound has changed emergency into routine.) This indexing skill should be taught for both power settings and power reductions.

I present magneto checking as a smooth switching via count as 1-2, 1-2, 1,1 with the eyes focused on the tachometer to note rpm drop and difference. Some pilots tend to leave the engine operating on one magneto overly long. It only takes a moment to check. The hand moves to and pulls and pushes the carb heat while the eyes note drop when on and recovery when off. If, during runup, you should accidentally go to OFF fully retard the throttle before turning magnetos back on. This prevents after-firing that can and will damage the exhaust system. It will blow any carburetor ice out in an emergency, however.

Knowing the airport altitude is an additional aid to knowing the altimeter setting. The best altimeter setting is from an accurate copy of the ATIS information.

A good run-up should take only two or three minutes. Any longer is indicative of inefficiency or poor checklist techniques. Some pilots use a finger-count method to keep items in order. Others work systematically across the panel. Use whatever works best for you. Using 'cockpit' checklist is just about the worst thing you can do short of not using a list at all. Dry run the next radio call up procedures until they come out smoothly, accurately, and completely. Discuss the taxiing, clearing turn to be made to check for aircraft on base leg and climb out departure plan. No turn over 30 degrees should ever be made without both looking and saying "clear".

Into wind Flap/(Pump)
Controls Trim for climb
Mixture/RPM Freq/vol/xpond
Mags/C.H. Time Ck
Suction/Amps Departure
RPM 1st CkPt
Instruments Course
Radios set Time

Pre-takeoff Considerations
1. Gross Weight and Center of Gravity

Gross weight is the empty weight plus useful load. You must check the POH to see if empty weight includes oil but it always includes unusable fuel. Useful load includes useable fuel, (oil?), passengers, and luggage.

Gross weight directly affects stall, takeoff speed, and maneuvering speeds. An improperly loaded aircraft will have undesirable flight qualities. If you have doubts or don't know, refer to the POH. The Va, maneuvering speed decreases as aircraft weight decreases.

2. Density Altitude

Density altitude combines the effect of pressure altitude and temperature. This affects engine power, propeller thrust, and the speed/distance required to create takeoff list.

3. Wind

A headwind will reduce takeoff roll. A tailwind will increase takeoff roll. Regardless of the wind you always fly indicated POH airspeeds. A 90-degree crosswind does not affect takeoff roll distance. Liftoff during takeoffs in gusty wind conditions should be done at Vso + 5.

5. "What if... Planning

See Takeoff Emergency

Radio frequencies are changed and monitored before call up. The transponder is activated, gauges and instruments are scanned. Outside the aircraft is cleared. The EMERGENCY checklist is positioned. Practice the radio procedure for completeness, brevity, and smoothness in its entirety until it comes out in the correct order without pauses of punctuation. Then the frequency is checked and the call made.

Type of entry
Pattern altitude
Go-Around procedure

Once on the ground, Do not relax! Hold the yoke back and properly positioned for taxi. For any turns off the runway the yoke should be repositioned. The flaps should be retracted prior to any brake application. You are not clear of the runway until you cross the hold-bar. ATC will normally advise you to contact ground. During any delay you should continue to "clean up" the cockpit. This would include removing flaps, carburetor heat; turning off the strobes, unnecessary lights, transponder and leaning the mixture.

Changing Terminology
Written test is now a knowledge test.
The flight test is now the practical test
Judgment is now aeronautical decision making
Cockpit resource management (CRM) is now crew resouce management (CRM)
Biennial Flight Review now (has been) Flight Review
Uncontrolled airport now non-tower airport
Flight instruction and dual is now Flight training
Ground instruction is now ground training
Historic Terminology
Artificial horizon is now attitude indicator

Revisiting Checklist Making
---Preferred general aviation practice is to use a flow pattern followed by checklist confirmation.

---Checklists must include every item in POH
---Every aircraft requires its own checklist adapted to the pilot’s procedures.

---A checklist is a reminder-list not a to-do list.

---Check the checklist is the last item of every checklist.
---A different flow and checklist is required for every critical flight situation.

Emergency Checklists
Emergency Flow Checklist
A flow checklist allows you to sequence what you do according to its position in the cockpit.
A flow checklist can be extended logically
A flow checklist can do the essentials first
A flow checklist is not a 'do' list.
A flow checklist prevents omission
A flow checklist is quick to learn and quick to complete
A flow checklist must be practiced

Sample Flow List

--Best glide and site selection
--Engine restart: Fuel selector first,
--Carb heat

Crash Landing
Fuel Selector

Engine Fire
Secure Engine (As above)
Master Switch
Air Vents
Cabin Heat

Engine Failure
FLY airspeed
FIND airport
FIX problem
FLEE aircraft



Avoid Class B and C
Land Class-D or non-tower

Slow down
Pitot Heat
Carburetor Heat

Collision Avoidance
Move head not eyes
Off center looks

Wake Avoidance
Fly upwind
Fly over
Land after
Takeoff before

The ABCDEF(G) Emergency Checklist:
A - Airspeed -- Attain best glide and trim for it.
B - Best field -- find it and aim.
C - Checklist -- (Right to left in Cessnas: Fuel, Mix, Throttle, Mags, Primer)
D - Distress -- Transponder 7700, Radios 121.5: MAYDAY!
E - Extinguish -- Fuel off, Mix full lean, Throttle idle, Mags off, Master off
F - Freedom -- Prepare to get out. Unlatch doors and protect face if possible
G - God -- [optional] Ask for some help.

Personal Minimums Checklist
Pilot: currency of experience
Takeoffs and landings
Hours in make and model
Instrument approaches and hours
Pilot: Physical Condition
Aircraft: Fuel reserves-performance-equipment
Environment: Weather conditions
External Pressures:

Caveats on Making Checklists
I have always used a tape recorder to help my students make their first edition of a checklist. The first edition of five or more revisions to follow. Each revision improves the writing and organization. The idea is to provide a safety tool that is both useful and used. The checklist is not a 'how to do' and procedures listing. Rather, it is a reminder list that requires touching, saying, and perhaps moving. This type of list works well in developing challenge/response lists for dual pilot coordination training. A list should be customized for the aircraft and pilot(s) to make flight operations as simple as possible. Only time-critical items or lists should be memorized.

I have found the full 8 x11 sheet inconvenient. If this is a checklist that is not used for just one aircraft I want it to be multifold to fit into my shirt pocket and small enough not to block my view of the panel when clipped to the yoke. Size changes tend to be larger at first and smaller upon revision. As size decreases lists tend to increase, as aircraft become more complex. Better to stick with the KISS principle. Keep it simple stupid.

The type format should be simple and clear with the first letter a larger font in bold for easier visual recognition. The larger first letter helps if it forms a mnemonic with the others in the topic. The items are listed for importance and flow position on the panel and grouped by major topic. The POH checklist items must be included in every checklist for technical/legal reasons. Find a way to group required items first and nice to have items into empty slots. Use actual numbers and positions as part of your wording. Keep the order of things sequential and logical.

The major topic areas consist of preflight, prestart, start, taxi, run-up, pretakeoff, takeoff post-takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, pre-landing, landing, post-landing, shutdown, post-flight, and emergency. Begin using the POH major topics and subdivide to limit the topics to sections of no more than seven items. And preferably only five. These numbers lend themselves to both topic and flow pattern organization. One additional item at the end of each list should be the completion check.

There is nothing wrong with duplication of items under following topic areas since it provides additional assurance. The flow checklist is limited due to the almost random organization of the aircraft instrument panel. Special consideration must be given to items that will not 'flow'. The more complex a checklist, the more important it is that the conditions of its use be as sterile as possible. Do not disturb the user of the checklist during his appointed rounds.

This is one of the little understood ADVANTAGES of mnemonics. Once you are certain that (the mnemonics provide this certainty) you can remember the facts, you are able to review them at any time -- you can "look the facts up" within your own mind.

This certainty frees your mental processing power to work on the situational and contextual aspects instead of struggling to merely remember the 'factoids'. Properly used, references and cheat sheets, increase your actual or at least effective intelligence this way. Mnemonics is just a method for transferring the "checklists and cheat sheets" from real paper to 'mental paper.'

The biggest advantage is that you can now review these lists while doing other (mundane) tasks, like waiting for stop lights, showering, or even during an emergency if you need the info.
Herb Martin

Cockpit Management
When it comes to cockpit organization it is best not to try and keep track of too much in too many places. A well designed long and narrow clipboard will serve double duty because it can be flipped over. Being narrow it does not interfere with the yoke. Clips, velcro, post-its and rubber bands keeps everything in place and flexible. A post-it pad lets you write and then put the sticker where it can be used and discarded. The narrow clipboard can be held up as needed to read items while over the top you can watch the instruments. Timing is done off the dash or yoke. Approach plates are clipped to front and back of a plastic pad that can be lifted to read from the clipboard.

Checklist During the Checkride (Opinion)
If you are really worried about it for cruise and descent, etc. Then simply call for him to open the appropriate checklist and ask if he would read off the items to you (not emergency boldface stuff)

I used my DE for that on my private, and there was no issue with it. He did ask why and I said I didn't want him to become bored upstairs, so I was giving him a job =)

He can't hurt you for that either (at least mine didn't), and it shows you are developing some CRM skills. You may even earn points (so to speak).

Now, of course if it comes to emergency checklists, you should have your boldface procedures memorized, if asked and you can rattle off those bold items, then say I then hit the checklist to follow up, you will also do fine.

Bottom line, if the usage is not required, or necessarily required, then you cannot be hit for not using it.

Checklist Use (Opinion)
Opinions about checklists vary widely. You will even occasionally read articles in aviation magazines where the authors will recommend not using them! My own rule about checklists is that they should be used as checklists, not "do" lists. One of the things that you start to run into when moving into more powerful engines such as turbines is that you will find that there is not time to look up an individual item on the checklist, perform that item, look up the next item, etc. Doing so is a good way to burn up an engine or fly into a mountain. But you still have to cover each item on the checklist. In fact, most people do more items than are included on the checklist, especially during preflight and engine runup. So what do you do?

Well, I set up flow checks. I move around the airplane, the instrument panel, the controls, etc. in a logical and orderly way. When I have completed a procedure, I refer back to the checklist to make sure I haven't forgotten anything. It is not always necessary to do things in the same order as the checklist calls for them. For example, during the engine run-up on the Cessna 172RG I check all the gauges in order of their placement on the panel, do the mag check, the carb heat check, then the prop check. Then I idle the engine and refer back to the checklist to see if I forgot any part of the run-up. When I review the checklist I touch each item that should have been checked. Where possible, I do the whole checklist over if I find I missed even one item on the checklist. I read each item on the checklist aloud, or if an item is deferred I say so aloud and make sure my copilot, if I have one, makes a note of it. I always make sure that each checklist is completed before beginning the next by verbally announcing the checklist I just completed and calling for the next checklist, for example, "Engine start checklist complete..... Before takeoff checklist."

If I defer any item on a checklist I try to make sure that the item is noticeable, by putting a Post-It note on it or something. If I am doing a preflight and discover that the plane needs oil, I'll leave the oil door open where I can see it and continue the preflight before going to get oil. That way I don't have to make several trips to maintenance -- to get oil, to get the prop filed, to replace a missing cowling fastener, to get the tire pump, etc. If I forgot to get oil I have the door sticking up right in front of me when I get into the cockpit, or I'll see it on twins when I check the integrity of the fuel caps before starting engines.

If I was a DE, I would make sure that the checklist was used, if not concurrently with each task, then at least to check if each item was completed. The PTS is very clear about use of checklists. I would not pass a candidate who did not use the checklist.

Once you have your certificates and have flown a few hundred hours it is very easy to get lazy about the use of checklists. But I notice that the checklists for airliners are not that much more complex than what we have for our trainers, and if the pilots of those planes feel it necessary to use those checklists several times a day, day in and day out, year after year, I really think I have little cause to complain about using a checklist in a Cessna. Once you start to get complacent about checklists you get complacent about other things, and you become one of those multi-thousand hour pilots who is suddenly a statistic.
C. J. Campbell

Work out a flow pattern that you can use as a checklist basis for the checklist. Make a checklist. Then confirm what you have done by referring to the checklist. The checklist is used to reinforce memory.

Making an Aircraft Specific Checklist
--Problem with a checklist is the failure to use it.
--Use a 'always the same' procedure at points where only five items (a hand full) need be done
--Transition point may be pre-takeoff, takeoff, after takeoff, climb, cruise, checkpoint, descent, arrival pattern,
short final, post landing
--By flying all different aircraft using the same procedures your habit pattern remains constant.
--Make a chart of V speeds and performance settings with emergency procedures on the reverse side.
--Re-read the POH every now and then.
--Use a flow pattern across the cockpit
--Brief your IFR approaches at the IAF and VFR arrivals five miles out
--Pilots who do the least planing and study are most prone to accidents.

Checklist Complete, Ready!
--The flight plan
--Filing the flight
--The route, altitude, navaids
--I'm safe
--Walk, talk maneuvers
--Clear area (SWAT)
--Non-tower operations
--X-country planning
--Set options
--Use information sources
--Difficult flights
--POH for capability
--Mountain checkout for procedures
--No night IFR
--20 knot wind limit
--Survival kit
--IFR preparation
--Walk the route
--Walk the altitudes
--Work the navaids in cockpit
--Anticipate the radio calls
--Thing ahead for what comes next
--Pre-briefing the approach

Ground Checklists
Before start
--Airport diagram
Engine start
--Beacon on
--Start checklist
Before taxi
--Taxi clearance and readback
--Airport diagram in sight
--Lights on
--Ground frequency
--Taxiway intersections verify clear
--Runway crossings verify clear
Before crossing runway
--Runway surface clear
--Approach/departure ends clear
Crossing runway
--Expedite crossing till clear of holding bars
Arrival at active runway
--Hold short of bars
--Advise tower when ready
Entering active runway
--Takeoff clearance received and readback
--Runway surface clear
--Approach/departure ends clear
--Expedite takeoff

En route Checklist
--Make sure your checkpoint checklist includes touching the ammeter.

In range
--Ten miles @ 2000 feet)
--Airport diagram in sight
Exiting runway
--Taxi instructions, holds verified and read back
--Expedite to clear runway holding bars
Taxi after landing
--Taxi clearance verify and read-back
--Taxiway intersections verified clear
--Runway crossings verified clear
Before crossing a runway
--Runway surface verified clear
--Approach/departure ends verified clear
Crossing runway
--Expedite to clear holding bar
Arrival at parking
--Shut-down checklist

Good to Go Questions
Engine Compartment ‘No, No’s
--Excess oil
--Tape repairs
--Plastic cracks
--Bypassed stop-drilled holes
--Undressed propeller
--Noticeable rust
--Dirt on nose strut parts
--Heat cowling damage.
--Burned paint
--Missing fasteners and screws
Exterior ‘No, No’s
--Fuel leaks and stains
--Weather cracked or worn tires
--Rusted, stained, cracked hinges
--Poorly fitting windows, doors, parts
--Missing screws and covers.
--Tape repairs and patches
--Bad magneto checks with vibration.
--Soft brakes
--Damaged windshield or windows
Interior ‘No, No’s
--Excess looseness in seats, controls,
--Worn belts, wires, fabric,
--Poorly fitting windows, doors, parts
--Aircraft papers pages torn, worn, missing
--Preflight materials boxed and organized.
--Radio knobs and switches intermittent
--Instrumentation and cockpit lights erratic to inoperative
--No placards and sign-off on inoperative instruments/equipment

Aircraft Club 6-month Ground Check …
In the airplane binders there are sheets for:
--Airspeeds, oil requirements, fuel, etc
For touch & go's leave gear down. (61X)
$35 for first hr for 6 mo. Check.
6 mo. Check.
--CFI should watch the preflight.
--Student should take off cover correctly. I.e. roll up the cover correctly and prevent it touching the ground.
--Cargo doors do not need to be slammed shut
--Let student know to refuel with PSA.
--Make sure student checks flap track brackets.
--Make sure aileron control rods are connected.
--Oil in the 182s.
    111GG - twist the oil dipstick to get it out.
    7561X - keep the dipstick in the engine for 30 seconds before removing to check for level.
--Pull the airplane over the tie down cable
--Prime the engine with primer before starting.
--Lean the mixture during taxi operations.
--Teach a slow taxi, 1000 rpm, don't ride the brakes, x-wind correction.
--Use emergency brakes. Confirm that brake is fully engaged. i.e. pull out the brake that extra little bit.
Rough running mag. identification and correction:
--Bring up to 2000 and lean until almost stumbling then leave for 1 min.
--Re-check mags.

Take-off check.
--Check for final and base before taxing onto runway.
--Use all available runway.
--Tell controllers of intentions -"back taxi for full length"
--Check for full power development before taking off.
--1st power reduction is 1000' for 182s
    111GG - 23"/2450
    61X some sort of power reduction; do not necessarily reduce prop.
--Level off procedures.

Well you know.
--111GG has a placard for how to check electric trim.
--Where are the breakers for autopilot. Teach the student how to use autopilot and disable it if necessary.

Leaning procedures at altitude
--3000' for leaning engine.
111GG --400 degrees seems to be fine for higher power operations.

Should ask tower before switching to go ground. If busy you can go to ground freq with out asking.

When on the ground taxiing.
--Check for leaning and cowl flaps on taxi back to tie down
--Do not add power to turn airplane around to push airplane back. Try to turn it around as much as possible without power and then simply PUSH the plane back with tow bar.

--Walk around the airplane to check the airplane is ok for next member, etc.
--Check tires don't have flat spot
--Check lights and other possible damage caused by flight.
--Trash in the airplane i.e. clean up the airplane
--Initial the check-in sheet.

Fly the airplane.
A for airspeed
L for landing site
A for attempt restart
R for reduce power
M for Mayday, 121.5, 7700,
S for Secure cockpit

News Group Question on Checklist Use
Should I stay with my present instructor?

I'm going to get blasted for this, I know :)

But if you like the way he teaches, I'd give him a few more lessons before deciding not to work with him. If he is otherwise safe, skilled, and proficient, then just ask him about his preflight attitude, if it bothers you. Preflights are indeed important. But I think there is nothing wrong with a very 'abbreviated' preflight if you are taking the 6th flight of the day in an airplane you know like the back of your hand. When I teach all day in the same plane, typically I'll do a very thorough preflight the first flight of the day, followed by abbreviated pre-flights for the rest of my lessons. I know other may object to this, but both instructors and students have limited amounts of time to work on things, and I think that often, it isn't a terribly productive (or even safer) use of time to do a 20 minute preflight before a 1 hour flight.

And it may well be more than 20 minutes. Is 20 minutes enough to do an 'acceptable' preflight? Many here would say yes. Is 3 minutes? Many would say no. But really...I guarantee that you can find things in doing a 'very thorough' preflight that you won't in a 20 minute preflight. A person could easily spent 15 minutes on the rudder assembly alone...very carefully checking every inch of the rudder, examining very closely the hinge bolts, manually checking the safety wire...going to get a ladder to check the light assembly on top of the rudder...closely examining the fairings. So how much is enough? Should we be spending an hour preflighting the plane for an hour flight?

In a 'quickie' preflight you can check the fuel levels, oil levels, tire wear, major 'Jesus Bolts' and overall obvious condition of the plane. I can do this in 5 minutes for the average 172 or Cherokee. Is this good enough? As a CFI, for me, it is. If I'm going to fly with a student 40 times before his checkride, I'd rather *not* spend an extra 10 hours doing preflights that contribute nothing directly to his skill and safety as a pilot. Especially considering that 80% of GA accidents are related to pilot error...not to a mechanical issue.

Like many thinks in flying, it is a balance. Is 'no' preflight acceptable? No it isn't. But is an hour preflight necessary? No, it isn't. To me, that 'balance' is a thorough examination at the start of the say, and a quickie, 3-minute preflight before each instructional flight. Your mileage may differ, but I'd give consideration to a lot
of other issues before I'd consider dumping an otherwise skilled instructor because you don't like the way he does his preflight.

I have an interesting case on this point. Student came to me via internet. He had over twenty hours of instruction from a 'friend'.  In this program 'soloing' was the end goal of learning to fly. His failure to solo led to all kinds of attitudinal, procedural and skill problems. He very much wants to learn to fly. He is totally disheartened by his lack of progress and has felt that all of his study efforts have been wasted time without value or application to soloing and therefore not worth doing. In addition he has been "scared" on every flight until admitting that he was no longer scared recently. He keeps many very important aspects of his personality, background, knowledge or lack of it secret under the guise that it is not important or relevant to his learning progress.

The learning law of primacy has resulted in his previous 'instruction' consisting of getting to the runway by aiming the nose to the numbers without consideration of configuration, power or speed.  Pull the power off, hold the nose high and wait. Student had absolutely no awareness of pattern directions through use of heading indicator or outside references and pattern altitudes were of no importance. I have never worked with anyone who was so totally unaware of where he was in the air or on the ground.

He had checklists but never used them because he 'knew' what to do but consistently left one or more items off of every phase of operation. His taxiing completely ignored yoke position and use of power and brakes got progressively worse the slower he went. He had never been to think ahead of what he was doing, to anticipate or to expect a specific result from anything done. What ever happened, happened and was a surprise.

He squeezed the yoke with a full fist and moved it in jerks, once the power was set he let go and put his hand in his lap not just in the air but even while taxiing.

He checks fuel by looking at the gauges. Spent twenty minutes walking back and forth around the aircraft during preflight looking and feeling but never rolled the tires, used a checklist, knew when things were as they should be or not.

At the end of every lesson ground or flight I have given him preparatory reading or material preparation for the next. He has yet to do any more than the most cursory bit of the assignments. I have told him to phone me the evening before a lesson so that I can go over his preparation and tell him what we will be doing and having him talk me through the procedures and maneuvers. He did at first and then stopped because he didn’t have time and was feeling frustrated by his lack of progress and the accumulation of hours and expense. I had not totaled the hours until I did a bit of ground instruction logging and found that we had flown a total of twenty-eight flights. He is now at least $5,000 into his flying lessons and has not soloed.

The question is, how is he different now? He pre-flights in less than 15 minutes, He knows he is supposed to order fuel before we get into the plane. A fuel check is more than just looking at the needles.

Survival Without a Checklist
---There are an average of 28 accidents related to use, non-use or misuse of checklists.
---There are about 100 gear-up landings every year related to use, non-use or misuse of checklists
---Common errors
---Wrong list
---Interrupted use
---Overlooked item

T achometer for each engine
O il temperature gauge
M anifold pressure gauge (alt. engine)
A irspeed indicator
T emperature gauge (if liquid cooled)
O il pressure gauge
F uel gauge indicating quantity
L anding gear position lights (RG)
A ltimeter
M agnetic direction indicator
E mergency locator transmitter (if 91.207)
S eat belts

F uses - 3 of each kind required
L anding light - if for hire
A nti collision lights
P osition lights
S ource of power

An alternative acronym that I learned for minimum equipment daytime
G-as gauge
O-il pressure
O-il temperature


A-irspeed indicator

Ben Hallert

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