I made my own checklist in MS Word. It's 2 pages, each side formatted into 3 columns, and laminated back to back into a single, stiff 8 x 11 card that fits into the side pocket by my left leg. I started doing this when I still had my Sundowner, but that one was quite a bit shorter, and had room for things like crosswind control positions and ATC light signals. My checklist for the Bonanza is quite a bit more dense.
I based it on
the POH, but modified it from my initial experience and I had it pretty
finalized after about the first 5 or 10 hours in my Bonanza. Once in a
while I add or subtract something, but it's mostly stable now after 100
The front page is the external inspection, engine start
(hot and cold), taxi and pre-take off checks - everything that happens
with the wheels on the ground. If someone is flying who is unfamiliar
with my a/c, I have them hold the check list in their free hand while
doing the walk around, but I don't do it for myself, I know my plane and
use a walk-around flow. I always use my written check list for engine starts and
pre- T/O checks, although I know I know them by heart. It doesn't take
any longer, and it takes emotion out of the equation and takes out any
temptation to rush.
The reverse side is for in the air - it has
the most common V-speeds, T/O and landing procedures for normal, short
and soft fields, and in green type (so it doesn't wash out under red
light at night), all the emergency procedures. I only really use that side
as a memory aid for unusual actions, for normal landings I just use a
verbal "GUMPS", but that most translates to "Am I on a tank I know has
fuel and is feeding well", and "Are the wheels really down?" I don't
usually go to full rich (the engine doesn't like it at low power) or
high RPM (the neighbors don't like the noise). So I supposed it's
really just G-U (and "do I want to do the M-P bit?") and check
Still I like to have it available, so the day when my
gear motor stops, or the engine gets quiet, or I have to land on a soggy
grass field, or I'm having a BFR and my CFI decides to wring me out (as
I would do to him or her in turn), I'm prepared and ready.
Ups and Downs of Flying - It's not just about the takeoffs and landings! Kathy McCullough Kathy and I became friends 18 years ago, when we were both flying the Boeing 747 at Nort...
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