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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Checklist happy

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 hours.

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 seatbelts.

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.

2 comments:

Gary said...

Always a good thing to review and update.

I was working on the Sundowner checklist this morning. As soon as my transponder gets replaced my traffic will be working again (collins transponder conflicts with zaon mrx). I need to add the steps for switching my Garmin 496 from avionics input to TIS in.

Right now my checklist is a bound booklet but I am thinking about the one sheet, 2 sided deal.

D.B. said...

I can send you mine if you want