Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Checklists have been the foundation of pilot standardization and cockpit safety for years. The checklist is an aid to the memory and helps to ensure that critical items necessary for the safe operation of aircraft are not overlooked or forgotten. However, checklists are of no value if the pilot is not committed to its use. Without discipline and dedication to using the checklist at the appropriate times, the odds are on the side of error. Pilots who fail to take the checklist seriously become complacent and the only thing they can rely on is memory.

The importance of consistent use of checklists cannot be overstated in pilot training. A major objective in primary flight training is to establish habit patterns that will serve pilots well throughout their entire flying career. The flight instructor must promote a positive attitude toward the use of checklists, and the student pilot must realize its importance. At a minimum, prepared checklists should be used for the following phases of flight.

  • Preflight Inspection.
  • Before Engine Start.
  • Engine Starting.
  • Before Taxiing.
  • Before Takeoff.
  • After Takeoff.
  • Cruise.
  • Descent.
  • Before Landing.
  • After Landing.
  • Engine Shutdown and Securing.

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