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On Checklists
2007-10-11

On Checklists
  1. Flying an airplane requires that a series of relatively complex procedures. A checklist is most viable if a long series is broken into several functionally related sectors.

  2. Any error of a checklist should be studied to determine if the error was one of commission or omission.

  3. Procedures can become rituals without the mental alertness to confirm what is being done. This ritual checklist leads to the error of expectation. It is not enough to pretend to use a checklist as a ritual. Such a checklist is often very complete, interesting, and pretty, but without use it is a potential danger.

  4. There is more to making checklists than just the making. The usefulness of a checklist is proof that the things on the list are worth doing.

  5. Many aircraft have pasted checklists on the panel or commercial lists that are 'universal' for the type but ill-suited for the model year. These checklists are technically correct only if they contain everything in the POH checklist. They usually do not cover even the POH requirements nor do they cover all the radio procedures and frequencies.

  6. Using a checklist that is not of your own making and practice even for the preflight is VERY poor procedure. Some excellent checklist makers are not very good users.

Written by Gene Whitt

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