Use those Checklists.

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by LivinTheDream, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. LivinTheDream

    LivinTheDream Filing Flight Plan

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    So, I'll admit this was me. 100%.

    So, I'm currently in Commercial MEL training at a 141 school, flying Barons. I'm at the point of my End of Course checkride and I just happen to get the check pilot who is a notorious hardass. He's also the only check pilot who is current for multi-engine so there's that.

    It really wasn't my best day from the start. Nerves had me puking my guts out and I couldn't keep anything down. (Side Lesson, know when to call the flight off)

    Takeoff and climbout was fine, we do our cross country calculations then we get into single engine ops. Power up, clean up, identify, verify, diagnose, feather, secure. No worries. Fly for a few seconds on the feathered engine then he gets me to restart it because it's like -10C up there and we were trying to save a bit of time. Take out the checklist and start going through it. Then something happened. I don't know what but I got thrown off the checklist. I go through it what I thought was completely, but forgot the magnetos.

    We were flying with an unfeathered engine, thinking it had started and was warming up, but minutes passed. We thought a lead on the CHT had been knocked loose, as these airplanes were prone to doing thanks to rough handling students, and turned back to the airport. Only then did he realize that I had forgot the magnetos and pointed it out. Engine fired up right away and I ended up calling off the rest of the flight and going back with my tail between my legs.

    Use. Those. Checklists. I had created a potential emergency situation by forgetting those magnetos, all because I didn't slow down and properly use the checklist. It reminds me of this instructor I had years ago that told me to slow down and actually read the regs. Of course you have the generalities down, but when you're looking for specifics, you can't just skim.
     
  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Do they teach you flows?

    Also did you mean EGTs?
     
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  3. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    Your reliance on checklists to solve all of your problems caused that situation. What happens when one doesn't? Are you just going to give up?

    Learn the airplane, run your flows, and then run through the checklist. Use a "head's up" approach to the situation. And, believe it or not, you can have all of the tools in the world and still make mistakes. It happens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  4. LivinTheDream

    LivinTheDream Filing Flight Plan

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    They do. Barely. It's the Cruise checklist, the after landing checklist, and then for memory items which goes up to Power Up, Clean up, Identify, Verify. After that they want you to go by the checklist. I've personally gone up to the Diagnose stage, which then Feather is self explanatory and you have more time to run the Securing.

    CHTs. We use those to determine if the engine is warm enough to bring the power back up to normal after being shut down for a while in cold air.
     
  5. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Gotcha on the cooling and CHTs


    EGTs are a better immediate indication of if a cylinder is firing of not.
     
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  6. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Line Up and Wait

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    then they are teaching you to use a do list, not a checklist.

    bob
     
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  7. Zeldman

    Zeldman En-Route

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    I have to agree with others, the checklist is a reminder, not a to do list. Go through the flow check, then use the checklist to see if you forgot anything.

    The flow is pretty much the same on most small planes.

    Don't beat yourself up too badly, we all have not so good days and yet the sun still came up the next morning....:)
     
  8. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 En-Route

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    Deviating from the checklist has cost many their lives.
     
  9. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good lesson though, eh?

    I had a glitch in my checklist use that was corrected by speaking each item aloud. That was me, your mileage may vary.
     
  10. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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  11. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    I know I am late to the funeral but when I get interrupted during a checklist, I find the last thing I remember doing and calling out to ensure that I don't skip any steps. It helps me. It might help others.
    Be safe and have fun flying! :)
     
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  12. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Agreed. In the process of getting familiar with a club airplane, one of my fellow club members asked if had learned the flow for that airplane as taught by one of the club instructors. So, out of curiosity, I asked the instructor (especially since he's the one who checked me out in the airplane and never mentioned it). "Why do you want anything different than your regular flow?' was his answer.

    Sure he was teaching a certain flow - to folks who hadn't used one until then.
     
  13. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    I like to slide my thumb down over each checklist item, so I know exactly where I am if interrupted. Whatever works!
     
  14. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    One of my flight tests, the examiner said 'you lost this, you cant use that - AND No Checklist for this approach and landing' After a brief mild panic (who ever has no access to a checklist??) one drills down to the items that are essential to accommodate a safe outcome to the flight. Even in a fairly complex airplane, that list is not impossibly huge.
     
  15. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yes, a good drill by your flight instructor.

    What happened to me early in flight training was to forget the landing checklist entirely (!), whether written or mental. Typically I became task-saturated with ATIS, changing frequencies, trying to spot the airport, etc. Now the checklist instinct happens pretty much automatically about 10 miles out...the brain frees up a bit with the lessened anxiety that comes with experience.
     
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  16. airheadpenguin

    airheadpenguin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    OK I'll bite, this can be done and approach to landing should be easier than most but there are exactly 0 non-emergent situations where you're legal to be flying a plane and unable to use the checklist. Even if you forget the checklist, you have the POH or AFM which lists normal and emergency procedures and is required to be on the aircraft.

    I've used mine as a stand in for the runup checklist, when I left the checklist in the hangar.

    Why isn't the right answer ... "OK we're going to go around, fly out to the practice area and work "the problem" that caused the checklist to go missing and YOU'RE going to help by grabbing the POH and open it to the Normal Operations section, once that's done we'll come back and land"?

    I suspect your checklist would have magically become available again
     
  17. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did not post in an attempt to incite controversy. Just a story of what the DE did.

    Maybe he did it because he was bored of the plain-jane way of FAA testing and wanted to supplement that. He did ask about some unusual scenarios in the oral part. Can't ask him now; he is deceased (non aviation). He was a good guy.
    At that point in my training it was a good reminder (or maybe moral boost) that I knew the airplane pretty well.
     
  18. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I didn't see any controversy. A good number of experienced DPEs have always tossed in a situation or two that was outside the PTS. Just because it's not instruction doesn't mean it can't be a learning experience. And I think we can expect more of that under the ACS which includes scenario-based ADM/CRM testing.

    I like @airheadpenguin's answer and the DPE probably would also.
     
  19. 172andyou

    172andyou Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If I'm the CFI my response is: "Ok, go to the practice area if you want, I'm not here to help you and the POH is in the baggage compartment because you didn't put it within arms reach during your preflight."

    Lets hope the simulated failures don't make returning to the practice area a simulated fatality. Sometimes they do.

    Said another way: Life has a way of throwing the unexpected at you. The CFI was simulating doing that. Seems legit. Part of the training is learning how to fly. Another part is learning how to not freak out when things are going wrong.
     
  20. StevieTimes

    StevieTimes Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Stuff happens in real life; of course. The door to the Arrow apparently wasn't sealed tight, because it sucked out my single piece of paper with all my destination airport info on it.

    Fortunately I had approach plates and a sectional handy, so I could get what I needed, but I went from "perfectly organized", to "scrambling for info" in a second.
     
  21. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "I will bite" sounds to me like he thought I was dangling bait. I do not troll people just to get a response. If I was wrong, consider it retracted.
     
  22. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's a good exercise, having a "do list" is just as bad, if not worse, than not using a checklist at all.
     
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  23. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    I would have said, "Good answer, but try it without the checklist." There could be situations where it is not available, and you should be able to land safely without referring to one.
     
  24. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    and if you NEED a checklist to tell you what to do, you are not using checklists properly.
     
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  25. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I'm a definite fan of flows and checks but a little less religious about it.

    I see three different ways to use a checklist. "Read and do", "briefing" or "did." I think they can all be appropriate depending on the particular flight phase, the aircraft involved, the pilot's experience with the aircraft, and probably other factors.
     
  26. bluerooster

    bluerooster Cleared for Takeoff

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    There are certian instances where grabbing the checklist, finding the correct section, then taking action, eats up too much time.
    That's where training/drilling, should kick in, and a good flow (based on the checklist) should be part of that training/drilling.
     
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  27. Wrench978

    Wrench978 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Perhaps I don't refer to my checklist enough... Most times, once I have done my run up, it goes into the side pouch and doesn't come out until time to shut down... I do use flows often though...
     
  28. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  29. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I agree with you completely. There is plenty of surplus language on the manufacturer checklists and so many pilots and flight school add even more to it.

    I was discussing checklists with someone.

    Question: why don't light GA pilots use checklists?
    Answer: because most light GA checklists suck.

    Mine could easily fit on your half sheet sheet folded lengthwise, but my preference is for a layout that fits my ergonomic preference for very readable font and lots of white space.

    The key to use is usability.
     
  30. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Here's the problem. You end up with a habit pattern that actively prevents using a checklist when you need it. Example:

    I was doing transition training for a pilot moving from a 172 to a 182. One of the easiest transitions around because of the many similarities. But, again and again and again, the pilot neglected to adjust cowl flaps. Two things were going on.

    His "flow" was actually a memorization of, say, the two main items on the before landing checklist, not a true flow considering everything changeable. So his hand would go right past the cowl flap lever but never stop there.

    The other was, despite repeated "you are missing something" prompts from me, he not once went to the checklist for his answer. The checklist was sitting on the glareshield in his line of sight but his habit of not using it had internalized to such a degree that it did not exist for him.

    Consider the effect of that no use habit in a stressful emergency situation in a less than familiar aircraft.
     
  31. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If his checklist use was so bad, I'd suspect all his climbs were maximum performance as well. 182s back off throttle and mixture after takeoff for normal climbs, 172s do not. And forgetting flap retraction is another common one, since 182s prefer 10 flaps for takeoff.

    Though, honestly, the real reason for ingrained checklist use is to avoid misconfiguration after an interrupted flow, such as a gear up landing after dodging a bird in the pattern. Checklists are not just for the unfamiliar.
     
  32. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I see a lot of GA pilots use checklists and end up just looking at an instrument or just reading it out. "Vacuum pump check" next, or the checklist doesn't have something so the pilot never does it. Leaning the mixture before taxi is a popular one.

    For me, I use flow checks, then scan over the checklist. Every item is fresh in my memory and I can recall what it looked like just a moment ago, if I can't see it in my mind I look again. Maybe my mind works different than others but i find that form of checklist use to be extremely efficient and results in less error, lookover, forgetfulness

    Also, when I am doing things in flow, a bad checklist isn't going to hurt me. Something is missing or wrong on the checklist I am using a separate method, a sort of check and balance.
     
  33. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    You'd think so and I've definitely seen that, but, actually, in this case those were fine. @Wrench978's personal experience is very common - checklist on the ground through the takeoff briefing, forget about it once in the air. Also, being an HP transition, he was mentally focused on the use of prop and MP; not so much on cowl flaps.
     
  34. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Nah, not much different. Flow & Verify is pretty standard for a lot of pilots.
     
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  35. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have to admit, I did that too, until I got my wrist slapped at my first CAP Form 5. I didn't screw anything up, but I got a comment about insufficient checklist use in flight. There is something to be said for recurrent training (a Form 5 is pretty similar to a flight review, or for an initial like I was doing, a thorough transition checkout) ...

    The manufacturer checklists suck pretty bad, but the CAP ones are actually pretty good. A little too detailed on the ground, but that's where you can tolerate it.
     
  36. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    If we did a Checklist Anonymous group for all of us who did that, we'd have to get a very large meeting hall :D
     
  37. Wrench978

    Wrench978 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thats a good point... my next time up I think instead of a bunch of laps around the pattern, I will do a couple exits/"cruise" for a few minutes, turn around and reenter while focusing on checklist use.