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Mnemonics You May Not Be Using


Checklists are just that.  Don’t use one as a do list.  Do it, and then use the checklist to ensure everything is done.

  1. Flows are consistent patterns performed the same way every time that catch all of the big items that need to be checked or have something done to them.  The classic one is the 7UP checklist.  It starts at the fuel selector, goes to the elevator trim, then to carb heat and flaps; moving left, it goes through the circuit breakers and switches and ends with the key switch and Master and Avionics switch.  It looks like the number 7 when it’s done, and it starts at the bottom of the 7 and goes up.

  2. For Risk Management and assessment before flight, use the PAVE checklist: Pilot, Airplane, enVironment, and External Pressures.  Use ForeFlight for a weather briefing and the advanced features such as 3D view to fly the route and see the airport enVironments and the profile view to see terrain, airspace, clouds, icing, and more.  Use the app C172 Performance to get super fast takeoff and landing distances along with crosswind/headwinds. Use the FRAT (Flight Risk Assessment Tool) to help further identify and eliminate or manage risk.

  3. Preflight IFR - NWKRAFT - Notams, Weather, Known ATC delays, Runway Lengths, Alternates, Fuel requirements, Takeoff and landing distances.

  4. Pretaxi clearance IFR - CRAFT - Clearance, Routing, Altitude, Frequencies, Transponder Code.

  5. For the RunUp, use CIGAR TIPS.  Again, do the actions and use the written checklist to make sure all values are in tolerance and that everything is done.  Using a checklist as a do list is a surefire way to skip things due to the task switching required to go from the checklist to the action.  CIGAR TIPS - Controls, Instruments (Flight, Engine, Electrics), Gas (Quantity and proper tank), Run-up (Mixture set to your density and engine run-up), Transponder (Proper code and switched to ALT), Interior (Doors, windows closed and latched), Position lights (Any required lights on), Seatbelts and Security (Belts fastened and items secured.)

  6. For the climb checklist or checklist for a go-around or missed approach - 5C checklist.  Cram (Full Power), Climb (Set the climbing attitude), Clean (Retract gear and also flaps to the go-around setting), Cool (Cowl flaps open), Communicate (Advise ATC or other pilots of the go-around/missed approach.)

  7. Cruise checklist - FREEDA - Perform every 15 minutes.  Fuel (proper tank/quantity), Radios (Correct frequency, next frequency, and still working), Engine Temps and Pressures plus Carb heat test for icing), Electrical system (Charging, not overcharging), Directional Gyro set to compass, Altimeter (set to correct barometric setting.)

  8. Encounter with icing.  HITU (pronounced Hit You).  Height sufficient for terrain, Icing (Physical check for icing), Temperature (Out of icing conditions), and U-turn if possible.

  9. Descent - PAINT - Power (reduce), Airspeed (descent speed), Ice (use carb heat if installed), Need to communicate?, Temp (Will we descend into freezing temps?).

  10. Before landing - BCGUMPS - Boost Pumps (On), Cowl Flaps (Open), Gas (proper tank and quantity), Mixture (to required density), Propeller (Fully Fine), Seatbelts (Secure.)

  11. After landing - FIT MAT - Flaps (retract), Icing (carb heat cold), Trim (for takeoff), Mixture (as required), ATC, Taxi.

  12. Setting up an instrument approach - 15 minutes before receiving ATC instructions in the approach environment - AHARMS T - ATIS/AWOS - Copy, Heading Indicator set to compass, Altimeter (set for current barometric setting), Radios and front courses (use the audio panel as a sub checklist), Minimums/Missed (review)/Marker beacons (test), Security (Seatbelts and loose items), Time (If a timed approach.)

  13. Passing a Fix - 5Ts - Time, Turn, Twist, Throttle, Talk. 

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