Introduction – A system of checking
From the origins of manned flight, the essential aim of carrying out regular checks while in the air has largely been the same – to keep the aircraft in an optimum and safe flying state…
It is important to distinguish between “checks” and “Checklists”: Checks are general points for thought and consideration by a pilot; they are thought-reminders at various stages of the flight and can usually be carried out in any order, as appropriate. Checklists on the other hand are made up of specific Checks; they are more formal.There are ONLY FOUR Checklists highlighted in this booklet. They are a proper list of items that need to be attended to at a particular stage of flight. A Checklists is a “list for reference and verification”. It is a collection of “things to do” – so as to not leave out important items.
The process of using checks and Checklists started with pilots getting together and writing down all the items or drills that needed to be considered prior to carrying out each various stage of flight, namely and particularly: before flight, during flight and before landing. They wanted to ensure that everything appropriate for that stage of flight was included in their “drills of vital actions” and that nothing was overlooked or was done in an illogical order. Forgetting to do important things at a vital stage of flight, such as not checking fuel consumption or forgetting to put the wheels down before landing make for unsafe (albeit interesting!) flying.
History has provided newer aeroplanes with many new innovations and yet many of the reasons for, and methods of, checking the aeroplane and its components have essentially remained unchanged. Thus, the lists detailed in this booklet have not been dreamed up by the author but are those that have been around for a very, very long time – having been refined as they became handed down through generations of pilots.