Mnumonic Checklist For Pre Take Off Checks Or Vital Actions

I have flown many different types of aircraft, and when I was operating both Airline and Air Taxi work single crew it was often slow and ponderous to try and use a check list, especially on simple aircraft like the Islander or Trislander.

So I developed a Mnemonic which I have adapted and use for all the aircraft that I currently fly or have flown. It is necessary to get the mnemonic in your head first, and some of these are well known like the FREDA checks or the HASELL checks that are used for the cruise and pre-aerobatics. When reading many UK checklists there is a pretty standard mnemonic annotated within the checks. This is the one I have adapted and it works for all aircraft I have flown including turboprops like the King Air or Twin Otter.

If you want to develop your own based on the following if it does not quite fit into your current checks, then it is easy to adapt. What is needed is to carefully go through the aircraft check list and make sure that using this mnemonic everything is covered. If there is something missing, then weave it into your mnemonic.

For example, the checklist for piston aircraft does not include turning on the autofeather, and so when I go through the check list, and I get to M for Mixture, Mags and Master, I then add this memory sequence. Manual = Auto feather. Job done.

So here is the list I have created, and you may notice that the final check is controls full and free. I have a good reason for this having taken off in a Twin Otter with the control locks in. That is another story that I may write about one day.

T Throttle friction tight

T Trim set

M Mixture Rich. Mags on Both. Master on both switches. Autofeather on.

P Propellor levers full forward

F Fuel. On and sufficient. Correct tanks. Fuel Pump on. Fuel primer Locked.

F Flaps set as required.

I Instruments and radio aids set as required for departure

H Harnesses

H Hatches and general security.

D De-Icing as required. Pitot Heat as required.

C Caution lights. Out or as expected.

A Altimeters. Set for departure.

When cleared for Take Off

T Transponder for radar visibility On. Strobes for human visibility On.

C Controls Full and Free.

That’s it. I think you will find that covers everything in your aircraft, if not just modify it a bit, or put in a new letter or sequence of letters that you can remember. For instance the DCA is easy to remember for me as many countries have a Department of Civil Aviation.

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