Learning Experiences

April 2010 Issue

Checklist Discipline

The Aeronca Champís checklist was simple, befitting most small aircraft of the late 50s: "CIGAR" stood for Controls, Instruments, Gas, Attitude, Run-up and, sometimes, Runway. Time and experience brought along more-complicated airplanes and checklists, but it was still hard to mess up by using CIGAR. Following USAF pilot training, I became an instructor pilot in the T-37. Its checklist was a bit more complicated. When students asked about checklist sequencing, there was the standard answer: Checklist discipline. Not too much to question, but not too much to mess up, either.

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