Flight Training - January 2015 - 34

WORK
SMARTER,
BETWEEN PREFLIGHT
AND TAKEOFF
ยป By Ian J. Twombly
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE FIZER

NOT
LONGER

Airplanes are meant to fly.

If the wings don't make that obvious,
the unnecessarily arduous and inefficient process of getting from the hangar to the runway
should say it all. There are dozens of steps that
must happen from the time you finish the preflight to the moment your wheels cross onto
the runway. Anything you can do to make that
process a bit faster, a bit more efficient, and a
bit safer is welcome.
CheckMate's popular Cessna 172 checklist
lists 56 items that must be completed between
the preflight and the takeoff. And that doesn't
include radio calls. Assuming that only a super
brain would ever remember such a list, the
challenge becomes attacking all those tasks
without burning an hour's worth of fuel in
the process. You have two choices-use the
checklist as a task list, or use it to monitor your
progress. Which direction you choose depends
primarily on where you are in training.
Early on, your goal should be only to make
sure you are thorough, and that you are
understanding the complex reasons everything
happens in that time between ground and

34 /

FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

sky. Complete comprehension of why things
happen can be beneficial to memorization,
but it's impossible to learn everything in the
beginning. Some things must wait, and come
with context. That leaves you with only faith
that when the checklist says to do something,
you do it.
There are exceptions, of course. The starting sequence is a good example. The newer
fuel-injected Cessna 172s have a five-step
engine priming procedure that must happen
just before you turn the key. Completing this
process while using the checklist as a task list
would result in overpriming the engine. And
it's fairly simple to remember to turn on the
fuel pump, advance the mixture, check fuel
flow, pull the mixture to idle, and then turn off
the pump.
There are two big problems with the
task method of using a checklist. First, it's
slow. Very slow. It can take up to a half-hour
between buckling the seatbelt and taking off.
In the beginning, this is fine. But you're paying
for that airplane time, so ultimately you'll want


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Flight Training - January 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - January 2015

Contents
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover1
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover2
Flight Training - January 2015 - Contents
Flight Training - January 2015 - 2
Flight Training - January 2015 - 3
Flight Training - January 2015 - 4
Flight Training - January 2015 - 5
Flight Training - January 2015 - 6
Flight Training - January 2015 - 7
Flight Training - January 2015 - 8
Flight Training - January 2015 - 9
Flight Training - January 2015 - 10
Flight Training - January 2015 - 11
Flight Training - January 2015 - 12
Flight Training - January 2015 - 13
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 17
Flight Training - January 2015 - 18
Flight Training - January 2015 - 19
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 42
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 55
Flight Training - January 2015 - 56
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover3
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover4
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