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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aviation & Flying Activities  |  Topic: Why Pre-Flight & Checklist MUST be used in the same sentence!
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Author Topic: Why Pre-Flight & Checklist MUST be used in the same sentence!  (Read 1008 times)
Live2Learn
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Posts: 719

« on: December 03, 2018, 04:14:41 PM »

https://www.avweb.com/eletter/archives/101/4203-full.html?ET=avweb:e4203:252117a:&st=email#231941

Paul Bertorelli's AVweb piece on a near fatal dual hang glider mishap is a must read.  Also, the two links in his article (one to the nearly lost GoPro video that recorded the entire 2 minute and 14 second flight, and a news article that tells Chris Gursky's riveting story) are near mandatory views and reads.

In case Paul's link doesn't work or you want to see the entire video (highly recommended), here it is again from the very beginning:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLBJA8SlH2w  Note how rushed the flight instructor/pilot was in getting into the air. 
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NIN
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 10:10:53 PM »

there is a video floating around of a gentleman preparing for a BASE jump from a bridge in (I think) Serbia.  I won't link to it, it is NOT family friendly in the Language Department.

The short version is that this guy got so excited to do what's called a "roll over" (open, unpacked canopy arrayed below the jumper, you "roll over" the parachute so its immediately flying) that he'd climbed over the bridge rail and was letting his canopy down when a pretty well renowned BASE instructor noticed that he'd failed to step in to his leg straps when he put the rig on.

When the instructor noticed and said "Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop, stop!" our intrepid jumper replied "GoPro?"

In other words: he was so fixated on getting off this bridge that he thought people were stopping him because they wanted to make sure his GoPro was turned on! Zero checklist on this guy's part. Excited to do a roll over, gets so wrapped up that he'd forget his name if you let him.

I see this a lot: Low-time jumper, 200 or so jumps, runs right out and buys a GoPro and a helmet mount. First time in the airplane with it, he's too busy fooling with the camera to remember the basics: straps, buckles, etc. They're in the plane without their chest strap attached, they forget their altimeter, etc. Just silly stupid stuff, because a) they introduced something new into the mix with the idea that it won't change anything; and b) failed to run their checklist and maintain SA. 

People think it looks like I'm complacent with my student because I'm not putting my hands all over him checking the gear 5 times between the hangar and the airplane. But what they don't realize is that:
 
a) I've got a sequence and a checklist that I'm running constantly (watch me with a student, I say the same things at the same time and do things like the gear-up, mockup practice, radio check, etc in the same order, all the time);
b) I've used it 3 times before they even noticed I was gearing up a student;
c) what looks to them like complacency is actually me hyperfocusing on the student and the situation, not chatting about the weather and hand-jiving in the loading area. I'm watching my student, the landing pattern, the wind direction, the people on the airplane with me, I'm making sure we didn't forget an item on the checklist, that my student didn't undo something I just made sure was tight & secure, that he's ready to go, that I'm ready to go, etc.  The reason I'm not being all Chatty Cathy and manhandling the student is that I'm trying to also keep the student focused without making him or her all nervous and making things more tense than they need to be.

What was it that they said in The Right Stuff? "Maintain an even strain."
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2019 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
Eclipse
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 10:28:41 PM »

c) what looks to them like complacency is actually me hyperfocusing on the student and the situation, not chatting about the weather and hand-jiving in the loading area. I'm watching my student, the landing pattern, the wind direction, the people on the airplane with me, I'm making sure we didn't forget an item on the checklist, that my student didn't undo something I just made sure was tight & secure, that he's ready to go, that I'm ready to go, etc.  The reason I'm not being all Chatty Cathy and manhandling the student is that I'm trying to also keep the student focused without making him or her all nervous and making things more tense than they need to be.

+1 I did something similar with motorcycle instruction.  "Head, eyes, hands, knees, feet..." (that tells you all
you need to know about what the students are doing, and where the bike is really going to go, vs. where it's supposed to).

To the outside observer, it looks like two guys standing on the corners of the range, hands in pocket, bored,
when in fact they are working to both actively scan the students and area for hazards or improper technique,
while at the same time not produce unnecessary distractions or induce tension.

Instructions are succinct and direct, and you don't allow a student's excitement or frustration change your
good habits and procedures.

Being in a hurry almost always cause issues, regardless of the situation, and may well impact the confidence
of those around you that may be looking to you to tune their level of concern.

FWIW, there's a big difference between "moving with a purpose" and "being in a hurry".
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OldGuy
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2018, 02:36:10 AM »

I gotta say, the day I am in a cockpit and the preflight does NOT use a checklist - I am outa there!

(That said every CAP sortie I have been on aircrew - without fail, the pilot and MO cooperated using the checklist like well oiled machines. Uber professional.)
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Live2Learn
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2018, 05:21:24 PM »

Nin:

Nicely put. 

:)
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NIN
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2018, 08:56:34 PM »

On the flip side, a fellow I know who flies jumpers used to be a contract pilot for NASA at DFRC (now AFRC). He knew a NASA pilot that I knew, and when I mentioned him, he said "Oh yeah, he never met a checklist he felt like following.."

Crazy
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2019 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
Live2Learn
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Posts: 719

« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2018, 10:42:55 PM »

One doesn't have to "like" checklists... one just has to follow them as the MINIMALIST due diligence.  FWIW I add stuff to the minimal stock checklists that I've found are recurrent problems or big 'one time' gotchas.  LIKE confirming there's no play in supposedly fixed air foils, or that landing gear have proximally 'correct' (at least equal) stance.  It's amazing what passes off as "repairs" for hard landings, ground loops, etc.   :o
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Briank
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2018, 10:53:29 PM »

Oh, that's amazing!  I saw that video a few days ago and wrote it off as a total fake at the time!
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