Training tip: when the checklist can wait

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Good question, one that many trainees ask their flight instructors.

Here is the response from the FAA: Yes. This is when the elements of memory, also known as the immediate action elements, come into play.

Consider two engine failure scenarios, one occurring shortly after takeoff and the other occurring at altitude during a field flight.

In the first case, when the engine fails at low altitude, it is essential first and foremost to reduce the angle of attack to avoid a stall on departure, and then to fly the aircraft to the point selected landing, straight ahead or almost. Checklists have to wait: you might only have a few seconds to complete this glide, for example, if your plane’s best glide speed produces a rate of descent of 500 feet per minute and the engine has fallen. out of order 500 feet above the ground or less.

A loss of power at cruising altitude also requires immediate management of the AOA followed by establishing the aircraft in a controlled glide to an airport or the best non-airport alternative. But after the memory items are finished, you may decide to have time to resolve the fault and try to restart the engine using the appropriate checklists. If this is unsuccessful, you must change gears and follow emergency landing procedures without an engine.

“The assessment of the appropriate use of the checklist depends on the specific task,” explains Annex 6: Flight Safety in the Private Pilot – Certification Standards for Aircraft Aviators.

“In some situations, reading the actual checklist can be impractical or dangerous. In such cases, the assessor should assess the candidate’s performance regarding the published or recommended immediate action ‘memory’ items, as well as their review of the appropriate checklist once conditions permit ”, notes- he, citing the principles of crew resource management single-pilot resource management (SRM).

During a checkride, you will not make an actual landing outside the airport if you experience a simulated engine failure at low altitude. Just make sure (after stabilizing the aircraft towards its hypothetical emergency landing) that the DPE understands that you would have performed all of the required memory items such as unlocking the doors before landing or closing the fuel selector. , as appropriate for your trainer.

Whether it’s simulating or describing these steps, don’t let the demands of the moment distract you from your primary responsibility to fly the aircraft.


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