Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

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pelmet
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Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by pelmet » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:04 pm

I do, on each type I fly(which is actually several types right now). And it varies from type to type. For example, on the last small aircraft I flew the other day, after the checklist was complete......I checked the fuel selector position(knowing that there was plenty of fuel in both tanks, boost pump on, mags, flaps(including a visual check), trims, park brake. Other aircraft will have the mixture set, boost pump off, primer locked and whatever else might be specific to that particular type. I have been meaning to be just doing a quick intentional movement of the control stick prior to takeoff as well as a stone could jam a control during the run-up but I keep forgetting.

I have found myself on several occasions having skipped a checklist item although never anything serious. But this last check may save the day. I also do it on the airliner types as well.

This guy didn't check his items....

"C-FOMC, the amateur-built Denney Kitfox IV, was conducting a local pleasure flight from the Cooking Lake, AB airport (CEZ3). Shortly after departure, at about 500 feet agl, the engine (Jabiru 2200A) lost power. The pilot did not turn back to the runway and conducted a forced landing in a nearby cut hay field. During the roll out the aircraft encountered the cut hay and began to nose over but remained upright. There was minor damage to the engine cowling and spinner; the pilot and passenger were uninjured. The fuel shutoff valve was found in the off position."
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Schooner69A
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by Schooner69A » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:08 pm

Indeed! Nearing sixty years airborne and I'm still using the "Here Comes The Flight Safety Officer" mneumonic as a pre-take-off check. Now, if I could find a mneumonic that would help me to remember to zip up my fly in the morning... (;>0)
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by sportingrifle » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:36 pm

This is a great life saving tip. I fly many types of light aircraft, some quite old with a few idiosyncrasies. I don't use written checklists, but rather geographic ones, letting the aircraft itself be my checklist. But I always cover the 6 "killer items" just before advancing the throttle. Fuel, Mags,Mixture,Prop, Carb Heat, Flaps, Trim. Funny thing is I subconsciously do the same thing in the airliner! I don't know if this sort thing is still taught anymore. Chris Hadfield summed it up well: "Situational awareness is really about being aware of the next thing that is going to kill you." +1.
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cncpc
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by cncpc » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:58 pm

Always.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by jg24 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:15 am

I always use my own personal cockpit flow prior to takeoff to ensure nothing's out of place and 'critical' items are set to the correct position.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by ant_321 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:22 am

Yes. I've adjusted it with each type I've flown. I also do a similar check over the approach lights on final. Mainly gear and flaps are where they're supposed to be.
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ahramin
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by ahramin » Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:07 pm

To answer the OP's question no. I check them with a checklist and that's it.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:17 pm

One thing that IMO has never been really discussed in this thread is “what is a killer item”

Killer items are airplane specific and require critical thought, because a killer item should mean high risk of a very bad outcome if it is missed.

Trim in a C 172 is not a killer item. In a transport category airplane it could well be. The same applies to flaps.

For light aircraft IMHO, “killer”items are those that if set wrong could cause an ETAFO or a loss of control, so for me the GA aircraft “killer items check” is usually fuel selector/ boost pump/mixture and a good wiggle of the controls. Pretty much anything else will either be obvious or fixable without significantly affecting flight safety. If you are redoing the before takeoff check then I think you have not really thought about what and more importantly why you are redoing the check.

For transport category aircraft it is flaps and trim position plus the control wiggle.

For light aircraft I think the most valuable, but least practiced check is confirming static RPM (Fixed pitch prop) or correct MP/RPM (Constant Speed prop) at the beginning of the takeoff roll. Three times I have rejected a takeoff due to the fact that the engine was not developing full power.
In all 3 cases the engine had a significant issue.

So pop quiz

1) How many pilots know what the allowable static RPM range is on the fixed pitch prop aircraft they fly ?

2) For pilots flying normally aspirated aircraft with a constant speed prop how many pilots check the static MP before starting the engine so they know what MP indication (less induction system losses, usually about 1/2 in MP) they should see on takeoff ?
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cgzro
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by cgzro » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:59 pm

Given that the most likely things to kill you are weather and fuel related its probably a good idea to check both more than a few times before you take-off.
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crazyaviator
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by crazyaviator » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:20 pm

one killer item I missed today is to keep at least one of my co-pilots hands off the control column for the take-off and initial climb-out 80 can become 60 very quickly when my 4 yr old decides to PULLLL back !
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Xander
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by Xander » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:22 pm

You betcha.

APU off. Cabin secured (sterile light on). Autothrust armed. Fuel. Wx radar.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by goingnowherefast » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:47 pm

Pistons have things like primers, selectors, mixtures that all control fuel. Then multiple ignitions too. Many more 'killer' items. Something like a King Air only has a shut off valve that will make it's position apparent before the engine is even started. Even the old 100s won't quit with no low pressure pumps running. Aren't very many killer items.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by Cat Driver » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:34 pm

The one killer item I always checked was on landing.

" Where am I landing and where is my gear "
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by pelmet » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:51 pm

Here is a story about another guy that didn't check his killer items just before takeoff....

"Proficient Pilot: Being creative can be lethal
The hazard of building a better mousetrap

Rick and I were close friends. We shared a high-school locker and were members of the same Hi-Y club. I got him an after-school job as a line boy at the airport and eventually became his flight instructor. He was a good pilot.

Rick became an extraordinarily gifted graphic-arts designer. He was so talented that he was retained to create corporate imaging that included the FedEx logo; the display structure for the Spruce Goose in Long Beach, California; and an “erotic” shape for the Carlsberg beer bottle.

He was as meticulous as he was creative. All of his airplanes were maintained so well that they always appeared showroom-new. He would not tolerate any imperfections or blemishes. This attitude, however, seems to have led to tragedy.

While overseas and riding in the jump seat of a foreign-built airliner, Rick noticed that the crew taxied for departure with the control lock in place. When he inquired about this, he was told that this prevented the elevator from banging around (especially when taxiing over rough surfaces) and damaging the control hinges.

Rick appreciated this logic and concluded that this would be a smart way to protect the controls of his own airplane, a Cessna 340A. The control lock on his airplane—as on most Cessnas—incorporated a rectangular metal flag that covered the magneto switches. With the control lock and its flag in place, you could not gain access to the mags. You had to remove the control lock to start the engines, a clever idea that might have originated with Cessna. This is when Rick got creative—he cut off the metal flag so that he could start the engines and taxi out with the control lock in place.

I had flown Rick’s airplane a number of times and queried him about his jury-rigged control lock. Each time he insisted that this protected the elevator and even the ailerons. “But this makes it possible to forget to remove the locking pin,” I said admonishingly.

“There’s no way,” Rick replied insistently, “that I would ever forget to remove a control lock.”

During an early evening in the autumn of 2001, Rick and I and a few friends gathered for hors d’oeuvres—including exotic and edible insects—at the Typhoon Restaurant at the Santa Monica Airport. (There had been no drinking.) I had to leave early, but others stayed long enough to see Rick and his passenger hop into N2RR and taxi out to SMO’s Runway 21. It was reported that he never stopped long enough to make a complete runup.

The aircraft was then seen accelerating southwesterly. It continued to do so well beyond the area where liftoff normally would occur. Speed became increasingly excessive. Eventually the throttles were retarded and aggressive braking began with only 1,000 feet of runway remaining, not nearly enough to stop the speeding twin. The airplane skidded off the end of the runway, vaulted over an embankment, nosed into a guardrail, and burst into flame. Neither Rick nor his passenger survived.

An NTSB investigator found that the control lock had not been removed.

Speculation, backed up by performance data obtained from another Cessna 340, indicates that Rick likely did not discover that the elevator was frozen in position until attempting to rotate. At that point it appears likely that he attempted to remove the control lock while still accelerating. Dynamic pressure against the elevator, however, made removing the modified control lock so difficult that he finally gave up and attempted the abort.

This is a sad and classic case of how being creative and modifying established standards and procedures can be lethal.

Although it might be tempting at times to be creative, we need to remind ourselves that the established standards and procedures involved in flying an airplane evolved during more than a century of aviating (including countless accidents). Almost everything we do procedurally is for good reason, even though we might not always understand why.

Another example of creative flying practiced by some pilots involves retracting the wing flaps during a landing flare. One reason for doing this is that it makes it easier to touch down at a specific point along the runway (such as during a spot-landing contest). Another is that this reduces lift and shortens the landing roll.

The rapid change in lift, drag, and required elevator force can challenge a pilot beyond his ability to cope. The FAA strongly discourages this landing technique because it also is easy for a pilot flying a retractable-gear airplane to inadvertently raise the landing gear instead of the flaps. The administrator concedes, however, that such an error certainly would quickly and substantially reduce landing distance."
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pelmet
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by pelmet » Fri May 03, 2019 9:01 pm

ahramin wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:07 pm
To answer the OP's question no. I check them with a checklist and that's it.
Checklists can be a critical tool for flight safety for some pilots, although I have seen a poster adamantly state that he doesn't need checklists. Perhaps he doesn't and that's fine for him but I have been flying more than a dozen different types and not necessarily all that regularly. So I use the checklists very carefully before takeoff. Admittedly, I do end up using the GUMP stuff in flight sometimes for landing.

Unfortunately, I have noticed myself skip an item on occasion. Despite saying to myself that I need to be more careful, it still happens on occasion. On a recent recurrency check on a Mooney, we did a landing and taxi back for takeoff. I missed the setting of the trim on the checklist(so did the instructor) and it was full nose-up. Fortunately, I caught it when doing a final check. The instructor felt that the aircraft should have been controllable anyways. That is why, for myself anyways, I do a final check of my killer items.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by Eric Janson » Sat May 04, 2019 12:30 am

Another time when everything needs to be checked very carefully is after the aircraft comes out of maintenance.

Misrigging of controls happens far too often - it's also an easy one to miss.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by Victory » Sat May 04, 2019 3:58 am

What killer items are on airliners? Flaps. Spoilers? Engine anti-ice? Trim?
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by ahramin » Sat May 04, 2019 11:15 am

Victory wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 3:58 am
What killer items are on airliners? Flaps. Spoilers? Engine anti-ice? Trim?
Anything on the Takeoff Config Warning list.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by goingnowherefast » Sat May 04, 2019 11:57 am

Trim and flaps, depending on plane. Using the wrong (lower) thrust setting.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by C.W.E. » Sat May 04, 2019 1:19 pm

Killer items are

Controls free and proper movement.

Fuel, on and sufficient.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by AuxBatOn » Sat May 04, 2019 2:55 pm

Canopy, Controls, Flaps, Trim, Hook, Harness, Brakes, Seat.

A single checklist won’t be relevant for all types. The important is to know what is critical on you type and check these items before takeoff.

I personally don’t use checklists per se. I memorize them in a flow but dont reference them airborne, unless it is for dealing with non-critical emergencies.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by goingnowherefast » Sat May 04, 2019 3:24 pm

AuxBatOn wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 2:55 pm
Canopy, Controls, Flaps, Trim, Hook, Harness, Brakes, Seat.
Out of curiosity, will the CF18 move with the brakes locked? Basically, if you forget the parking brake and give-er for take-off, will it skid all the way to lift off?
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by PT6-114A » Sat May 04, 2019 6:59 pm

Xander, why APU off?
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by AuxBatOn » Sat May 04, 2019 10:13 pm

goingnowherefast wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 3:24 pm
AuxBatOn wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 2:55 pm
Canopy, Controls, Flaps, Trim, Hook, Harness, Brakes, Seat.
Out of curiosity, will the CF18 move with the brakes locked? Basically, if you forget the parking brake and give-er for take-off, will it skid all the way to lift off?
The parking and emergency brake is the same handle. You have to turn 90 degrees before you pull to engage the parking brake. A straight pull will engage emergency brakes. With emergency brake, you lose anti-skid. This is the concern on takeoff: that the handle is stowed, not pulled, even the tiniest pull (in both cockpits if flying a two-seater), to make sure you have anti-skid in case of a takeoff abort.

To answer your question, no. You would drag the brakes but it would be painfully obvious and would likely never reach takeoff speed.
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

Post by Xander » Sun May 05, 2019 6:17 am

PT6-114A wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 6:59 pm
Xander, why APU off?
Because in most cases (99% of the time, unless one of the engine bleeds is MEL’d) it’s not necessary for takeoff.

Furthermore, there is an altitude limitation for running the APU (33000’ on my aircraft) and if you run the APu above that, you will get an « APU EXEEDANCE » Eicas message.

Also it burns fuel for no reason.
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