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?

#1 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?

#2 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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sportingrifle
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

#3 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?

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

Always.
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jg24
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

#5 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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ant_321
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

#6 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?

#7 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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Big Pistons Forever
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

#8 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?

#9 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?

#10 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?

#11 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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goingnowherefast
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Re: Do you check your killer items just prior to takeoff?

#12 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?

#13 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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