View Full Version : Challenge and Response Checklist Question

4th Jun 2007, 18:12
I am in the process of writing a normal checklist for a twin engined, two crew helicopter and would like some guidance on the printed format of the response side of the checklist.
Most items have a simple response; "Brakes.....OFF" for example.
If the check item has variable solutions such as "Radios & Navaids", I would use the response "SET"
If the item is, for example, "Anti Icing" when the item may require to be switched on or off depending on conditions, is it normal in the fixed wing world for the response to be printed "AS REQUIRED", "SET" or "ON/OFF" ? I am of the view that the printed text should reflect as close as possible to what the allowed responses could be therefore in the above case should be "ON/OFF" as these are the only two options.
I have searched for an authoritative source on checklist protocols with no success and would appreciate any pointers to such a reference. My company is trying to standardise checklist protocols on our various fleets and would like to conform to the correct standard - if there is one !

Gary Lager
4th Jun 2007, 18:43
My experience, Hugh (B737, A319/320/321), is that items like Anti-ice have a checklist response which may be written as AS REQD but which must always be responded to in the specific, i.e. ON or OFF.

AS REQD is not an acceptable verbal response to a checklist challenge, but OK for checklist annotation.

You could always expand further on the range of responses considered acceptable in the Pt B/Aircrew Manual/POH etc.

4th Jun 2007, 18:57
We have various responses printed, including "ON", "CHECKED & SET", "SET AND CROSS CHECKED"...

If there are several options in the response due to different airplane configurations (e.g., HSI switches) or situation-related options (e.g., Anti-Ice), the response is left as a blank line: "_____".

We do not have options printed (e.g., "ON/OFF"), with one exception: Where the Capt and FO settings are different, as in the Flight Director Computer Selectors, the response is listed as "A/B" and the item is noted as dual-response.

5th Jun 2007, 00:14
Hugh, if you want to find authoratative research on checklist design, I suggest you search for work by Degani: an acknowledged expert. One of his paperes is here (quick google, but the source document will be on the NASA site):


I think one of the key areas to look at, as you try and design your checklist, is to avoid making it a 'do list' and try to make it a confirmatory check. North Sea checklists have evolved into "flying the AS332 for dummies" manuscripts and would be viewed wth amazement by most FW pilots. (it's one of my pet subjects!)

NASA talk about "Killer items" and I truly belive that's the way to go, rather than mixing them up with "admin" items that really ought to be SOP driven (or worse still, knee jerk, oil company driven "response to past incidents" items!)

I can send you extracts from various FW FCOMS by e-mail, if you are interested, to show the operating philosophies of Boeing and Airbus.

5th Jun 2007, 01:41
If possible, the actual switch position should be used, i.e. ON, OFF, Selected, etc. Many agree that "as required' really says nothing and communicates nothing from the pilot responding to the pilot challenging. Also, the Pilot Monitor (old Pilot Not Flying) should check the switch position is actually in the position called out. More than a few incidents/accidents have occurred with the pilot saying the right thing, the switch NOT being in the correct position and no one noticing.
It can get wordy but where variables are involved, the actual settings *may* be called out. For example on Radio/NavAids, "Radio 16.9 and departure 123.57"
As noted, Degani is a great source of info on checklists as is Dr. Weiner
This link will take you to a NASA page with studies. http://tinyurl.com/3b2d32

Pontius's Copilot
5th Jun 2007, 09:23
Try these two sites
Start with the manufacturer's checklist, modify it as little as necessary, towards the common company standard you seek to achieve.
Ensure that the normal checklist (card) is comprehensively backed up with Expanded Checks, and (if appropriate) Flows, in Ops Manual Part B
I've known 'PF Response Required' items indicated by -
- A bullet point 'dot' to the left of the Challenge
- The acronyms 'PF' (or 'PNF') printed to left of Challenge, or to the right of Response
- A solid line connecting Challenge & Response (a dotted or broken line for self-response by PNF)
Keep it as compact and user-friendly as possible!
Been there, good luck.

6th Jun 2007, 07:38
Thank you folks for your various inputs. Very useful.

Capt Claret
6th Jun 2007, 08:13

My entire career checklist experience has been exactly as described by Gary Larger.

7th Jun 2007, 03:27
I agree with the view that 'As Required' is perfectly acceptable for the checklist itself, but the verbal response should state the actual configuration. For the Offshore Helicopter case, the classic example would be the final check item for "Parking Brake" - "On" for offshore, "Off" for onshore.