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View Full Version : 'Last look' checks - for/against?


strikemaster82
2nd Mar 2010, 14:59
I'm talking about airline flying here, no disrespect but please don't reply and tell me how you do/teach it in your puddlejumper. (Or single-seat wonderjet where you can talk to yourself all you like :eek:)

You know who you are, muttering incantations about flaps, packs etc during line-up and again going on about gear, flaps, brakes etc on short finals.

Have you guys never heard of checklists? You do the appropriate checklist and you will find that you have checked your gear is down etc in the proper place/time. (or did the gear retract itself after you put the landing checklist away? ;) )

If you feel a checklist is not complete, go around or don't accept line-up clearance until you run the checklist again.

IMHO, short finals or lining-up for departure are places to be looking out the window and concentrating on handling the aeroplane. Am I in a minority of one who feels that these impromptu self-created extra checks just get in the way?

411A
2nd Mar 2010, 15:40
Am I in a minority of one who feels that these impromptu self-created extra checks just get in the way?

Maybe.
A few old timers (myself included) will complete a very brief aircraft configuration check just prior to entering the runway, for takeoff.

This configuration check is...

Flaps/slats set properly.
Spoilers down.
Stab trim in the takeoff range.
On the runway, and lined up, check compass headings for agreement.

These are known 'killer' items from past accidents, and therefore, in my considered opinion, deserve a second look.

NB.
This configuration check was a mandatory item where I first obtained jet aircraft training on the B707, long ago...PanAmerican.

PENKO
2nd Mar 2010, 16:24
Have you never read a wrong response to a checklist? Answered ON where in fact the system was OFF? I'm sure you have. I'm sure you corrected yourself on it, or your collegue corrected you, or may be you both never even noticed the mistake!

Yep, I do a quick check. Silently. Just in case.

G-DAVE
2nd Mar 2010, 17:10
Blimey!

You warn off pilots of certain types of aircraft.

Moan about people that do an extra quick look around the cockpit (enhancing safety for a measly few seconds of effort (IMHO)).

All the while not knowing what certain parts of the circuit or phase of flight are!

It's FINAL, not FINALS. Do you or did you do DOWNWINDS checks? No? Thought not :ugh:

Rant over. Bad day today.

strikemaster82
2nd Mar 2010, 17:15
Blimey yourself Dave. Go and have a beer, I'll call it finals if I wants.

My point, which you have missed, is I am questioning if these things do add safety - while these guys re-check that which has been checked they are not looking around for the next thing which might get them... weather radar returns, etc.

And I still don't want to know how a PPL does it, thanks :)

silverknapper
2nd Mar 2010, 17:22
Do you think that in every accident caused by the aircraft not being in the correct config, the crew had just not read out any checks? Of course they had. Mistakes happen, I would venture that a quick scan of the important bits is good airmanship, not to mention potentially job enhancing in the days of FDM.

rjay259
2nd Mar 2010, 17:25
In my outfit some guys do but that is generally cause they are new to type and command. When they do it tho is after exiting the runway about to turn to a taxi way after the after landing checks are done, no checklist for those you see.

Mostly flaps are up, hydraulic pressure is green and lights are out. Ones not needed by the way.

MungoP
2nd Mar 2010, 17:32
I noticed after my arrival here in the US that I was being pressured very much more than in Europe to hurry into position and get airborne... Not just where you'd expect (JFK/LGA/LHX etc) but at airports where traffic was almost a novelty... " traffic 3 mile finals / cleared immediate.. " why the rush ? The next arrival is still 150 miles away. I often thought.. sooner or later this unnecessary pressure will cause someone to roll without flaps/slats whatever... a quick look at essentials prior to rolling can only be a safety factor... At the really busy places we usually have to queue anyway which gives us plenty of opportunity to cast around for anything out of place.

strikemaster82
2nd Mar 2010, 17:39
So the printed checklists are insufficient for most people then? In my company the P2 checks the flaps again during line-up...

Dream Land
2nd Mar 2010, 17:44
I like to make sure the compass heading is correct after line up, nothing else.

BOAC
2nd Mar 2010, 17:45
Strikemaster - have you read the report of the Spanair crash in Madrid? What would you say to a last minute check of flaps etc there?If you feel a checklist is not complete, go around or don't accept line-up clearance until you run the checklist again. - and was the checklist 'complete' in their minds...? How many wheels-ups have 'seen' three greens at 1500'?

I would recommend you take a look at what we old 'hairy-arses' say, and in the words of one
"These are known 'killer' items from past accidents, and therefore, in my considered opinion, deserve a second look."

Of course, you don't HAVE to do it.

DA50driver
2nd Mar 2010, 17:59
I always do a last minute check before take off and prior to minimums. FAATS (Flaps, Airbrakes, Annunciators, Trim and Speeds posted)on TO, 3 green and spoilers armed prior to landing If the flaps are not out I should already know that due to the speed difference or the stick pusher).

They take very little time to do and hopefully will allow me to retire without any major embarrassing moments.

I am also happy to see that someone else has a problem with "Finals". As a non native english speaker it just sounds wrong to me. I will now go to my beds and take a naps.

ford cortina
2nd Mar 2010, 18:09
The word AIRMANSHIP comes to mind:ok:

Dream Land
2nd Mar 2010, 18:13
The word AIRMANSHIP comes to mindYes it does, by following aircraft manufacturer recommended operating procedures, has been working fine. :ok:

Let the slagging begin...:ugh:

strikemaster82
2nd Mar 2010, 18:50
I'm trying to introduce a debate.

How many wheels-ups have 'seen' three greens at 1500'?

If the wheels were 'seen' at 1500 then presumably they would have been missed at the 'last look' as well

Of course I have seen the Spanair details. I still say it comes down to checklists and proper checklist discipline.

Ford cortina, I've heard of airmanship thanks :suspect:

Do you think that in every accident caused by the aircraft not being in the correct config, the crew had just not read out any checks? Of course they had. How can you be sure?

18-Wheeler
2nd Mar 2010, 23:58
Cropduster checks.
Takeoff - Fuel, flaps, trim.
Landing - Wheels and flaps.

Agaricus bisporus
3rd Mar 2010, 00:32
It never hurts to run your own routine double-check, but maybe best do this silently and internally for your own satisfaction and confidence, lest your purpose be questioned or misunderstood

As told to me by the late, great B.J Snook.

Situation;

A priest and a rabbi are sharing a compartment on a train. They naturally have an amicable discussion on Theology until the train slows for the rabbi's stop.
As the rabbi stands up he quickly touches his forehead, lower abdomen, left of his waist and right of his waist in a continuous gesture. The priest is transfixed! "Bejasus!" he exclaims, in the cod Irish accent usually reserved for such occasions, " I had no idea dat men of yer persuasion made the soign of the Holy Cross".

The rabbi paused, looking puzzled, but as he stepped onto the platform he replied over his shoulder, " Oy Father! Dat vos not de zine of de Holy Cross, I only check oi'f not left anytyhink!

"...Spektakles, Testackles, Vollet and Votch!"

Amen!


Seriously though, is it ever sensible to start a take-off roll without a last personal glance at orientation, flaps, trim and Vr (sensible), or to pass 500ft without a final look at landing flap, three greens?

It probably ain't necessary to blab it out loud- tho most of the FOs I know seem to regard it as a confirmation of their own similar private check...so what harm is done?

At least, I'd hope they do - Never forget the basics!





BJ. Thanks. And for a very great deal more than that.

Mach E Avelli
3rd Mar 2010, 01:45
For those with blind faith in written checklists, try this sometime - preferably on the 4th sector of a busy day at the end of a busy week. Start reading the wrong checklist and listen to the automated response. Something like on approach read the before start challenges and for 'speedbrake' instead of getting 'armed, green light' you will get 'down detent'. You won't catch everyone with this, but I guarantee you will catch someone.
Hence, a minimalist killer-item memory check is an insurance policy against complacency. The old Fokker F27 had a pretty comprehensive factory checklist but it was deficient in that there was no last-minute check of pneumatic pressure before takeoff. So, as I learned the hard way, if you had a leak you could end up with a braking problem if you needed to reject, or the inability to retract the gear after takeoff. Also, the choice of water methanol on or off could prove critical to whether the old girl would get out of some short runways or clear the rocks. There was also a choice of fuel trimmer setting which could make quite a difference to power available, particularly on a 'dry' takeoff. Flap setting was also critical depending on runway or obstacles. With a large disparity in V1 depending on whether flaps zero or 16 were required. Setting V1 for flap 16 but being configured for flap zero guaranteed a nice dose of stick shaker as it became airborne. Because we often did 8 or more sectors per day in tropical conditions it was easy to become jaded with the familiarity of it all. Flying with low-time F/Os who rarely called or corrected errors meant any mistake was possible.
So I created my own little chant for line-up. It was 'air, water, flaps, trim' which I know did raise some F/O eyebrows but there were a couple of occasions when it picked up a potential problem or wrong configuration. And I still do 'landing flap 3 greens' on short final. Let the F/O think I am losing my marbles, but by mumbling it aloud, it draws him/her into the plot as well. It will be on the CVR, too.

framer
3rd Mar 2010, 01:50
My opinion; great idea to do it, bad idea to say it out loud.
It's a real pain if someone mumbles something about gear or flap at a critical phase and you have to think "what was that? Is there something abnormal about the gear? ...nope....looks like three greens to me....oh he must have just been doing his personal check....cool"

Do you think that in every accident caused by the aircraft not being in the correct config, the crew had just not read out any checks? Of course they had.
I once called "landing checks thanks" and at that moment the localiser failed...that got our attention for the next few seconds as we sorted out what we were doing and came visual all sort of at the same time, we proceeded to land without doing the landing checks....first up we were distracted at just the wrong moment by a failure, then by getting visual, then by radio calls, then by a nasty crosswind....I'd like to think I would be wise to it now but it was a lesson for me and aircraft definately do land without having done the checklists. We got away with it scott-free, the only reason we knew we didn't do them is because we talked about the approach once parked at the gate.

Capt Pit Bull
3rd Mar 2010, 02:19
(or did the gear retract itself after you put the landing checklist away? )

Well, I've had gear go from "3 greens" to "2 greens and 1 red" after completion of the landing checks.

And I've also seen flaps indicate running during the take off role.

The former was probably an indication error, the later certainly was, but we went around for the first and stopped for the second. So if its all the same to you, I'll keep including flight phase critical stuff in my scan.

pb

Sciolistes
3rd Mar 2010, 03:45
IMHO, short finals or lining-up for departure are places to be looking out the window and concentrating on handling the aeroplane. Am I in a minority of one who feels that these impromptu self-created extra checks just get in the way?
I totally agree it is a bad idea to get distracted and start some kind of paranoid ad-hoc scan at a critical moment. All the killer items are part off the checklists, but checklists can fail to get done. I use two simple triggers. If the chart clip is flat against the control wheel the before takeoff checklist hasn't been completed. It takes but a nanosecond on receipt of a line up clearance. The second is at 1,000 RA, "CCG", Checks complete, Cleared to land, G/A altitude set. Works for any approach.

plain-plane
3rd Mar 2010, 07:08
"All" important checklist or flows is followed up by a bit of OCD.:}

I take great pleasure in spotting what it is the other driver is double-checking
True,- not everybody is doing it, however most are...:E

Microburst2002
3rd Mar 2010, 08:01
I think it is good airmanship, even in highly ergonomic cockpits such as the 320, with Take of and Landing Memos and the way the checklist are designed, so you check take off config well before the rush of the cleared for inmediate take off, or after a similar rush in short final.
Maybe one day the Memo has some important blue line pending and in the rush you miss it.
Both checklists and actions triggered by conditions or other actions can be missed by unexpected events, such as LOC failure or just an ATC ususual transmission or instruction. So the late checks are a good idea, and good airmanship in my opinion.

But this "home made" checks have to be made always. Specially when things are rushing. Otherwise they are quite useless, as the normal checks and call outs are enough.

As Framer says, keep it to yourselves, or every FO would have to learn each Captain's home made last checks. Please don't mumble nor say alound things about flaps, gear, spoilers in short final. It is distracting.

cheers

strikemaster82
3rd Mar 2010, 08:20
Please don't mumble nor say alound things about flaps, gear, spoilers in short final. It is distracting.

You have summed it up nicely. Personally I always ensure the vital things are there, silently! and I would never presume to suggest no-one else should.

However, there is nothing worse than half-hearing someone else's mantra as it may be done at a different time to your own and you find yourself thinking "yes thank-you the gear is still down, the spoilers are still armed" when you would prefer to be listening to the r/t...

In my original posting I was in fact referring to the muttering aloud brigade. As I am not qualified at mind-reading I have no idea how often my colleagues check and re-check the same items, nor do I care, just as long as I don't have to hear it.

Feel free to tell me if the gear isn't down yet though :E

Mach E Avelli
3rd Mar 2010, 10:10
Strikemaster, 'having to hear it' probably depends on whether you are the Capt or the F/O. As the Capt you could probably tell him to shut up, but this could be a CLM if you are the F/O. (CLM = career limiting move).
Agreed that there are some nonsensical statements and chants made in the cockpit. My pet hate with one bloke was - upon becoming visual -always said: 'for the threshold'. Where else were we headed? Another gripe is with those who make a lengthy speech about the status of the instruments when taxying - the old 'turning left skidding right, compasses decreasing' mantra. Another useless one is 'inbound, no flags'. I would rather hear a statement like 'established, descending to...' to give me comfort that we both agree about how low we can go. Talking about instrument status is hardly necessary with modern warning systems. But I'm gonna stick with 'landing flap 3 greens' and the poor old F/O is just gonna live with it.

Permafrost_ATPL
3rd Mar 2010, 10:37
I do them on both line-up and short final, but silently. The distraction of the "mumbling checks" is made worse in today's international fight decks. Especially during crucial phases of flight, please stick to SOP calls! It can be very confusing otherwise.

Besides the usual flap/spoiler/trim/gear checks, I double check I'm on the runway! Compass check alone will not catch a taxiway lineup. What it will catch is lining up on a runway from distant intersection - facing the wrong way! I'm sure it's been done after weeks of prevailing winds and a sudden runway change...

P

framer
3rd Mar 2010, 12:16
But I'm gonna stick with 'landing flap 3 greens' and the poor old F/O is just gonna live with it.

Yes yes everyone knows that you're the Captain and you have power and authority and all that jazz, but jeez wayne....don't you care that you're annoying to fly with?

mumble mumble gear mumble flaps mumble green

Basil
3rd Mar 2010, 12:55
If it's what you do, don't change it.
Nothing wrong with a quick personal scan before take off and landing - bloody good idea.
Try to do it silently because, if it's non SOP, it may confuse the other crewmember or even interrupt THEIR little 'comfort check'.

I say again: If you have a little personal safety habit you've built up over years of safe flying, don't drop it - that habit may be why you haven't had an incident.

FE Hoppy
3rd Mar 2010, 12:58
Anyone who hasn't been tired enought to screw up a check list hasn't lived. If one of these self created safety checks catches one item once then they are worth putting up with. And I'm not too proud to admit Ive seen it happen.

shortleg
3rd Mar 2010, 15:33
Three times in the last year I have had a laser light shone at me during approach. On two of those occasions the distraction was enough to cause us to miss something. Luckily nothing major and subsequently corrected. I would advocate a (quiet) personal scan as good airmanship.

John Boeman
3rd Mar 2010, 16:53
My opinion; great idea to do it, bad idea to say it out loud.

In a nutshell!
I find it somewhat distracting if an FO loudly runs through his particular pre-line up chant after putting away the before T.O. checklist, especially when it doesn't contain anything extra over what he has just finished reading out.

Fully agree that a quiet check of "the killers" is vital, and I will always pass on that advice.

FullWings
3rd Mar 2010, 20:22
...Personally I always ensure the vital things are there, silently! and I would never presume to suggest no-one else should.
Agreed. Verbalising non-SOP checks at critical phases of flight can lead to confusion.

I remember on a previous type, one of the pre-takeoff checks was a challenge of "Flaps?" to which the response, under normal circumstances, would have been "Five" (say) and "Green" (all the LE deployed, otherwise "Red" = no go). Simple. But no: many had their own little mantra, all subtly different from the others. Sometimes it was verbal diarrhoea: "Five, green, five on the card, five in the box, five fingers on my hand, five is my number, here's a fiver...", etc. All a bit distracting, especially when mumbled into the headset in a busy ATC environment.

IMHO nothing wrong in saying, clearly, "I'm just going to check the config. before we go; don't mind me." or words to that effect. It stops you wasting time trying to understand WTF the other pilot is failing to communicate to you.

Kiltie
4th Mar 2010, 21:26
3 years ago at 400 feet my light aircraft mnemonic checks done silently in my head saved me from landing with an incomplete landing checklist on a 70 ton jet. Our goof for not completing the checklist and getting distracted but the old habits closed the hole in the Swiss cheese. Non SOP but airmanship.


G-DAVE

I sympathise with your frustration. FinalS is a grammar cancer that has spread throughout an alarming amount of pilots.

Many people are now parking their aeroplanes (or should that be aircraftS)in a hangEr.

Is anyone willing to come up with an emoticon to show a revolver to one's own head?

nbairlines
4th Mar 2010, 21:37
+1 for 411A

Trim, Flaps, Spoilers. Very usefull and did safe my day once.

not only for the oldtimers :}

exeng
4th Mar 2010, 23:10
Always silently check flaps and trim before line up, and flaps and gear before landing.

To be honest I silently check a lot of things all through the flight because I was taught a long time ago that doing so would likely see me through to retirement in one piece.

So far so good - but too early to count my blessings.


Regards
Exeng

169west
5th Mar 2010, 08:14
Before Takeoff (ALL)

- Transponder, Doppler and DMEs: DECLARE
- Cabin Notification: DECLARE
- Landing Lights: DECLARE
Engineer's Takeoff Checklist: COMPLETE
- Anti Skid: ON
- Speedbrake: FORWARD
- Stabilizer Trim: DECLARE
- Wing Flaps: (), INDICATE (), GREEN LIGHTS, IN DETENT
- Compassess: CHECKED
TAKEOFF CHECKLIST: COMPLETE
____________________________________

Landing Checklist (ALL)

- Speedbrake: FULL FORWARD IN DETENT
- Landing Gear: DOWN, 3 GREEN LIGHTS
- Wing Flaps: (), INDICATE (), GREEN LIGHTS IN DETENT
- Yaw Damper lights: OFF
Pilots' Approach Checklist: COMPLETE
- Antiskid: 4 RELEASES
- Engine Ignition: FLIGHT START
- Turbos: MAX TWO
- Hydaulic Pressure and Quantity: NORMAL
Engineer's Landing Checklist: COMPLETE
LANDING CHECKLIST: COMPLETE
____________________________________

NVpilot
5th Mar 2010, 11:23
B707 last check, with the F/E reading...Not required or needed on the scarebus, we just push a few buttons and go. :}:E

boingdrvr
9th Mar 2010, 13:31
"Not required or needed on the scarebus, we just push a few buttons and go."


Ahh yes. The result of 40 years of technological innovation culminating in the loss of the third set of eyes also known as the Second Officer.

Ain't progress great!!