B-17 Cockpit Checklist

In order to stimulate thinking regarding making an investor checklist, I thought it would be interesting to look at the pilot checklist for a B17 Flying Fortress. Charlie Munger often refers to aviation as a model discipline in the use of checklists. In the 30’s when it was developed, the plane’s complex new technology put its future in jeopardy after the prototype crashed. The development of a checklist was instrumental in making the plane safe to fly. It would go on to be a workhorse in WWII.

This is from the website http://www.galbreath.net/bill/checklist.htm.

“From the Pilot Training Manual for the Flying Fortress – p.55 – 56

APPROVED B-17F and G CHECKLIST

PILOT’S DUTIES IN RED
COPILOT’S DUTIES IN BLACK

BEFORE STARTING
1. Pilot’sPreflight-COMPLETE
2. Form 1 A-CHECKED
3. Controls and Seats-CHECKED
4. Fuel Transfer Valves & Switch-OFF
5. Intercoolers-Cold
6. Gyros-UNCAGED
7. Fuel Shut-off Switches-OPEN
8. Gear Switch-NEUTRAL
9. Cowl Flaps-Open Right- OPEN LEFT-locked
10. Turbos-OFF
11. Idle cut-off-CHECKED
12. Throttles-CLOSED
13. High RPM-CHECKED
14. Autopilot-OFF
15. De-icers and Anti-icers, Wing and Prop-OFF
16. Cabin Heat-OFF
17. Generators-OFF

STARTING ENGINES
1. Fire Guard and Call Clear-LEFT Right
2. Master Switch-ON
3. Battery switches and inverters-ON & CHECKED
4. Parking Brakes-Hydraulic Check-On & CHECKED
5. Booster Pumps-Pressure-ON & CHECKED
6. Carburetor Filters-Open
7. Fuel Quantity-Gallons per tank
8. Start Engines: both magnetos on after one revolution
9. Flight Indicator & Vacuum Pressures – CHECKED
10. Radio-On
11. Check Instruments-CHECKED
12. Crew Report
13. Radio Call & Altimeter-SET

ENGINE RUN-UP
1. Brakes-locked
2. Trim Tabs-SET
3. Exercise Turbos and Props
4. Check Generators-CHECKED & OFF
5. Run up Engines

BEFORE TAKEOFF
1. Tailwheel-Locked
2. Gyro-Set
3. Generators-ON

AFTER TAKEOFF
1. Wheel-PILOT’S SIGNAL
2. Power Reduction
3. Cowl Flaps
4. Wheel Check-OK right-OK LEFT

BEFORE LANDING
1. Radio Call, Altimeter-SET
2. Crew Position-OK
3. Autopilot-OFF
4. Booster Pumps-On
5. Mixture Controls-AUTO-RICH
6. Intercooler-Set
7. Carburetor Filters-Open
8. Wing De-icers-Off
9. Landing Gear
a. Visual-Down Right-DOWN LEFT
Tailwheel Down, Antenna in, Ball Turret Checked
b. Light-OK
c. Switch Off-Neutral
10. Hydraulic Pressure-OK Valve closed
11. RPM 2100-Set
12. Turbos-Set
13. Flaps 1/3-1/3 Down

FINAL APPROACH
14. Flaps-PILOT’S SIGNAL
15. RPM 2200-PILOT’S SIGNAL
Back side of checklist

AFTER LANDING
1. Hydraulic Pressure-OK
2. Cowl Flaps-Open and locked
3. Turbos-Off
4. Booster Pumps-Off
5. Wing Flaps-Up
6. Tailwheel-Unlocked
7. Generators-OFF

END OF MISSION
1. Engines-Cut
2. Radio-On ramp
3. Switches-OFF
4. Chocks
5. Controls-LOCKED
6. Form 1

GO-AROUND
1. High RPM & Power-High RPM
2. Wing Flaps-Coming Up
3. Power reduction
4. Wheel Check-OK Right-OK LEFT

RUNNING TAKEOFF
1. Wing Flaps-Coming Up
2. Power
3. Wheel Check-OK Right-OK LEFT

SUBSEQUENT TAKEOFF
1. Trim Tabs-SET
2. Wing Flaps-UP
3. Cowl Flaps-Open Right-OPEN LEFT
4. High RPM-CHECKED
5. Fuel-Gals per tank
6. Booster Pumps-ON
7. Turbos-SET
8. Flight Controls-UNLOCKED
9. Radio Call

SUBSEQUENT LANDING
1. Landing Gear
a. Visual-Down Right-DOWN LEFT
Tailwheel Down, Ball Turret Checked
b. Light-ON
2. Hydraulic Pressure-OK
3. RPM 2100-Set
4. Turbo Controls-Set
5. Wing Flaps 1/3 – 1/3 Down
6. Radio Call

FINAL APPROACH
7. Flaps-PILOT’S SIGNAL
8. RPM 2200-PILOT’S SIGNAL

FEATHERING
1. Throttle Back
2. Feather
3. Mixture and Fuel Booster-Off
4. Turbo Off
5. Prop Low RPM
6. Ignition Off
7. Generator Off
8. Fuel Valve Off

UNFEATHERING
1. Fuel Valve-On
2. Ignition On
3. Prop Low RPM
4. Throttle Cracked
5. Supercharger Off
6. Unfeather
7. Mixture Auto-Rich
8. Warm up Engine
9. Generator On

SEQUENCE OF POWER CHANGES

INCREASING POWER
1. Mixture Controls
2. Propellers
3. Throttless
4. Superchargers

DECREASING POWER
1. Superchargers
2. Throttles
3. Propellers
4. Mixture Controls”

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