Checklists – a short pencil beats a long memory

Every item in the photo is needed on this journey

Every item in the photo was needed on a journey to India ( click photo )

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” Why use a checklist ?  “

“A short pencil is better than a long memory.”   ( Old pilot saying )    How good is your memory ?   Could you remember every item in the picture above and not forget anything ?

NOTICE: ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHT PAUL SMYRES All rights reserved. No duplication ( copy and paste ) unless proper credit is shown in clear, readable manner next to quote. Living Being Media 2009

age gets us all  click to see more trucks

Checklists are one of aviation’s gifts to culture and getting things done.

Who hasn’t made a checklist at one time or another?    Some free styling personalities resist using them, but if you are truly serious about getting something important done safely and completely, you need to use checklists.

Checklists are to actions what blueprints are to engineering.    They can be broad outlines, or a very long series of specific, detailed steps.    Broad checklists can have sublists too.

Pilots of large aircraft have checklists that are like books.   It can be very humbling to use a checklist because it forces your attention, reminds us that a short pencil is better than a long memory.


Flight plan

Business planning is much like that.     When confronted with a goal or destination, a plan must be designed to reach it safely.

Certainty is never assumed in flight planning.   In fact, uncertainty is the presumption.    Weather and many other unknown factors can affect a flight’s success.    We know countless flights do succeed, and that’s because of careful attention and the use of checklists, over and over again.

From a pilot’s point of view, his / her life depends on it.

Precision landing, Aspen

Precision landing, Aspen

Today’s flight simulators are amazing.

Just because it’s a simulator doesn’t make it easy.   It takes practice to do this, that’s how realistic it is with the right setup.