Aviation Safety Corner
For this month's topic, I would like to continue discussing, "Set Up For Success." Here's how to make
your Flying Safer, More Efficient and more Effective. This is Part III of IV.
Now, let's discuss, "Triple-C,E,R." Think about that checklist as the trigger in a five-step process. That process is C-C-C-E-R: Check, Clear, Configure, Execute, Recover.
The first C is for Check. Once you have completed the checklist, Clear the area. Then, Configure the aircraft for the specific maneuver or task. Once you've cleared, check and configured, it's time to Execute the task or maneuver. The last step is to Recover to straight-and-level flight.
Then, the process starts all over again for the next event or maneuver. The "three C's" can be accomplished seamlessly, moving from the one to another, mixing up the three parts in any logical order to suit the circumstances, as long as the three are viewed as separate requirements that need to be satisfied before execution of the planned task or maneuver.
It makes little difference which of the C's is done first, as long as the sequence you select is thorough and logical. There's nothing wrong, for instance, with checking that the mixture is full-rich while extending the gear in a right clearing turn. Just make sure everything gets done in a smooth, orderly flow.
The full procedure, then, is as follows (remember, the C's can be done in any order, as long as all three are accomplished):
Check: Do the "Before Landing" checklist for the aircraft you fly. In this application, however, look at it as a "Maneuver Checklist". Using the Cessna 172 as an example, it might be:
1. Safety belts and shoulder harnesses fastened. Makes sense, particularly if you're going to do stalls, high-bank-angle maneuvers at pivotal altitude, spins or other activities beyond straight-and-level flight at cruise altitude.
2. Fuel selector on "both" - to provide adequate fuel flow from tanks to engine.
3. Mixture rich-to provide an efficient fuel/air mixture for all power settings.
4. Carburetor heat on, especially for power-reduction maneuvers, such as for airspeed reduction prior to power-on stalls, the powered-back glides of steep spirals and reduced-power emergency landings, or power-off stalls.
5. Landing light on-to make your aircraft more visible to others during high-performance or critically slow airspeed maneuvers where "see and be seen" is especially important.
6. As an alternative in a more complex single, a generic "Maneuver Checklist" might be "L, G-U-M-P-S, S" for Landing light, Gas, Undercarriage, Mixture, Prop, Seat belts and Shutters (cowl flaps).
The "Maneuver Checklist" is followed by Clearing, Configuration, Execution, and Recovery. C-C-C-E-R. Usually, "Checklist" should be the first thing we do. It triggers preparation for whatever exercise follows, whether it is entry into the landing traffic pattern or execution of some examiner-requested maneuver during an FAA practical test. Regardless, Checklist sets the stage.
Next comes: Clear: Often students mill around the sky, not really understanding what to do prior to a particular maneuver. Convention says that you must do at least two 90-degree clearing turns, one to the left and one to the right. Others prescribe clearing above, below, left, right and in front.
Both of the procedures are "right," as far as they go. But, they don't go far enough. Clearing involves a lot more than a quick glance around for other airplanes, and thoughtful reflection clearly indicates that going through the motions isn't enough in today's congested airspace.
Have you ever seen an applicant fail a practical test for descending below 1,500 feet AGL while recovering from a stall? How about for violating Class B airspace or some other controlled airspace on a check ride? Appropriate "clearing" will absolutely prevent errors of this type.
Now, in conclusion, Remember, "Thinking" about it is the key. Don't miss next month's Aviation Safety Corner; "Set Up for Success." When we'll Discuss, "Clearing SWAT," and "Know What It Takes" in Part IV of IV.
Larry G. Harmon
FAA AVIATION SAFETY COUNSELOR
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