A2A Cessna 182 Skylane Unofficial Student Checklist

Feb 16, 2015 Off Comments in Uncategorized by
A2A Cessna 182 Skylane Unofficial Student Checklist

To kickstart my PPL flight simulation training, I created my own student checklist of A2A’s wonderful Cessna 182 Skylane. The ‘student’ part implies adding many more checklist items, those that regular student pilots are taught during their flight training but are not explicitly mentioned on checklists (as these should be memorized and trained). I’ll use this student checklist as my aid to become a virtual, Instrument Rated GA pilot in Prepar3D someday. And it can serve your training too, if you like. Download it for free below.

After countless hours of studying YouTube flight training videos, AOPA articles, aviation forums, and blogs on handling Skyhawks and Skylanes, I finally finished my student checklist of A2A’s Cessna Skylane. Also with the kind help of some of A2A’s Cessna 182 community members.

If you come to spot any mistakes in the checklist, or have ideas for improvement, please let me know by commenting on this blog post below. I’m really interested in learning all there is to know about the Skylane and GA flying in general. I’m not an actual PPL certified pilot nor is this checklist approved by real-world pilots or endorsed by A2Asimulations. I invite you all to critically review my student checklist and let me know if any items need changing, rephrasing, adding or removing. I’ll gladly upload improved versions if necessary.

And if you like, consider subscribing to either my Facebook, Twitter or YouTube channel. While I’m still preparing my flight simulation training, I will soon start with posting flight review videos of my actual flights in Prepar3D and share the things I learned along the way.


Version 2.1 to 2.2

# Updated checklist 3 with additional flight planning items and descriptions. Also re-ordered items.

# Condensed checklist 4

# Removed flow visualization metaphors from header titles (no use)

# Updated checklist 6 with added flight control check

Version 2.0 to 2.1

# Updated checklist 1 to include additional preparations for streaming to Twitch

# Moved ‘Inspect airplane in maintenance hanger’ from checklist 4 to checklist 6. Otherwise, when you visit the maintenance hanger in checklist 4, you already see whatever mechanical issues the plane has prior to carrying out the preflight checks yourself … making checklists 6 and 7 redundant.

Version 1.7 to 2.0

Huge update, covering the main corrections below:

# General: Added grey rows of descriptive text to indicate what subsequent items are about

# General: Added red-lined checklist items of those items that are crucial to the engine

# General: Made ATIS items blue too (as these are also part of radio communication)

# General: Rearranged checklist items to optimize visual flow. Also added in the header of several checklists, between brackets, a shape/concept that represents the appropriate flow direction. Hard to describe in text here, just see me perform these live on my Twitch.tv channel

# Restructured the first three checklists to ensure I start my Twitch stream before I do my flight planning (as I like to include flight planning as part of my stream)

# Rearranged checklist 3. Weather forecast is pushed a bit further, as it seems more logical to first plan the most efficient and safe flight route and THEN to circumvent bad weather.

# Checklist 3: Added ‘personal limits’ to weather (as MVFR conditions can still be too much to chew on, even if it’s still legal to fly VFR; in addition, personal crosswind speed limits)

# Checklist 3: Changed required fuel numbers to rounded (and more conservative) numbers for easier calculation

# Checklist 3: Weight and balance, added MUL weight (Maximum Useful Load)

# Checklist 3: Added submitting flight plan to PilotEdge

# Checklist 4: Corrected ‘Engine Oil & Filter Change’ to >50 hrs TACH. Previously, I thought that this number of hours was just flying hours, but obviously these are Tachometer hours. So, change oil and your oil filter once you hit 50 hours of TACH hours or after 4 months of time (whichever comes first).

# Checklist 6 and 22: Verifying the transponder mode is set to STBY (as it happened to me several times that I had forgotten to reset my squawk code to 1200 and started to broadcast a code during my engine start procedures without knowing).

# Checklist 6: Moved the ‘Flight Controls’ check to before takeoff checklist. Apparently, this is done that late in the checklist. Couldn’t find out why…

# Checklist 6: Specified that only the Battery switch need to be turned out to complete the interior checks, not the Alternator (as turning the Alternator on drains the battery if the engine is not running).

# Checklist 8: Rearranged the order of the items

# Checklist 9: Leaning the mixture for ground operation means leaning for maximum RPM. You lean at 1200 RPM until you see a slight RPM drop but then you increase the mixture a tad to approach peak RPM.

# Checklist 10: Corrected that the transponder should be set to ON or ALT, depending on the requirements of the airfield. For example, KSNA requires airplanes to set their transponder to ALT at all times (as indicated on the airport diagram).

# Checklist 10: Specified radio settings

# Checklist 10: Added option to ask Clearance/Ground for VFR advisories (Flight Following)

# Checklist 12: Added a comment that if on loose gravel, you should do your runup while rolling (to prevent damaging the propeller that otherwise will suck up loose gravel)

# Checklist 13: Added to start running the Clock if IFR

# Checklist 14: Added to turn on Taxi lights instead of Landing lights if remaining in the pattern, to extend the service time of the landing lights

# Checklist 14: Added to retract flaps at 300 ft AGL

# Checklist 14: Added to fly assigned heading and altitude at 500ft AGL

# Checklist 14: Added to turn for crosswind leg 300ft below the traffic pattern altitude (TPA)

# Checklist ‘Engine failure enroute’: Added best glide speed (76KIAS)

# Checklist 15: Added that leaning the mixture should only be done in power settings where the throttle is set <80%. In other words, not during takeoff or climb. This contrasts conventional notions (like stated in the POH) that leaning is only allowed above 5000 MSL; this rule is invented as above 5000 MSL the air is thin enough that leaning with full power doesn’t harm the engine (and as such, this rule is considered easier/safer to remember by pilots than ‘only to lean with power setting <80% (I disagree as not leaning during descend leads to fouled plugs easily)).

# Checklist 15: Added Vx and Vy speeds for convenience

# Checklist 16: Added mixture settings for best performance, economy and recommended (see mixture settings box below)

# Checklist 17: Added radio settings

Aviation acronyms, mnemonics and abbreviations explained

Due to limited space on the checklist, I had to use some aviation acronyms, mnemonics and abbreviations. I explain these below.

“IMSAFE” = Illness, Medication, Stress, Alcohol, Fatigue, Eating

SEP Currency = You should have flown at least 12 hours in the last 12 months, of which at least 6 hours are flow as Pilot In Command (PIC). You should also have completed a Flight Review (FR) in the last 24 months.

“3512”& < 15 KIAS  = VFR minimums: 3 statue miles of visibility, 500 feet below clouds, 1000 feet above, 2000 feet horizontal from clouds. These restrictions are generic and apply to Class C and D airspace (B = clear of clouds), and also for Class G and E (while these latter airspaces actually allow even 1 statue mile of visibility, which seems nuts to me; hence the ‘generic’ 3 statue miles). The < 15 KIAS refers to the fact that flying with >15 KIAS crosswinds is not permitted.

S2, T4, 11/HR, 8 RSRV = About 2 gallons are needed for startup, 4 for taxi (entire flight), 11 gallons per hour regular flight, and 8 gallons of reserve (30-45 minutes).

A TOMATO FLAMES = A – airspeed indicator, T – tachometer (for each engine), O – oil pressure gauge (for each engine using a pressure system), M – manifold pressure gauge (for each altitude engine), A – altimeter, T – temperature gauge (for each liquid cooled engine), O – oil temperature gauge (for each air cooled engine), F – fuel gauge, L – landing gear position indicator, A – anti collision lights (for aircraft certified after March 11th 1996), M – magnetic compass, E – ELT, S – safety belts.

GRABCARD = G – Generator, R – Radios, A – Attitude indicator, B – Ball (slip coordinator), C – Clock, A – Adjustable altimeter, R – Rate of turn indicator, D – Directional gyro.

FLAPS = F – Fuses (spares) or circuit breakers, L – Landing light (if for hire), A – Anticollision lights, P – Position lights, S – Source of electricity.

AVIATES = A – Airworthiness Directives (AD’s), V – VOR Check (every 30 days) (IFR Only), I – Inspections 100 hour (For Hire Only) and Annual (Required of all Aircraft), A – Altimeter (Every 24 Calendar Months) (IFR Only), T – Transponder (Every 24 Calendar Months), E – ELT (Every 12 Calendar Months), S – Static System (Every 24 Calendar Months) (IFR Only).

Crosswind Correction – AS REQUIRED (TAIL > TAXI) = What I mean with this is that you should apply forward crosswind correction only if your tail wind is higher than your current taxi speed.

Throttle – INCREASE MP, RPM ‘LEVELS’ = What I mean with this is that you increase Manifold Pressure and watch the RPM rise but ‘level’ at a certain RPM (while you increase MP). This proofs the propeller is working.

Power Setting Change – < THRL/PROP, > PROP/THRL = What I mean with this is that, if you want to decrease power, you should pull back on the throttle first and then pull back the propeller (otherwise the RPM will overspeed), and if you want to increase power you should increase the propeller first and then the throttle (otherwise the same RPM overspeed would happen). Make sure the throttle is <75% pushed in during cruise and descent.

GUMPS = G – Gas, U – Undercarriage, M – Mixture, P – Propeller, S – Seat belts and Switches.

ABCDE = A – AIRSPEED – Set the plane for “Best Glide Speed”, B – BEST FIELD – Locate a suitable landing site, don’t overlook any close airports, but otherwise find a good looking field that’s wide and long and oriented into the wind. Turn towards this field. It’s not good enough to just locate a field, you have to be able to land on it. If you arrive over the field too high you can always circle down to lose altitude, if you’re not going to reach the field because you didn’t turn immediately towards it there’s nothing that can help you gain altitude, C – COCKPIT CHECK – Why did the engine stop and can you re-start it. Don’t overlook the obvious, if you just “moved something” and the engines stopped, “move it back”. In the Cessna 172 the “L” check can cover this “fuel selector, fuel valve, mixture, throttle, carb heat, mags, master”. If you have time pull out your emergency checklist, D – DECLARE AN EMERGENCY – Tell somebody what’s happening. If you were already in contact with ATC or FSS or even Unicom at an airport, tell them. Otherwise use the emergency frequency (121.5) to call your Mayday and location. Set your transponder to 7700, E – EXIT, PREPARE – Brief you passengers and make other preparations for the forced landing. In a Cessna 172 you should cover issues such as seat belts fastened, seats pushed back as far as they will go, open the door but hold it closed to prevent jamming.

CCCCC = Circle, Climb, Communicate, Confess, Comply