Create an Airport Checklist

Set yourself up for a great flight before it begins.

Airplane Supplies
Airplane Supplies
Mark Phelps

As a pilot, you should be very familiar with checklists. There are preflight, startup, climb, cruise and pre-landing checklists, just to name a few. When you head to the airport, there are many things you need to make sure you bring along in order to fly safely, legally and comfortably. So why not create a flying checklist that helps you remember all the little things you need in the airplane? Based on whether you rent, own, borrow or steal (not recommended) the airplane you’re going to fly, the list will be different. But here are some suggestions.

Some of the basic items to bring include a headset, a fuel sampler, a flashlight, a seat cushion, the keys, sunglasses and charts (paper or electronic). For the many of you who have converted to using an iPad or other electronic flight bag, the checklist could include the date when the database must be updated. Airplane owners could even include due dates for required maintenance on the checklist as a good place for a regular reminder.

Other crucial items for the checklist are your pilot’s certificate (including the due date for your next BFR), medical certificate (including its expiration date) and photo ID.

In the airplane, your checklist makes sure that you don’t miss crucial cockpit actions. An airport checklist will ensure that you don’t lack important items when you arrive at your airplane. You can create your own personal checklist as a printed document or in an electronic format on your smartphone.