If I’ve learned anything over the years as a professional pilot, it’s to have a systematic method of studying the particulars of a new airplane. First, I build a foundation by becoming familiar with the dimensions of the machine. The dimensions provide a basic overview. Next, I (attempt to) commit to memory the pertinent limitations: max gross weight, speeds, altitudes, etc. While studying the systems of the airplane, I begin to memorize — you guessed it — the memory items of the emergency checklists. An understanding of the reasons for performing the tasks of an emergency checklist assists in more intimate systems knowledge. In that regard, familiarity with the Mustang CAS (crew alerting system) messages was invaluable.