IFR kneeboard organizer, depart, enroute, arrival checklist

ilvsleep

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I was hoping somebody could help me. I'm making a kneeboard checklist for IFR flight (training for the rating) to help organize my thoughts during all phases of flight. I would really appreciate any advise on what I should have on it. Right now I have space for ATIS first, then what my call to ground should be with spaces for the airport and call sign of aircraft...etc. , then I have space for the actual clearance ( cleared to:_______, Via:_____, ALT:_____, FREQ:_____, XPDR:______). At the bottom I have what I call the IFR check and that is a list numbered 1-5 starting with; ATIS before taxi, Tune and ident VORs, ADF, and DME, Radios and XPDR set, Dpearture Brief.

If there is anything you think would be pertinent and helpful for IFR specific memory aids please let me know so I can add it and be that much more prepared. Thanks so much I really appreciate all the advise and also this forum in general it has answered so many questions I didn't even think to ask.
 

moxiepilot

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Regarding your clearance copying, I used CMEDS

Cleared to:

Maintain:

Expect:

Departure Freq:

Squawk:

usually works out well when the controller says, "King Air 1234 cleared to XYZ, climb & maintain 5000 expect 12000 10 minutes after departure, departure frequency 128.6 squawk 9876..."

Secondly, it will get easier. Practice will help you becoming more prepared. Remember have fun, laugh when you screw up a hold with your instructor, go somewhere new like B primary airports (DFW, ATL, SEA, whereever you are) and have fun, have fun have fun. Remember you're training - your CFII will have lots of helpful hints you will pick up over time after hearing them over & over again.
 

trybysky

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Time

I also get my time... The time at Takeoff should always be recorded, plus, it's a good habit to get into for later, when your doing this for a living.
 

onthebeach

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Some other ideas...

Develop your own clearance shorthand, nobody has to know what it means except you, so be creative. Expanding on the example above:

>>"King Air N23F cleared to Sweetlips airport via after departure turn left heading 270 until 3.5 dme from Onfield vortac ["OTF"], then direct Firstfix ["FFX"], flight plan route. Climb & maintain 5000 expect 12000 10 minutes after departure, departure frequency 128.6 squawk 9876..."<<

This becomes:

C XYZ, AD LT 270 > OTF 3.5 D FFX FPR, C/M 050 E 120 + :10, D 128.6, S 9876

I bet you could write that just as fast as a New York controller could say it.
Note the commas separate each element of a clearance, i.e., "C- R- A- F- T,"
or "Clearance Limit, Route, Altitude(s), Frequency, Transponder code."

Some people simply space out the letters "C- R- A- F- T" across the page top and write in each element of the clearance. Then when that element changes in subsequent clearances, they write down the changed element immediately below the previous element, then cross out same.

Most of the busyness will go out of the process for you when you realize that the controllers will tell you things in the same sequence, always, with the same terminology, always, and for each airport, at roughly the same point, always...and usually, the same thing, i.e., runway assignment or approach in use. The rest of the busyness will be taken out of the process as you yourself get more proficient with practice.

Very soon, this whole thing will get to be no big deal.

That's when you will stop making mistakes because you're a greenhorn, and start making mistakes because you are getting too big for your britches. One is as bad as the other, I suppose, but at least a greenhorn has an excuse.

Safe flying to you.
 

User546

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I use CRAFT as well. First I'll get the ATIS, and write out the pertinent information across the top of the notepad I'm using. That way I can brief the Captain on the weather, and also have the "Information" letter for when I make my initial callups to Clearance and Ground.

Then its:
C - Clearance limit
R - Route of Flight
A - Altitude / Initial & Expected
F - Departure Frequency
T - Transponder Squawk

For instance:
Clearance Delivery gives you: "N123AB is cleared to Riverside Airport, via Radar Vectors to Intercept the Will Rogers 061 radial to the Tulsa 221 radial, Tulsa VOR, then Direct. Climb and maintain 5,000, expect 210 10 minutes after, Contact Departure on 134.25 and squawk 4355."

C - RVS
R - RV, IRW 061, TUL 221, TUL, D->
A - 5K - 210/10
F - 134.25
T - 4355"

Do it a dozen times and you wont have to put CRAFT anymore out to the side. I've used it since my initial instrument rating, and still use it today flying jets. The biggest thing it serves as is a helper to remind you what information is coming next. Once you can anticipate what info he should be giving you next, you'll be more prepared to write it down without having him to repeat it.
 

viper548

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I used 'CRAFT' until I got into the jet and it didn't fit on the TOLD card. Now I just write it out. With all the altitudes they give I just separate them with a /. EG "Maintain 5000, expect FL310 after 10 min. I put 50/F310/10
 

NRHPilot

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moxiepilot said:
Regarding your clearance copying, I used CMEDS

Cleared to:

Maintain:

Expect:

Departure Freq:

Squawk:

usually works out well when the controller says, "King Air 1234 cleared to XYZ, climb & maintain 5000 expect 12000 10 minutes after departure, departure frequency 128.6 squawk 9876..."

Secondly, it will get easier. Practice will help you becoming more prepared. Remember have fun, laugh when you screw up a hold with your instructor, go somewhere new like B primary airports (DFW, ATL, SEA, whereever you are) and have fun, have fun have fun. Remember you're training - your CFII will have lots of helpful hints you will pick up over time after hearing them over & over again.
Moxie, how do you squawk a 9 or 8?
 

User546

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viper548 said:
I used 'CRAFT' until I got into the jet and it didn't fit on the TOLD card.
You're really suppose to use those TOLD cards?? Huh... :D

Just kidding... I like to write it down on a notepad as I'm taking it, and then transfer it over to the TOLD card once I get it read back, and all the intersections or VOR names spelled right. That way I'm not scribbling up a TOLD card if I misread anything, or run out of room while copying.

Half a dozen one the other though...
 

viper548

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I suppose I should do that too. I write it down so fast, I can bearly read it afterwards. The captain usually has no idea what I wrote. Another thing I do is always wear my headset when I get my clearence. 90% of the time the FA will come in and start talking as soon as clearence starts talking. I also always do a manual manifest on the DL side. More times than not, the pax count will be off, one of the copies is different than the other, or they ask me to do a manual anyways.
 

minitour

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ilvsleep said:
If there is anything you think would be pertinent and helpful for IFR specific memory aids please let me know so I can add it and be that much more prepared. Thanks so much I really appreciate all the advise and also this forum in general it has answered so many questions I didn't even think to ask.
Honestly, I just use a yellow note pad...one of the "kneeboard size" ones...not legal pad size.

Shorthand is key.

On the top, usually is my ATIS
"Airport information F, 1151Z weather, winds 120/14 Vis 2-1/2 Sky condition Few 002, Sct 012, Overcast 015, Temp 22 Dewpoint 18, Alt 29.88. ILS Runway 14 Approach in use, landing and departing runway 14. Advise you have F" becomes...

F 120/14 V2-1/2 OVC015
22/18 A2988 ILS14 L/D 14

Then when I get a clearance it might be

V123 ABC V456 MYFIX (D) 3.0 8.0/10 133.95 5222

Other than any holding instructions, all I write on it is arrival atis...and a non-standard miss if I'm just practicing.

On my navlog (which I print from FliteStar - You can use DUATS too), I do a VOR check (against each other). On the taxi, I've got the navaids tuned in properly and set to go. Everything else is in the checklist and I do it the same every time.

I'd say don't get/use a kneeboard. I used to...thought they were great...not anymore. I just put the notepad up in between the windshield and the side panel (holds nicely there). Enroute charts go in the yoke clip ... approaches/ID/STAR stay in the binder...I use the stay-open tabs (Jepp) and put the binder in my lap. After I brief the approach, I look down maybe once more if it's at or close to mins to tripple check the miss...usually twice to check MDA/DH

I put post-it notes in the binder marked Dep - Dep/Alt - Dest - Dest/Alt - ID - STAR and put those post-its on the appropriate pages (Departure, Departure Alternate, Destination, Filed Alternate, Instrument Departure, STAR) if necessary.

um...other than that....oh yeah...on the note pad I do put down takeoff time, engine start time, and hobbs out time...and typically I'll do a little math to figure out what descent rate I'll need to meet any crossing restrictions.

.....but in the 172 not a lot of that stuff applies, so I find I have lots of time to wonder "hmm...I wonder if..." while I'm flying.

Bottom line...you'll get a system that works for you. When you do, stick with it and perfect it. I'm sure you'll be fine.

Hope it helped.

-mini
 

ilvsleep

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Thanks for all the help!!

All the info was a big help....my CFI was in the same IFR ground school I was (money problems held me up a little) so he doesn't have that much more experience than I do. All of this info from more experienced pilots is extemely useful, I'm sure I'll be safer because of it. I really appreciate it. Also if there are any other things you find helpful to IFR flying please throw them on the board... we're all paying attention!
 

User546

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If you're still doing, or just fresh out of, ground school... let me give you one handy piece of advice.

Know your approach charts (Jepp & NACO) and Enroute Charts down cold.

On the Enroute Charts know all the symbols, and their significance, and do some real world scenarios with them. It's not rocket science, but you will be using them a lot if you fly a lot of IFR in smaller planes.

For the Approach Plates, know all the symbols, and be able to fully understand the intricacies of the charts. Be able to pull out any chart of any airport and be 100% confident that you could fly it and understand it without any worries.

Few things will get you more excited in the cockpit then being single-pilot IFR, with no autopilot, and not being "completely" sure about what a portion of your approach is indicating (for instance, do you do the PT turn, is this particular segment required, is this segment the missed approach or regular approach leg, etc.)

And I think Rod Machado's "Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual" is a great reference book for your aviation library. It covers in depth just about anything and everything you could possibly want to know about IFR flying. It's a great book for a begining instrument student, or for a well experienced pilot. I still look up stuff from time to time as a refresher or to find the answer to a specific question thats stumping me.
 

JediNein

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Jr. Legal pads on the kneeboard, a post-it note, scrap of paper, Burger whoop napkin, whatever.
I set up the sheet as follows:

_______
ATIS
CLRNC
_______
H | A| R
| |
| |

Across the top two lines, I write ATIS, Box the code, circle the runway(s) in use.

I use "CRADS" (Departure & Squawk) instead of "CRAFT" when teaching. It just sounds dirtier. I give the Route two lines of room.

If needed, I'll write the VOR check on the kneeboard, signing and dating it.

Under that, generally three columns, headings, altitudes, and frequencies; when instructing, the three move left and I add a column to write maneuvers to do, squawks, name of student, n-number, date, and times. When the frequency, heading, or altitude changes, I'll line out the previous one. That way I can still read the previous frequency if needed. They really help when required to re-construct the flight, for a student or FAA debrief.

At the bottom of the page, I'll write any questions to ask, or to look up the answer, and finish the sheet with the flight total time; any special notes like IMC or night; record tach & hobbs; and any payment made by the client.

Good luck! A kneeboard habit will go a long way towards avoiding altitude busts.

Fly SAFE!
Jedi Nein
 

ilvsleep

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thanks to eveybody so far...

This is great information....I would appreciate if some of you would post what call-outs and procedures your companies use for IFR flight. That way I might start memorizing the order so the checklists aren't so foreign to me when I do actually get a class date someday. Thanks!
 

GravityHater

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ilvsleep said:
I would appreciate if some of you would post what call-outs and procedures your companies use for IFR flight.
I have a strong suspicion (and would love to be shown wrong) but I think a lot of the callouts and briefings get short-shifted or dropped altogether except for checkrides.

Here are some I ran across and we tend towards although there are a thousand variations out there - I expect lively discussion on these:

PRETAKEOFF
"Sterile Cockpit please"
Pax briefing
PF briefs PNF on Checklists, Callouts, Plan in event of malfunction on TO, who handles radios/flaps/gear/power and when.
Transfer of Control procedures
Runway Briefing (Type of T-O, flap setting, power settings t-o and climb, Vspeeds, Alt & Hdg)

TAKEOFF
PNF: board clear, checklist complete (PF stands em' up.)
PF: set power...airspeed alive on the left
PNF: power set, airspeed on the right
PF: 80kts x-check PNF: 80 on the right
PNF: V1, (PNF right hand on yoke now) Vr
PF: pos rate, gear up PNF gear selected up.... gear indicating up
PF: V2+10 ,400' - flaps up PNF flaps selected up.... flaps indicating up.
PF: set climb power, after t-o checklist please.

ENROUTE(PNF)
"Transition altitude"...2992
1000' before assigned "1000ft to go" (well the game is to call it before Bitchin' Betty, but not before 1100ft to go!)

APPROACH (PNF)
Course Alive
Glideslope Alive
Vref plus 30/20/10/5 or minus from the marker in, anytime a big change or if viewed as unstabilized by PNF.
Descent rate >1000fpm
Significant deviations and trends from GS or Loc given in 'dots'
Radar altitude every 100', from 500' on down
PF calls for gear flaps spoilers as needed, PNF actuates and confirms, verbalizes.

PF calls for checklists at each stage as required, PNF reads/challenges PF responds.
 
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