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Mnemonics (pronounced like "knee monicks") are pronounceable memory aids. Typically, each letter of the "word" represents some specific information you wish to recall. CIGAR, GUMP, ARROW and many others have long been used in real world aviation to aid pilots' memory. Some of these are collected here to help you find them in a reliable, easily accessible location.



1.Preflight Document Check




• Airworthiness certificate


• Registration


• Radio License


• Operating limitations


• Weight and balance



2.Before Takeoff





• Controls -- Free moving and move in the correct directions


• Instruments -- Flight instruments set and checked


• Gas -- Adequate supply and fullest tank selected


• Radios -- Radios and other avionics set and checked


• Runup -- Magnetos checked, mixture set, carb heat tested, engine instruments checked


• Safety -- Seats and seat belt, doors and windows checked



3. Inflight


• Compass Speed Change Error





• Accelerate


• North


• Decelerate


• South



This is a reminder that the compass wants to veer north when you accelerate and veer south when you decelerate.



• Compass Turning Error




• Overshoot


• South


• Undershoot


• North



This is a reminder that when you turn, the compass lags from the north and leads from the south, so that when you turn to the north the compass reading should go past the desired heading before rolling level, while in a turn to the south you should roll out before the compass gets to the desired heading. The lead or lag you must account for is approximately equal to the latitude of your current position.



• Piston Restart




• Fuel -- select fullest tank


• Air -- carb heat or alternate air selected


• Spark -- magnetos, try left, right and both


• Terminate -- land in best possible location if restart unsuccessful



• Emergency




• Airspeed -- fly the airplane first, set up best glide speed


• Best place to land -- Pick your landing spot early


• Checklist -- Run through your emergency checklist


• Declare -- Declare an emergency


• Execute -- Execute your forced landing (or other procedure, if applicable)



4.Before Landing




• Gas -- on fullest tank


• Undercarriage -- down/extended


• Mixture -- set for elevation or full rich near sea level


• Propeller -- set as needed


• Flaps -- set as needed


• Safety -- seats and seat belts, doors and windows checked



5.On Final


VASI Indications


Red over white, you're all right.


White over white, you're out of sight.

Alternative: White over white, you'll fly all night.

Alternative: White over white, you're high as a kite.

Alternative: White over white, you remain in flight.


Red over red, you're dead.

Alternative: Red over red, watch your head.

Red over Red: hit the bed.



Red red you're dead

Red and white you're alright


White and white you're as high as a kite



Two whites, you're light; two reds, you're dead.


6.This one comes from the May/June 2008 issue of FAA Aviation News.


Emergency Checklist




• Airspeed. Students should memorize the best glide

speed and should try not to lose any altitude

until reaching that speed. Once there, they trim

the aircraft for hands-off glide. The pilot's foremost

job is to maintain control of the airplane.


• Best field. Students begin by noting wind direction

and strength, then noting their present

position. Are they directly over a suitable field now?

Is there a suitable field at downwind position? Is

there a suitable field at base or final position?

Students should also note their present altitude

relative to traffic pattern altitude, or 800 to 1,000 feet

above ground level (AGL). Are they too high or low?

How can they fix it? flaps, extend, slips, S-turns?


• Checklist. Student should start with a flow

pattern across the panel. If altitude and circumstances

permit, they should then review the written

Restart Checklist. Under all circumstances, it's more

important to fly the airplane than to check the list.


• Declare an emergency. Student should note

their present position, for example, five miles

south of Brunswick, then tune the radio to 121.5

MHz, which should already be in the standby position.

When making the "Mayday" call, they should

answer who (tail number), what, where, and

how many aboard questions. Lastly, they should

set the transponder to 7700.


• Exit preparation. They should prepare the passengers

for the landing by ensuring seat belts are

tightened, then brief passengers on exit procedures

and assignments. Make sure the first aid/survival

equipment is in a convenient place, and prepare

the aircraft, for example, cracking open doors if the

pilot operating handbook/airplane flight manual

(POH/AFM) so directs.


• Fire prevention. Shut the fuel off, along with the

three Ms: mixture, mags, and master. Ensure the

fire extinguisher is close at hand.


• Ground plan. Pilots should touch down at the

slowest possible airspeed, and then evacuate

the aircraft. They need to account for everyone and

use the first aid/survival equipment as needed.




Certainly there are other mnemonics in use out there. Feel free to submit them to us.

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