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A while ago I started using C-FARTS for transitioning from cruise to descent to landing. And there are lots of other phases of flight where I can apply the same acronym to my checklist. Here are my current thoughts.

Before Heading to Airport

W – Weight and Balance Is it an issue?
T – TFRs checked
F – Flight Plan filed?

After Pre-Flight

I use the Braille method of pre-flighting i.e. I walk around the plane and touch everything. After everything is loaded and all the passengers are in the plane (or all but the right-hand passenger for planes with one door) I step back from the plane and make sure the baggage door is closed, no one left a drink on the wing, towbar is stowed, and basically one take more opportunity to make sure everything looks right.

P – Prop Did I check for nicks and leaks?
C – Clean Windows?

C – Cowl Is it closed and did I check oil and Oil Filler cap?
F – Fuel Especially after refueling, did I check for water and levels?
A – Air Are all of the pitot-static ports clear? Pitot Heat for IFR?
R – Remove tiedowns, chocks, and towbar?
T – Tires and brakes look OK?
S – Safety Stall warning, the beacon, and lights all work?

Flight Setup

A – Get ATIS

C – Call for clearance (IFR or Class C)
F – Flight Plan in GPS systems
A – Adjust seat
R – Runway in use
T – Taxi Diagram Open
S – Setup Radios

Pre-Start 1

C – Controls
F – Fuel Selector
A – Altimeter
R – Rotating Beacon
T – Trim
S – Seat Belts and Doors

Pre-Start 2

C – Cowl Flaps Open
F – Fuses and Circuit Breakers
A – Air (Open Vents)
R – Radios Off
T – Time
S – Safety Briefing


The starting procedure varies with different planes. I don’t have a good acronym for this yet.
B – Brakes
M – Mixture
T – Throttle
M – Master
B – Boost Pump On
P – Prime
C – Clear
S – Start

After Start

O – Oil Pressure (30 Seconds or shutdown)
B – Boost Pump Off
L – Lean Aggressively

F – Fuel Levels
A – Amps (or Generator)
R – Radios On – Pull up Flight Plan
T – Transponder On Alt
S – Safety – Lights (Strobes and Landing)


B – Brakes
C – Call for Taxi
D – Destination


A – Airspeed
B – Ball
C – Compass
D – DG, TC as expected


M – Mags
P – Prop
C – Carb Heat
V – Vacuum
T – Temps
P – Pressures
M – Mixture – hand stays on


M – Mixture
C – Controls

F – Fuel Selector
A – Altimeter same as runup elev
R – Radios
T – Traffic
S – Seat Belts, Doors, and Windows

Heading to Runway

M – Mixture full rich
C – Call for clearance or announce

F – Flaps for takeoff
A – Air (Close Windows)
R – Verify Runway
T – Time (for IFR expect further clearance)
S – Scan for traffic


H – Heading
A – Ailerons for wind
A – Airspeed alive
P – Power (MP or RPM where it belongs)
P – Pitch Attitude
Y – VY or slightly less

Pattern Altitude

P – Power
P – Prop
P – Pitch for cruise
P – Boost Pump Off

On Course

T – Trim
A – Autopilot
T – Temps
S – Scan gauges


C – Cowl
F – Fuel Flow
A – Airspeed
R – Report?
T – Trim
T – Temps
S – Scan


C – Compass and DG Match, Set to Runway Heading
F – Fuel
R – Runway
S – Safety (Belts & Gear Stowed)

IFR Approach

B – Brief Approach
R – Radios and Nav Set
A – Add to GPS
A – Altitude Bug DA/DH and First
G – Go Missed Procedure
S – Speed Change?

Entering Pattern

B – Boost Pump
R – Report
A – Altitude
A – Airspeed
G – Gear
S – Scan and Listen

Numbers (or 4 mile Final)

G – Gear Down
F – 1st Notch of Flaps

Base and Final

R – Report
A – Altitude
A – Airspeed
G – Gear
S – Scan and Listen

Short Final

R – Runway number correct
A – Altitude
A – Airspeed
G – Gear Green
S – Scan and Listen

Off Runway

B – Boost Pump Off
C – Cowl Flaps Open

F – Flaps
L – Lean Mixture
A – Air, Open Windows
G – Contact Ground
S – Squawk VFR


Runup, Radios, Mixture, Master, Mags

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