What is a 737 Checklist?
The Boeing 737 checklist is a safety and procedural guide covering flight operations from when the plane powers up until it shuts down. This checklist is an essential safety tool that pilots are trained to use as it is safer than relying on memory.
Even missing a single item can compromise the safety of both passengers and planes. The 737-800 checklist assesses all crucial points and procedures and points, ensuring that the aircraft can fly and land safely.
Performing the 737 checklist ensures that the captain and the first officer have completed all the preliminary CDU (Control Display Unit) pre-flight checks. It covers obtaining departure clearance from the automatic terminal information service (ATIS) and ensuring that all before-start and engine start procedures have been followed.
The checklist verifies that the before-taxi, before take-off, and take-off procedures have been done and includes all climb and cruise procedures. It confirms descent and approach procedures, checks procedures for landing, the landing roll, and the post-landing shutdown and securing of the plane.
The Boeing 737-800 checklist is also employed in various flight simulation software programs, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator.
In this article, the following points are explained:
Some general tips on performing 737 checklists effectively
Many airline employees find performing checklists intimidating. Therefore, airline management must train and assist their employees in conducting these vital procedures meticulously. By establishing and encouraging an aviation safety culture in the workplace amongst employees and management, the airline, its employees, and its passengers will all benefit.
These are some essential points to bear in mind regarding Boeing 737 checklists:
- Stick to the aircraft’s manual
The 737 checklist must continuously be developed in conjunction with the aircraft’s manual and the manufacturer’s detailed instructions for the safe flight of the plane. The aircraft’s manual will highlight the procedures that need to be included in the checklist.
- Ongoing training is essential, as is employee wellbeing and motivation All employees should receive ongoing training for each type of aircraft they use. Pilots and airline employees work in stressful and taxing environments, so ensuring their wellbeing is very important. Burnt-out or anxious employees can make mistakes that result in loss of life.
- Apply discipline when using the 737 checklist
Interruptions account for the most significant percentage of checklist failures. Should this happen, it is safer to start over if there’s any doubt about where the checklist was interrupted.
- Specific procedures should be assigned to specific employees
The pilot and co-pilots perform most of the procedures on the 737 checklist, but flight crew members can assist with some of them. The checklists are usually read out loud and conducted in call and response format. Usually, one pilot reads out the procedure or item while the other verifies it. These days electronic checklists are generally shown on a screen, though there will always be a hard copy to hand as well.
- Emphasize that the Boeing 737 checklist must be performed meticulously
Employees must be trained and consistently reminded to be meticulous when performing all the checks listed on the 737 checklist. Other crew members should be involved to confirm that all procedures have been reported as correct.
What are the most important elements of a Boeing 737 checklist?
While the 737 checklist covers a huge amount of detail, the overall process can be broken down into the following sections:
1. Pre-flight checks
These are employed to get the aircraft ready for flight. It includes visual inspections, getting the fuel onboarded, and removing all covers and tie-downs.
2. Checks before the engines are started
- Checking that the battery/APU (auxiliary power unit) voltages are good
- That fuel quantity/pressures are good
- All doors are closed and locked
- The area around the plane is clear of any obstructions (such as equipment, employees, or vehicles)
3. The extensive before-taxi checks
- Obtaining permission to move the aircraft
- Making sure all hoses, cables, hoses, and/or intercom systems are disconnected
- Making sure the taxi route has been confirmed
- All cooling and heating systems of the aircraft are set
- Ensuring all passengers are secure
- The aircraft brakes have been released
4. Before take-off checks
- Ensuring flaps are set
- The engine power, the climb heading, and the altitude are set
- The departure procedure has been loaded into the GPS
- Permission to take off has been obtained from Air Traffic Control
5. After take-off
- The wheels are raised
- The heading is set
- The flaps are retracted
- The climbing power is set
6. Cruise checks
Once the 737 has reached its cruising altitude, the plane is configured for cruise flight.
7. Descent checks
When the plane is ready to begin its descent, the approach procedure will be initiated. The passengers are briefed, descent power and altitude are configured, then the approach checks are conducted by the pilots.
8. Landing checks
These checks include making sure that the landing gear is lowered, the brakes are released, and the flap positions are set ready for landing. A final passenger and crew briefing is done, and final aircraft security checks are conducted.
9. After touchdown
After touchdown, the flaps are restored to their stowed position, the landing lights and the transponder are turned off, and the route to the gate is finalized.
Monitor 737 checks better with digital checklists
In aviation, security checks are part of daily business. Traditionally, index cards or paper lists are used for this purpose. These procedures are also common on the Boeing 737 series, which has been in existence for decades. However, this method is prone to damage, loss, and errors, which can have fatal consequences in the worst case.
Why not using a better solution? With Lumiform, a digital app and software for inspections and audits, airlines and their employees can avoid these problems by conducting 737 checks via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. With Lumiform, the following features can be used for pre- and post-flight safety checks:
- Convert existing 737 checklists with the flexible form builder or customize and use Lumiform’s ready-to-use aviation templates.
- Schedule inspections and be notified when the next check is due or when those dates have not been met.
- Conveniently perform inspections via smartphone or tablet – even when not connected to the Internet.
- Allocate corrective actions to responsible personnel immediately during a 737 inspection via the app and track their completion via the dashboard.
- Automatically generate reports that can be instantly shared with other responsible parties.
- Easily analyze data to identify recurring issues that show up in failed actions and generate action plans from them.
- All 737 inspections are synchronized in real time and stored securely in the cloud. Authorized users within the organization can access them immediately after the inspection.
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