Monday, December 14, 2009

My Pilot Mnemonics and Acronyms

Mnemonics are general lists of items that are good to remember and memorize from airplane checklists and FARs. Over time, I am liking these flying mnemonics more and more. There is so much to remember when flying IFR or VFR in all the different phases of flight. These items make this easier. The key is to use them though. If you learn them once and don't use them, you forget them. During an emergency or other critical times, it is important to know them quickly.

So I thought I would write down all the different mnemonics that I remember using through my pilot training. That way I will have them in one place that I can review occasionally. I have also put them at the end of my personalized checklist.

My description, list, and meanings may be slightly different that yours. The important part is that it works for you and gets you to memorize easier the things you need.

VFR Mnemonics

ARROW (Inside the Airplane)
air worthiness, registration, radio certificate (only outside US now), owners manual, weight/balance

tach, oil press, manifold press, altimeter, temp, oil pressure, fuel guage, landing gear position, air speed, magnetic compass, elt, seat belts

FLAPS (night time equipment)
fuses, landing light (if for hire), anticollision lights, position lights, source of electricity

IMSAFE (Health preflight)
illness, medication, stress, alcohol, fatigue, eating

RAWFAT (preflight requirements)
runway lengths, alternates, weather, fuel requirement, atc delays, takeoff/landing distance data

CIGAR (Runup before takeoff)
controls, instruments, gas, attitude (trim and flaps), runup

Lights, carb heat/cowl flaps, gas, undercarriage, mixture, prop/power, safety

SLIM (Engine shutdown)
switches, lean, ignition off, master off

ALARMS (Emergency Engine Failure)
airspeed, landing site, air restart, radios, mayday, secure plane

PARE (Spin Recovery)
power, aileron, rudder, elevator

CCCC (Missed approach start)
cram it, clean it, cool it, call it

IFR Mnemonics

GRABCARD (ifr equipment)
generator, radios, attitude indicator, ball, clock, adjustable altimeter, rate of turn indicator, directional gyro

CRAFT (IFR clearances)
cleared to, route, altitude, frequency, transponder

AVEF (IFR route for lost comms)
assigned, vectored, expected, filed

MEA (IFR altitude for lost comms)
minimum, expected, assigned

TTTTT (IFR Holding Patterns)
turn, time, twist, throttle, talk

WRIMTIM (IFR Approach briefing)
weather, radio comms and navs, instruments, missed approach point, time, inbound course, minimum altitude

UNOS (Compass errors)
undershoot north, overshoot south (by lattitude for standard rate turn)

ANDS (Compass errors)
accelerate north, decelerate south

Other Sayings

Lights, Camera (transponder), Action (speeds, flaps)
before taking off on the runway

Cold or Low, Look out below
Going towards a low pressure or cold temperature, altitude is lower than expected.


One of the other things I really like to do is to customize my checklist. I take the one out of the POH, sometimes rearrange a little, and add some. I also add information for other avionics on my plane. And I also add general items that I like to have handy on flights such as flight plan order, pirep order, common frequencies, cloud clearances, time conversion, light signals, and other miscellaneous things. I decided to put my list of mnemonics in it now too. I recently got a Sony PRS-505 ereader, so I formatted it for the ereader to take with me. If you would like to see what I did for my customized 1974 Cessna 182 checklist, here is the word document version of my C182P checklist and the pdf version of my C182P checklist.

I think personalizing your own checklist is a great thing to do. Then you can put it in the format that you like the most.

Pilot and Flying Mnemonics on the Web

On the web, I found some other lists of mnemonics.

Also some common aviation acronyms


Don't get rusty during the winter months. Create some homework for yourself. Go make your own list of mnemonics and your own personalized checklist.