Pilot Made Checklists

With multiple STC’s affecting factory original book procedures and performance, a new comprehensive checklist was needed.

After trying several different formats in various forms, finally a concise spiral bound checklist in 2 sizes that’s easily accessible in various stages of flight was developed.

One list fits a standard knee board and the other shirt pocket sized.

(Click on images to enlarge)

The checklist is tabbed according phases of flight and organized as per personal preference.

Front page above: Significant data points
Tabs: Engine Start, Taxi, Pre-Take-off, Cruise/Approach, Landing, and Preflight at the back. Also tabbed along the bottom are special checklists for operating with STOL performance with the Robertson kit.

How it’s made

The checklist was created with Microsoft PowerPoint and printed double side with a color laser printer.

In PowerPoint, the content is centered along the 0 (zero)mid-point of the horizontal axis as show below. Additional guidelines set the vertical and horizontal placement. being perfectly center is key to printing the opposite page for the final printout to be registered perfectly on the front and back of each page.

Below is a tabbed page example. Notice the main content block is still centered, with the tabs extending right or left of the centerline. The green tab is the facing page in view and the white tab is the content on the back side of the page in view.

The tabbed index makes it very easy to flip back and forth through various phases of flight.

Top Tip: Check the actual alignment of the boxes by measurement rather than just using the alignment guides for proper opposite page centering. See below.


As mentioned previously, use a printer with duplex (double sided printing) along the short side, as optioned in PowerPoint’s print options menu. The default for printing in Landscape mode is perfect.

As a free bonus, it’s super simple to make a pocket edition by merely switching the print options to Portrait mode and select printing along the long side in the 2-sided print options.

Putting it together

For $7, the local Office Depot services desk laminated the pages, gave them back to trim to size, then took the trimmed pages back and they made the spiral binding. The store had a terrific media trimmer to cut to size and cut around the tabs.

Special note

A pilot created checklist needs to include the checklist items from the POH and any supplemental flight manuals to be “FAA legal” . Given the significant STC’s on this plane a custom checklist was necessary to colocate all the POH and supplemental information into one cohesive list.

The finished results is fantastic and easy to use. A lot of pilots use a larger single card. The indexed tabbed approach reduces clutter and makes checklist adherence simpler. Being small and light, it’s always on the clipboard, unobtrusive, and always handy.