Cloudy's Rational Checklists for FS2004
I started working on checklists even since Flight Simulator 98, amazed by
the glaring omissions: if there is a control in your instrument panel, surely the checklist should mention it, especially if the control is mentioned in the real-life checklist and is indeed functional in Flight Simulator!
inconsistencies between similar actions in similar aircraft.
differences - sometimes significant - between checklist or reference values and the performance of the aircraft in Flight Simulator.
Also, the kneeboard can be useful for quick info, but given the limited real estate of our PC screens, I find reading checklists from the kneeboard annoying. Besides, in FS2004 when the kneeboard is on, many flight control functions are not available!
My Checklists come as two MS Word files which you can download and print:
Cloudy-Checklists 13A for Piston-Engine Airplanes
Cloudy-Checklists 13B for Jet-Engine Airplanes, Helis and Sailplanes
The aircraft included are all the FS2004 default ones EXCEPT the three Boeing airliners and the Bell 206B helicopter.
Also included are the following addons, some freeware, others payware:
Wright EX Vin Fiz by Paul Beardsley
Stearman 75 'Kaydet' by David Eckert
Supermarine Spitfire MK1A by Just Flight
Lockheed L10E 'Electra' by Bitzer, Hancock, Stubbs and Wood.
Short S.30 Empire LR by Jens B. Kristensen
Zenith CH801 STOL amphibian from Sea Plane by Abacus
Cessna C172SP with RealAir/TAFE flight dynamics
Cessna C182RG 'Skylane' by Carenado
Cessna U206G 'Stationair' by Carenado
Beechcraft Baron 58 by DreamFleet/Flight1
Bombardier 415 Amphibian from Sea Plane by Abacus
Schleicher ASW28 sailplane by Peter Franke and Kris Feldmann
The two documents are meant to be colour-printed in A4 paper. You may print them either in large type at one sheet per page, or better in "booklet two-sided" format, 4 pages fitting into one A4 sheet.
I have tested my checklists with my Rational Panels, which are free for download in this site. If you use other panels you will find that one or two gauges which I mention may not be there: typically the digital trim. However, you can always edit and amend my checklist booklet to suit your tastes: you only need Microsoft® Word (or Office) 97 or higher versions. Note that some pages have intentionally been left blank, so that each aircraft starts on an even page, thus minimising the page turns needed for a flight. Finally, the checklists are based on the performance at nearly full fuel load. Expect changes when the aircraft gets lighter later during a flight.
Download the 1,4 Mb zip file: Cloudy's Checklists v13
For more details on my checklists, please read on.
I believe that checklists for FS2004:
should reflect ALL the activities that you can carry on with the available controls in FS2004
conversely, they should NOT refer to controls not available in FS2004
for each activity or item, if the behaviour of two aircraft are similar, the checklists should reflect that similarity
as much as possible, groups of similar actions should be grouped and sorted similarly, except in the very few cases in which specific features of an aircraft dictate otherwise.
So far for logical consistency. Aviation consistency is also of paramount importance! A checklist should never give rise to thoughts like the following:
how can I set electrical flaps to neutral if I still did not start the engine?
surely I should use the fuel pump at some time: otherwise why is the switch sitting there?
shouldn't I raise the flaps only AFTER I have established a minimum climb speed?
also, why should I raise them if I was never told to lower them in the first place?
1st set throttle and 2nd propeller? Wasn't it the other way in a previous section or other similar aircraft?
I cannot get anywhere near that cruise speed at any altitude with any power or propeller setting!
How did I do it? By:
painstakingly collating in giant spreadsheets the existing FS checklists, both among them
... and each one with the excellent Checklists in pdf format by Werner Schott (Note: Schott covers only 5 of the aircraft in my document, and however good his checklists are, they fail to achieve my desiderata in many respects)
... and with real aircraft checklists, to be sure that my checklists are reasonably in agreement with real-life ones
test-flying the aircraft in FS2004, so that the envelope values included in my checklists - climb speeds, cruise parameters, landing speed etcetera - agree with the behaviour of the default aircraft in FS2004 under standard conditions (and not with the behaviour of the real-life aircraft).
discarding the FS2004 htm+xml format, which makes the default checklists VERY difficult to amend even by a competent web designer using professional htm editors. A Word document allows the user to easily modify a checklist as she/he wishes.
among the "goodies", find also special Cruise settings for slow-and-low city-scenery flying for the Curtiss Jenny, the Piper Cub and all the 4 default Cessnas.
CHECKLISTS AND IMPROVED FLIGHT DYNAMICS
Searching the web I found free professional-grade improvements to the flying dynamics of the Douglas DC-3 and the Cessna C172SP. Accordingly I produced new checklists for them as follows.
DC-3: I collated the modified aircraft.cfg files by Trev Morson, Bitzer & Beaumont and Hasselt. Upon test-flying, I was not really happy with any of them, so I produced my own version - included in the download - which mostly follows Morson's, with a few changes explained in the spreadsheet also included with the download.[I rechecked the new dynamics in flight and collated the final results with a list of special flight parameters and directions by Morson].
C172SP: we based the improved checklist upon the marvellous Kangan Batman TAFE Cessna 172 flight dynamics by RealAir SImulations (which included no checklist). This is a freeware found in the Downloads section of http://www.realairsimulations.com/ .
Cloudy's checklists cover BOTH the default and the improved dynamics for the above aircraft.
C182S: please read the tip in our Tips page and follow the directions there. Our checklist parameters are valid for the aircraft with two persons on board, not for the default heavy load of four persons plus luggage.