Preflight checklist for CPL(H) flight test in an R22 helicopter

During the CPL(H) course, it’s well worth getting into the habit of preparing for every flight as if it were your final flight test, so you’re really fluent on the day.

This checklist, including the MATED Briefing, is a guide to the kind of preparation and planning needed for a flight test in the UK.

You could use it for the PPL(H) flight test as well, if you really want to impress your examiner.

Before you get to this stage, the examiner will have checked your logbook and student record to ensure that you have met all the requirements. Make sure they are perfectly in sync, eg that your instrument flying is accurately recorded in your logbook.

[ ] Temporary airspace restrictions (020 8750 3939):
[ ] M&B calculation
[ ] Online Notam print
[ ] Danger Area check
[ ] VOR/NDB check
[ ] Wx: (obstacle & cloud clearance) Print Form 215 TAF & METAR
[ ] Plan Flight & Fuel
[ ] Check Fuel State: Main: Aux:
[ ] Check A
[ } Refuel
[ ] Sign Techlog Check A, Auth Sheet, Blade Exam Sheet
[ ] Check a/c docs
[ ] Book Out
[ ] Datcon reading

Headset/specs/sunnies/maps/plan/pen/foggles/water/snack/cash/phone

MATED briefing:

Met
How the given met conditions are going to effect the flight profile i.e. cloud base, visibility/horizon, wind velocity, temp/dew point, precipitation , Outlook.

Aircraft
AUM (performance), CG (t/o & landing calculation) fuel load (flight time), techlog details (limitations/hours available), a/c documentation.

ATC
Airfield details, NOTAMS, Royal Flights, RT services, Navaids, Airspace, circuit, joining.

Exercise
How the exercise is to be sequenced to be most efficient.

Duties
Given the experience level of the student who is going to be starting the aircraft, transit to exercise area, any revision of previous lessons. Division of responsibilities for radio/lookout/monitoring of T&P’s etc. Who is Pilot in Command.

The above covers all of the items listed in the “Standards Document” published by the CAA for guidance, section 1, preflight:

Section 1 – Pre/flight
a. Helicopter knowledge-tech log, fuel, C of G, performance. Flight Planning. NOTAMS. Weather
• Check all documents required for a private, passenger carrying flight are correct
• Obtain and assess all elements of the prevailing and forecast weather conditions
• Collate all relevant ATC information, NOTAMS, Royal Flights, Navaids, RT services.
• Complete an appropriate flight navigation log and chart
• Determine that the helicopter is correctly fuelled for the flight
• Complete Mass & Balance schedule
• Calculate helicopter Performance criteria and limitations applicable to the forecast weather conditions and 
make adjustments if required for actual conditions before take off.

As you can see, there’s quite a lot to do, so it’s worth practising, so you don’t feel awkward about it all on the day. Try to find out which aircraft you’ll be using, the day before, so you can go through the documents folder in advance to be absolutely sure it’s all legal, and that you are familiar with what all the documents mean.