Checklist born – B-17 Bomber pre-flight checklist

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Checklist born - B-17 Bomber pre-flight checklist

Louise here… I love history and seeing an article about the checklist being born sparked my interest.

The checklist is one used during WWII for the B-17 “Flying Fortress” Bomber and the creation of the pre-flight checklist.

Boeing produced the plane in the 1930s after a competition was set by the US Army to produce the military’s next long-range bomber to help in the war. This contract would be to build 200 bombers and the B-17 outperformed both competitors but the prototype crashed but they still decided to place a small order to further evaluate the plane.

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Pre-Flight Checklist – Safety Improved

It was determined that the plane was rather complex to fly and one suggestion was the use of a pre-flight checklist to make sure flight standard operating procedures were followed to improve safety and avoid accidents caused by pilot error.

The tragic thing is it’s often the “stupid” simple stuff that gets people killed but implementing the checklists ensures all the basic tasks were identified to fly the plane successfully. They flew many hours without incident proving they were safe, and eventually, nearly 13,000 were built.

Checklist B17 Bomber Preflight
Checklist B17 Bomber Preflight

Thanks to a “very” simple checklist wartime history were made… The pre-flight checklist

This successful example has then been used by NASA to help launch rockets and walk on the moon.

What the B17 taught about checklists

Frequently asked questions
Looking for more info? Here are some things we're commonly asked
  • Why is a Checklist Important?

    Does the running of your business include several repetitive tasks? If there’s no guidance or procedure in place, it’s possible for some of the steps in the process to get forgotten. This is why checklists are important.

    People get distracted, and when something gets forgotten, it’s much harder to recover than if they’d completed the task right in the first place.

    Guidance every step of the way makes sure something is completed perfectly every time.

    Read More: Why is a Checklist Important?

  • Checklist To Reduce Mistakes

    We all carry enormous knowledge and experience that we want to apply effectively, but we are all prone to make mistakes. There’s only so much we can store in our heads without forgetting something. How to maximise our use of knowledge?

    The simple answer to this problem is to use checklists.

    Read More:  Power Of A Simple Checklist To Reduce Mistakes

  • What types of checklist are there?

    How many types of checklists are there? Two. What are the two types of checklists? Read-Do and Do-Confirm checklists are about how you use checklists.

    Read More: Types of checklist: What are the two most powerful Checklist Types?

  • Checklist Software

    A checklist is a way to document each step needed to complete a task. A detailed set of instructions, a guide of how something is done. 

    Checklist software allows you to document every step of a process to be used over and over again.

    Read More: Checklist Software

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