Preflight Planning

Pre-Flight Planning Checklist


   a) Are you safe to fly?  Fit to fly the aircraft and in satisfactory physical and mental state. Check IM SAFE

   b) Licence and Rating, valid and carried.  Including photo ID for Part-FCL licenses

   c) Medical certificate, valid and carried. 

   d) Current to fly under rules for school/club. 

   e) 90 day rule compliant (if carrying passengers) i.e. 3 takeoff and landings in the past 90 days


   a)  Check onboard Aircraft Document Folder

According to the regulations, certain aircraft documents must be checked and carried on board. Check the aircraft documentation folder for the: -  

      - AFM - (Aircraft Flight Manual / Pilot Operating Manual);

      - Certificate of Registration - original;

      - Certificate of Airworthiness - original CofA, ARC (validity of Airworthiness Review Certificate), 

Note: Certificate of Release to Service (if aircraft has just returned from maintenance) is NOT required for non-commercial aircraft.

      - Noise certificate, if applicable.

      - List of specific approvals, if applicable

      - Aircraft radio license, if applicable;

      - Third-Party Liability Insurance certificate (check dates valid) 

      - Journey Log

These documents, manuals and certificates must be carried on board every flight you undertake. Originals are required if you fly away from home base. Copies are acceptable for local training flights or circuit training at home base LESB, as originals are readily available in the airport office.

Ref: NCO.GEN.135

   b) Mass & Balance. Mass, balance and performance within limits for aircraft and aerodromes. 

   c) Airworthy condition. Perform aircraft walkaround. Perform 'A' Check prior to first flight of the day. (See CAP 411 , page 22/40

   d) Equipment. Check onboard maritime survival equipment, life vests, life raft, ELT, torch, waterproof mobile phone pouch, spare battery/power bank

Pre-flight inspection complete.

3)  Pre-Flight Planning Preparation

With regards to the operation of the flight, also be aware of the following documentation that is needed for each flight (even on local A-A flights):


   a) Flight Plan - File a flight plan (Select language, 'new user' - Open a free account)

   b) Interception - Procedures and visual signals information for use by intercepting and intercepted aircraft; (Top tip: talk on 121.5 - more here and here and here and here).

   c) MEL - Check Minimum Equipment List (MEL) or CDL (Configuration Deviation List), if applicable 

   d) Navigation - Current and suitable aeronautical charts for the route, area of the proposed flight and all routes along which it is reasonable to expect that the flight may be diverted too. Did you update your navigational tools (e.g. SkyDemon)?  Check moving map device current and route programmed.

Destination and Alternate aerodromes planned and adequate.

Prior Permission obtained for aerodromes (if applicable).

Useful flight planning Apps:; Use to plot a route map.

   e) Other - Any other documentation that may be pertinent to your flight or is required by the States concerned with the flight (e.g. Mass and Balance calculations, performance calculations, NOTAMS, Weather briefing, your license, your medical, a photo ID etc.) 

Border Force/Immigration and/or Special Branch notified (if applicable).

Check: -                    
remember NWSE - North, West, South, East

- NOTAM's checked for route, destination and en-route alternate aerodromes.

Check: - 

      - Lisbon-Cascais Airport (LPCS) NOTAM's: or or

      - VFR Guide for Lisbon-Cascais Airport (LPCS)

      - LPCS pilot reports:

      - LPCS Fuel:

      - Chart updates, AIP, AICs and NOTAMs are available at

- Weather checked and suitable at departure, destination and alternate airports

Check: -

      - Weather at Lisbon-Cascais Airport (LPCS) with or or AVINOR or or or or NATS

Overnight weather checked for high winds, frost or snow (if aircraft to be left outside).

- Aircraft Technical Status

Aircraft Technical Log (ATL) book. Check: - 

Flight record. Maintenances check cycle schedule i.e. when is 50 hr./100 hr./annual maintenance check due? Note any defects. Deferred items/expiry dates.

Determine the technical status of the aircraft.

If there are no outstanding technical items affecting the airworthiness of the aircraft then you can assume that the aircraft is flyable and available for dispatch. In which case, as PIC, you can sign the ATL to accept responsibility for the aircraft. By signing, you accept that you are satisfied with the airplane’s airworthiness status.

However, discovery of an outstanding defect or past-due maintenance item would be reason to keep the aircraft grounded until these items are addressed. In which case, do not sign to accept the aircraft. Contact HT/CFI/FI, who will notify the Maintenance who handle aircraft maintenance at Cascais Airport.

- Equipment 

Check MEL/CDL, if applicable 

4)  Threat and Error Management (TEM)

Now consider threat and error management and how best to mitigate the risks affecting the safety of your flight today. Learn more about TEM here.

Have you assessed the risks of the flight? Use the PAVE checklist - Pilot, Aircraft, enVironment, External pressures 

(See page 123 and 125 CAP 1535P Skyway Code)