What post flight checks are performed? Are they automatically or pilot initiated. If automatic, what are the possible conditions?

For example, one of the conditions to start the postflight checks might be "aircraft wheel speed below 30-40 knots".


2 Answers 2


All checklists are initiated by either the pilot flying (PF) when between takeoff and touchdown, and the captain (CA) on the ground. In addition to checklists is the concept of flows, which are a muscle memory sequence of buttons to press / switches to flip / things to touch that are performed by the appropriate pilot before the checklist is called for. The flows will happen automatically when the pilot responsible knows they should happen and the checklist will be called for when the responsible pilot is ready for it.

For example, when landing, the PF will perform the landing, the deceleration and sometimes the high speed turnoff before control is transferred to the CA for taxi. Once the CA is taxiing and the airplane is cleared of the active runway, the FO will automatically start the after landing flow and call ground control. Once taxi is underway, the CA will call for the after landing checklist.

Once parked at the gate, both pilots will do their portion of the parking flow and then the CA will call for the parking checklist.

Finally, if no crew is waiting to receive the aircraft and you are not keeping the aircraft then the FO will perform the postflight inspection and the pilots will perform the terminating checklist. If you are keeping the plane, the FO instead does a combined post/preflight inspection and begin normal pre-flight actions.

While these actions are all started by humans, the closest thing to automatic actions are the flows. To summarize the above, with general criteria for starting flows:

  • Landed, clear of the active runway, CA has the plane -- perform after landing flow
  • Parked at the gate -- perform parking flow.

Each of these flows are backed up by checklists called for the CA.


After landing checks

These checks are designed to take the aircraft from a landing configuration to a ground/taxi configuration shortly after exiting the runway. In general, you may see things like:

  • Retract flaps / spoilers
  • Transponder to 1200 / OFF / GND
  • Landing light on, strobe lights off

Shutdown checks

These checks are designed to configure the aircraft for shutdown once ground movement has stopped. You'll see things like this:

  • Heater / air conditioner OFF
  • Magnetos DEAD CUT CHECK
  • Avionics MASTER OFF

Postflight checks

These checks are used once the aircraft has been shut down to make sure that it's secure or ready to be handed over to the next crew. You'll see things like the following:

  • Flight log COMPLETE
  • Cabin CLEAN
  • Tie-downs SECURE
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ All of these checklists are pilot-initiated. $\endgroup$
    – Steve V.
    Feb 26, 2014 at 12:09

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