Are checklists normally written in English? If pilots are native speakers in another language, is it possible/legal for them to use the translated version of the checklist?

This may be different for the small private aircraft and commercial airliner. Please cover multiple cases when possible.

Soviet Union pilots probably used Russian for checklist. However I ask about open, developed countries (Germany, France, etc) and planes that are used all over the world.

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    $\begingroup$ I know for a fact that small GA aircraft POHs are generally translated, including the checklists. No idea about airliners. $\endgroup$
    – falstro
    Jan 28 '16 at 8:51
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    $\begingroup$ In French for the Cessna 172. Note also that checklists may be customized by the aircraft operator. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jan 28 '16 at 10:03
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    $\begingroup$ You suggest that non-English checklists are translations of English. That must often be not the case. I imagine, for example, Brazilian aircraft manufacturers and operators might write their checklists in Portuguese first, then translate to other languages. $\endgroup$ Jan 28 '16 at 11:34
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    $\begingroup$ This might also be determined by the jurisdiction you're asking about. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Jan 28 '16 at 17:00

Checklists can be in any language.

For general aviation I've seen check-lists in a variety of languages. Sometimes in the local language and sometimes in English - that's in Germany, Spain and Sweden. Spain in particular seemed to have everything in Spanish. From colleagues I've heard that France is similar, most GA check-lists are in French.

For commercial aviation it varies by airline. Air France, for instance, publishes its check-lists in French (an example of these can be seen in the Air France 447 final report)


It is definitely common here in Germany to use German checklists (German is not an ICAO language). see http://www.motorflugschule-egelsbach.de/Downloads/Diverses/C172_R04.pdf for example.

However since many systems and acronyms used have English terms anyways it boils down to a combination with English.


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