Personal Minimums Checklist


Date Revised:_________________________

Reviewed with:________________________, (if applicable)

Your Personal Minimums Checklist—
  • Is an easy-to-use, personal tool tailored to your level of skill, knowledge, and ability.
  • Helps you control and manage risk by identifying even subtle risk factors.
  • Allows you to fly with less stress and less risk. Practice “Conservatism Without Guilt.”

Each item provides you with either a space to complete a personal minimum or a checklist item to think about. Spend some quiet time completing each blank and consider other items that apply to your personal minimums. Give yourself permission to choose higher minimums than those specified in the regulations, aircraft flight manuals, or other rules.

How To Use Your Checklist

Use this checklist just as you would use one for your aircraft. Carry the checklist in your flight kit. Use it at home as you start planning a flight and again just before you make your final decision to fly. Be wary if you have an item that’s marginal in any single risk factor category. But if you have items in more than one category, you may be headed for trouble. If you have marginal items in two or more risk factors/categories, do not go!

Periodically review and revise your checklist as your personal circumstances change, such as your proficiency, recency, or training. You should never make your minimums less restrictive unless a significant positive event has occurred. However, it is okay to make your minimums more restrictive at any time. And never make your minimums less restrictive when you are planning a specific flight, or else external pressures will influence you.

Have a fun and safe flight!


Takeoffs/landings                                  in the last           days
Hours in make/model                          in the last           days
Instrument approaches                        (simulated or actual) in the last           days
Instrument flight hours                         (simulated or actual) in the last           days
Terrain and airspace                 familiar

Physical Condition
Sleep                                                   hours in the last 24 hours
Food and water                          in the last          hours
Alcohol                                       None in the last          hours
Drugs or medication                   None in the last          hours
Stressful events                         None in the last          days
Illnesses                                     None in the last          days


Fuel Reserves (Cross-Country)
VFR day                                             hours
VFR Night                                           hours
IFR day                                               hours
IFR Night                                            hours

Experience in Type
Takeoffs/landings                                in the last          days
Takeoffs/landings                                in aircraft type

Aircraft Performance

Establish that you have additional performance available over that required. Consider the following:
  • Gross weight
  • Load distribution
  • Density altitude
  • Performance charts

Aircraft Equipment
Avionics                                familiar with equipment (including autopilot and GPS systems)
COM/NAV                             equipment appropriate to flight
Charts                                   current
Clothing                                suitable for preflight and flight
Survival gear                        appropriate for flight/terrain


Airport Conditions
Crosswind                                         % of max POH
Runway length                                  % more than POH

Reports and forecasts            not more tha            hours old
Icing conditions                       within aircraft/pilot capabilities

Weather for VFR
Ceiling day                                         feet
Ceiling Night                                      feet
Visibility day                                       miles
Visibility Night                                    miles

Weather for IFR
Precision Approaches
Ceiling                                               feet above min.
Visibility                                             mile(s) above min.

Non-Precision Approaches
Ceiling                                               feet above min.
Visibility                                             mile(s) above min.

Missed Approaches
No more than                                    before diverting

Takeoff Minimums
Ceiling                                               feet
Visibility                                             mile(s)

External Pressures

Trip Planning
Allowance for delays                        minutes

Alternate Plans for Diversion or Cancellation
  • Notification of person(s) you are meeting
  • Passengers briefed on diversion or cancellation plans and alternatives
  • Modification or cancellation of car rental, restaurant, or hotel reservations
  • Arrangement of alternative transportation (airline, car, etc.)

Personal Equipment
  • Credit card and telephone numbers available for alternate plans
  • Appropriate clothing or personal needs (eyewear, medication, etc.) in the event of unexpected stay

Importance of Trip

The more important the trip, the more tendency there is to compromise personal minimums, and the more important it becomes to have alternate plans.

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