HISTORY OF NATIONAL CHECKLIST DAY
Without checklists, we can feel like we’re juggling a bunch of balls in the air and trying to keep them from dropping. Even the simple things can be forgotten or go unnoticed — let alone the difficult or complex things that fill our day. Although success in any endeavor is not guaranteed, armed with an organized checklist, you stand a better chance of achieving your goals.
So, is National Checklist Day the result of a reformed hoarder or the work of an obsessive compulsive freak? Definitely not! But you might be surprised to learn that checklists came out of a need to keep pilots safe during WWII.
The first checklist resulted from a crash that injured several people, killing at least two on a Boeing Model 299 B-17 plane in 1935. The 299 was heralded as the most state-of-the-art aircraft at the time. During the post-crash investigation, Boeing discovered that the pilot had forgotten to do a simple task — turn off the elevator lock. This simple omission caused the aircraft not to respond to pitch control, leaving the plane vulnerable.
According to a report by two university professors in a 1990 study, cockpit checklists serve several key functions in aviation safety, “… to ensure that the crew will properly configure the airplane for any given segment of flight” and to create “…standardization in the cockpit.” Also, memory of the safety procedures can never take the place of the actual checklist in aviation.
So, if a checklist can keep us flying safely in the air, what better way to keep our lives organized and running smoothly on the ground? American companies also use checklists as successful training tools. Now that you know the origins of the National Checklist Day, check that off your list and enjoy the rest of the day!