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 airspacefamiliar

Physical Condition

Sleep_____ hours in the last 24 hours
Food and waterin the last _____ hours
AlcoholNone in the last _____ hours
Drugs or medicationNone in the last _____ hours
Stressful eventsNone in the last _____ days
IllnessesNone 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

Avionicsfamiliar with equipment (including autopilot and GPS systems)
COM/NAVequipment appropriate to flight
Clothingsuitable for preflight and flight
Survival gearappropriate for flight/terrain


Airport Conditions

Crosswind______ % of max POH
Runway length______ % more than POH


Reports and forecastsnot more than ______ hours old
Icing conditionswithin 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.