Inventing the wheel

It just came to me that I am building an experimental airplane that will have no pilot’s operating handbook. I get to write my own. I am actually pretty excited about that.

The flying club I belong to has five planes. Years ago, someone came up with checklists for all of them. The information is available, but completely unusable – at least for me. All the checklists are on one quarter folded sheet. I cannot imagine trying to find the right fold in a true emergency. So I rewrote them. On color coded flipcharts. Spiral bound. They are magnificent, if I do say so myself. Takeoffs are blue, because you are headed for the sky. Landings are green, because you are headed for the earth. Emergencies, red … well, you get the OCD idea here.

I am now wondering how long I will obsess over this POH. Before law school, I owned a publishing company and edited books and magazines. I like things to look good. I have an unnatural love for my laminating machine and Astrobright papers. I have laminated cards for everything. CRAFT checklist for IFR? I have a laminated card for that. Current airport diagram? You guessed it.

I showed up for my checkride with color coded tabs on my maintenance logs, logbook, and Binder of Important Stuff (I probably need a better name for that thing before my instrument ride). The colored tabs were cross referenced with tables of all the information and where to find it. It’s a sickness, I recognize that.

So what, you ask, is my worry about this? Will I have the time to build this airplane and also create the perfect, color coded, laminated POH? I mean, I am not getting any younger. I cannot guarantee that it will be perfect, but I can guarantee that it will be pretty.

Anyone out there in readerland have anything you think should be in a standard POH but isn’t? And if you have a suggestion, be sure to let me know what color it should be on.

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