RIO-Pilot interaction: Cross-checks list

One of the very first things I noticed when flying with human pilots, rather than flying alone in a single crew aircraft, is the necessity of cross-checking some critical settings in different moments of the flight. Not because the crew shouldn’t trust each other but, on the contrary, each member should help the other to make sure that the most important checks are completed.

Just a quick reminder: there are real checklists available on the internet for the F-14 and other aircraft. Since DCS is a game, I tend to skip most of the real life checks more related to the aircrew safety and not related to the flight. Moreover on this site, where I try to be fairly newbie-friendly). The LANTIRN pod is a good example. IRL it has a number of altitude and operational restrictions but this is a game: you can simulate such limitations but I personally don’t care.
RIO → Pilot Pilot → RIO
Before Taxi Oxygen ON
Ejection Seat armed
UHF-1 as briefed
Lights per SOP
Wings folded
TACAN Yardstick as briefed
Oxygen ON
Ejection Seat armed
V/UHF-2 as briefed
TACAN as briefed
Check Payload and Fuel

AG: LANTIRN power to POD
AG: GBU laser code

Before Departure Flaps manoeuvre
Wings unfolded
Trim SET
Smash ON
Set WP as briefed
FENCE IN Lights OFF
Missile Prep ON
Master Arm ON
AA or AG and weapon selected
AG: LANTIRN mode to OPER
Before Landing Pre-break:
Check Wings swept
CV: Hook down
CV: Check DL frequency
CV: Check weight
Landing Wings unfolded (look and check during break turn)
Flaps full
DLC engaged (look and check)
Gear down

As a rule of thumb, whatever function may compromise the outcome or the timing of the mission (therefore the coordination with other assets), should be double-checked. Such checks should be performed after each crew member has followed and applied his own checklist.

The reasons for this list are intuitive. Imagine, for instance, preparing to delivery a GBU and not having the LANTIRN ready and delaying the support to ground troops for 8-10 minutes. By using this list, the Pilot asks the RIO to verify that the LANTIRN is warming up after the RIO has previously done the operation himself.
Similarly, at the FENCE IN, the Pilot activates MSL PREP and than the RIO ask him to verify. This ensure that the missiles are ready to be used if the situation requires it.

This list, when completed and polished, will become part of my next Kneeboard pack.

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