Preparing to Learn to Fly

At the Air Force’s Initial Flight Screening (IFS) Pilot and CSO candidates learn to fly and are given the opportunity to fly the Diamond DA20. Before that happens, though, each young officer must memorize the all important “BOLDFACE” and “Ops Limits.” The fine folks at DOSS, who run the IFS show, provide a fuzzy, pixellated version of the BOLDFACE and ops limits in their welcome package. The characters are still mostly legible, and might be sufficient for committing the 33 DOSS-required figures to memory. But my squadron requires aspiring CSOs, like myself, to memorize an additional 53 figures. That’s a total of 86 operating limits and ranges. Fuzzy characters can become quite an eyesore after a few minutes, and this sort of memorization takes hours.

I couldn’t stand staring at those unnecessarily pixellated characters as my brain slowly absorbed numbers like “Max. permissible bank angle for steep turns (in degrees)” (60) and “Propeller approx. minimum ground clearance (inches)” (10). To ease my suffering, and hopefully help my memorization progress more quickly, I recreated both documents with crisp, clear lettering. My versions match the official documents character for character, but mine are easier to read and customizable.

Download the DA20 BOLDFACE in Microsoft Excel xlsx or test yourself with an empty form. I use a side-by-side printout, folded in half, as a sort of flash card. Grab a crisp, clear remake of the DA20 Operating Information Table, and test yourself CSO-style with a blank form. These files are all based on freely available US government documents, so they are without copyright or usage restrictions. Use them and share them as you wish.