F-4B/N Checklists

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Before engine start

  1. Oxygen switch: ON
  2. Guns: OFF
  3. Fuel control panel:
    1. External tank jettison switch: NORMAL
    2. Buddy fill switch: STOP FILL
    3. Internal wing transfer switch: NORMAL
    4. Refuel selection switch: AS DESIRED
    5. Refuel probe switch: RETRACT
    6. Boost pump check swtiches: NORMAL
    7. External transfer switch: OUTBD or CENTER
    8. Internal wing dump switch: NORMAL
    9. Wing transfer pressrue switch: NORMAL
  4. Smoke abate switch: OFF
  5. RAT handle: RETRACT
  7. Wing flap emergency pull handle: UP
  8. Engine anti-icing switch: NORMAL
  9. Throttles: OFF
  10. Engine start switch: NEUTRAL
  11. APCS switch: OFF
  12. Drag chute lever: DOWN
  13. Landing gear handle: DOWN
  14. Missile jettison selector switch (MSP): OFF
  15. FCS power switch: OFF
  16. Missile arm switch: SAFE
  17. Missile select switch: RADAR
  18. Missile interlock switch: IN
  19. Centerline station safety switch: SAFE AND GUARD DOWN
  20. LABS switch: OFF
  21. Nose & Tail arming switch: SAFE
  22. Accelerometer: SET
  23. Altimeter: SET
  24. Clock: WIND AND SET
  25. Navigation function selector panel: SET
  26. Manual canopy unlock handle: FWD
  27. Arresting hook handle: UP
  28. Generator control switches: OFF
  29. AWW-1 power knob: OFF
  30. Rain removal switch: OFF/LOW
  31. Pitot heat switch: OFF
  32. Bleed air switch: NORM

Communications function selector switch: STBY Compass system controller:

    1. Latitude compensator: SET
    2. Mode switch: SLAVE
  1. Circuit breakers: IN
  2. Temperature control switch: AUTO
  3. Cockpit lights: OFF
  4. Exterior lights: AS DESIRED

Engine start

Right engine startup:

  1. Parking brake: SET
  2. Start cart: air and power connected to the aircraft See chapter: Payload manager
  3. Generator switches: Both to EXT
  4. Cockpit lights: AS DESIRED
  5. Engine master switches: L & R ON
  6. Throttle: IDLE (right click to move from cut
  7. Starter switch: R Right click and hold
  8. When RPM reaches stabilizes approx. 14%: move throttle to 40-50% and wait for ignition
  9. Throttle: IDLE after ignition is achieved
  10. Starter switch: RELEASE above 45% RPM

Left engie startup: Repeat above steps

Before taxi

  1. Radios: ON
  2. TACAN: ON
  3. Transponder and IFF Mode 4: SET AND ON
  4. Stability Augmentation: ON
  7. Speed brakes: CYCLE AND CHECK
  9. Flight control surfaces: CYCLE AND CHECK TRAVEL
    • Check ARI: 10 degrees with Yaw SAS off, 15 with Way SAS on
  10. Flaps: UP
  11. Arresting hook: CYCLE AND CHECK


All cases

  1. Engine anti-ice: AS DESIRED
  2. Pitch SAS: ENGAGED
  3. Pitot heat: ON
  4. Compass control panel: CHECK SYNC
  5. Controls: CHECKED
  6. Wings: LOCKED. Verify pin unlock handle down and WING PIN UNLOCK LIGHTS out

Airfield takeoff

  1. Flaps: AS DESIRED
  2. Brakes: HOLD
  3. Engines: RUN UP TO 80%
  4. Brakes: RELEASE
  5. Stick: HALF WAY AFT
  6. Throttle: MIL or MAX
  7. Upon nosewheel lift off, relax back pressure on the stick to avoid exceeding 10 to 12 degrees of pitch

Carrier launch

  1. Verify sufficient pneumatic pressure for nosewheel strut extension
  2. When nosewheel is past catapult shuttle:
    • EXTEND NOSE GEAR STRUT (Shift+U). Verify proper extension
  3. Flaps: FULL
  4. Throttle: MIL or MAX
  5. Stick: AFT
  6. At high gross weights beware of over-rotation immediately after leaving the deck.


  1. Raise landing gear when definitely airborne
  2. Raise flaps at 300 feet or 200 knots CAS while maintaining 10 to 12 degrees nose-up
  3. Maintain 10 to 12 degrees nose-up until reaching 400 knots CAS
  4. Vary pitch to maintain 400 knots CAS until reaching final cruise Mach. Then vary the pitch attitude to maintain Mach until reaching cruise altitude

Stall recovery

Upon indication of stall:

  1. Neutralize ailerons
  2. Establish 5-10 units angle of attack
  3. Make judicious use of rudder to avoid inducing excessive yaw
  4. Allow aircraft to recover

Spin recovery

Upon indication of an upright spin:

  1. Stick forward
  2. Ailerons in the direction of the spin
  3. When aircraft is unloaded (5-10 units angle of attack) center the ailerons
  4. If out of control and below 10,000ft AGL: EJECT

Upon indication of an inverted inverted spin:

  1. Apply full rudder opposite to the direction of the spin
  2. Stick and ailerons neutral
  3. When the yaw rate stops neutralize all controls and fly out of the unusual attitude


When the airspeed is below 250 knots CAS lower the landing gear and extend the flaps. Using the Angle of Attack indexer, maintain an ON SPEED indication (amber light). When on final approach maintain power setting of 84-88%RPM depending on gross weight. This provides an ON SPEED angle of attack light with a 3 degree glideslope and 700-800fpm descent rate.

Landing speeds can be calculated using the following rule-of-thumb:

  • At 38,000lbs gross weight, approach speed is 145 knots (early F-4B)/138 knots (late F-4B and F-4N).
  • For every 1,000lbs below 38,000, subtract 2 knots.

Airfield approach

Maximum runway landing gross weight: 38,000lbs

  1. Gear
  2. Flaps
  3. Hook
  4. Upon touchdown: DEPLOY DRAG CHUTE Use the toggle cabin seat belt lights key
  5. Brakes: APPLY

Carrier approach

Maximum carrier landing gross weight: 34,000lbs

  1. Downwind leg: wings level at 600ft MSL, 139-149 knots CAS
  2. Commence 180 degree turn abeam the LSO, 139-144 knots CAS, ON SPEED indication. Maintain 30 degrees of bank during turn. At 45 degrees from final, altitude should be 450ft MSL.
  3. At 1-1.2nm from the carrier, the FLOLS should become visible
  4. Time on glideslope: 30-35 seconds
  5. Upon arrest: Throttles to MIL or MAX
  6. Upon stopping:
    • Tailhook: RETRACT
    • Evacuate landing area
    • Flaps: RETRACT
    • When flaps retracted, fold the wings


  1. Flaps: UP
  2. Speed brakes: IN
  3. Stab aug: OFF
  4. FCS power: OFF
  5. Pitot heat: OFF
  6. Transponder: OFF
  7. Throttles: CUT
  8. All switches and levers: OFF

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