I hear regularly from pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and others that they are in a flight department without any Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), they want some, but they have no idea where to begin. Well, I have been there too.
About fifteen years ago I was hired as the least senior pilot in a group of three pilots where they didn't have any SOPs. The chief pilot didn't see why we needed any when they had gotten along just fine without them. The next pilot in line didn't want to say anything, but seemed open to the idea. And then there was me. Three months later I was asked to take over and I wrote our own Company Operations Manual (COM). Finally, we had SOPs. That manual has matured some and moved from the Gulfstream GIV, to a G450, and now to a GVII.
So if you need SOPs, here are some to get you started. Remember that these have been tailored for my operation and my aircraft; you will have to tailor them for your operation and aircraft. Each chapter includes a link to a Microsoft Word document file that you can download and edit. I've kept the bells and whistles to a minimum (no headers, footers, special formatting) to make it easier to adapt as you see fit.
Where there are International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements, the required references are cited so this manual should get you started on your way to becoming Safety Management System (SMS) compliant. But that is purely optional.
Where to begin? I recommend you skim each section first and pick out the items you need the most. For most operators starting with no written SOPs, starting with Chapter Five may be the best choice. Cut and paste what you are ready for into a brand new Word document and add to that as you get more and more comfortable. Remember to include the entire team in this. Don't feel like you need to do things my way. (Not only could I be wrong, I seem to have a gift for that kind of thing.) Remember that having a good set of SOPs makes flying more predictable, reduces the tendency to take shortcuts, fends off the normalization of deviance, and lowers cholesterol. I may have made some of that up. Good luck!
— James Albright
0 - The Preliminaries
These are the things every manual needs up front. Feel free to skip this until you have most of the manual finished.