Avoiding Takeoff Emergencies

As that famous Swiss Cheese model reminds us, it’s often a host of small issues that go unnoticed that lead to a full-blown crisis in the cockpit. Before you push in that throttle, here are a few tips to ensure that your takeoff lead to smooth flights.

  • Don’t simply read the before-takeoff checklist-do the tasks!
  • Recheck that the tank chosen for takeoff contains sufficient fuel.
  • Check that the backup fuel pump is on if the aircraft requires it for take off.
  • Recheck that takeoff flaps are properly set.
  • How many inches of manifold pressure and/or what rpm should the engine deliver during the takeoff role?
  • Don’t accept an intersection departure that leaves valuable runway behind you.
  • Note the distance (in feet) of your upcoming ground roll.
  • Highlight the intersection where the aircraft should break ground.
  • If you’re not airborne by the highlighted, do you have enough remaining runway to stop?
  • Have you surveyed the area off the departure end of the runway for potential landing spots?
  • If you’ve never practiced making a 180-degree turn after a loss of power, don’t make today the day to try one.
  • If you’re forced into an off airport landing your job is to protect the people on board-the airplane’s insured.

Source Flying Magazine April May 2021