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Takeoff briefings

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Prop Trash

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2001
This post is to solicit advice mainly from guys that have been in the left seat for a while, but anyone who has a good idea, chime in. I'm a rather new captain and want to refine my takeoff briefing to make it informative, flow smoothly, and cover all of the items necessary to enhance crew coordination. I've tried to elliminate redundant, obvious things like:
  • "standard left seat departure"
  • "VFR, dry runway"
  • "in the event of an aborted takeoff, I'll talk to ATC, you advise the PAX"
  • "standard company callouts, profiles and procedures"
What I do include is:
  • expected route to the first fix
  • initial altitude, filed altitude
  • things NOT TO abort a takeoff for, things TO abort a takeoff for
  • review of acceleration altitude/pattern altitude, and positive transfer of control after an engine failure
  • weather, if it is marginal at takeoff or at the destination airport
What do you include that I have left out? If you include things that I have listed as unnecessary (IMO), what are some reason you don't leave them out? I'm just looking for some advice here. Please be nice.
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Take Off briefing

Your take off briefing should be short and cover the basics.
All the actions to be taken in event of an abort, lost hyd, etc, should be part of your SOP and need not be briefed. Going into excessive detail about what direction you turn with an engine failure etc, will most likely be forgotten if the event actually happens. Details of initial heanding and altitude may not be given until you start your take off roll and therefore could not be included in a briefing given before you take the runway. I have seen many briefings where they go on for three minutes and cover everything in the AOM, this is not needed. This is our FAA approaved company take off briefing goes somethibng like this. "This will be my takeoff, prior to V1 call out any malfunction affecting safety of flight, I will make the abort decision, after V1 I will continue to fly the airplane and handle any malfunction as an in flight emergency., any questions" We have add ons for special airports, etc. This is the only breifing given by our pilots.
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Here's the Air Willy version (hope I still remember it...)

This is a right/left seat departure. We will abort for any problem prior to 80kts. Between 80kts and V1, we will abort for any engine failure, fire, or loss of directional control. The words for the abort will be "Abort, Abort". After V1 we will treat it as an inflight emergency and return to the airport/go to our alternate. Our on course heading is XXX. Route of flight is XXX. Do you have any questions?

That is the briefing I gave. It is not word for word from the book but it is quite close and would suffice for any trip I have flown.
Takeoff briefing

Doesn't your company have a standard takeoff brief to which you must adhere with a set format that you more or less have to memorize and modify for conditions?

Just asking. I haven't flown for airlines but taught Alitalia students. They had a standard brief that they used.
I'll chime in on this one too, our standard takeoff briefing goes something like this:

This takeoff will be made using standard calls and procedures (or non-standard as appropriate) from runway XX at intersection XX. We will abort for anything below V1 and after V1 the call will be max power, flaps 10, check for feather on the failed engine. If it isnt feathered then I (flying pilot) will guard the good engine while you secure the bad one. We will climb up to 1000 ft and run the phase two checks. Otherwise per our clearance of XXX at <altitude>. Any questions?

I know it looks a little wordy but it covers all the important issues and only takes a few seconds to spit out. All other issues such as who is working the radios etc etc should be clear before you even taxi.
PSA has a standard and it goes something like this for the Dork

"This will be my takeoff, standard calls and procedures. Any malfunction prior to V1 we will abort, after V1 we will continue the takeoff. You will do the emergency procedures at my command utilizing the QRH. In this event we will make left traffic for vectors back for a visual approach to 28L or R. Any Questions?"

That last part is dependent on your current situation. Short sweet and to the point. Some people add things like "if were on fire, we will park in front of the fire house" Or I'll fly it. you talk about it.

Hope this helps.
talk about what is different on this day, in this airplane, on this flight. if you are tired, bring it up. if you haven' t flown together, or there is adverse weather, or the number three thrust reverser is inop...bring up the issues that make it something other than a "routine" flight (there's always something)...and break down barriers that would affect good communication (senority, male vs female, background issues, etc...end your talk with a genuine wrap-up "' i don't have an ego, if i'm screwing up, tell me. whether it's "right now", or on the van ride to the hotel, let me know...and i'll do the same for you""
Any malfunction prior to V1 we will abort

Eahhh..... Any malfunction???? I think you guys are playing with fire if you are willing to abort for ANY malfunction prior to V1.
Air Wiskey's seems to be more in line with reality.

It's a reason why on the Airbus many of the cautions are inhibited above 80kts and up to 1500'

"Mental note: Always fly PSA"
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O.K., today we have a dry runway, so standard call outs and standard abort procedures. Callout any lights, malfunctions prior to 80, after 80 to V1, which is 12-, we'll abort only for eng. fire, eng. failure or loss of directional control, after V1 continue. Assigned heading ---, L/R turn to ---- feet. Sky is clear so we'll be making left downwind traffic, and we are above landing weight so we'll address an emergency maintaining VFR locally. No ice, radar or obstacles we can't see-any questions?

Takes about :12 seconds to announce and flexible to include changes in conditions etc...
My airline didn't have a standard brief (I kind of wish it did.) But there were certain items the Flight Manual Vol 1 required us to cover. A check airman showed me a cool way to do the takeoff briefing. It was a cockpit flow, where things in the cockpit reminded him to brief particular items. You'd have to make this flow up to be specific for your aircraft/airline, but it was neat since you have to know a bunch of cockpit flows anyway, it was a natural way to conduct the briefing without leaving anything out. (you wanna get it on the CVR)
At the airline I'm furloughed from the standard T/O briefing goes like this.

Initial: HDG - ALT - FIX and Special Considerations

Special Considerations include:

- Airport advisory info
- Noise abatement proc
- Engine Failure proc

- Terrain/Obstacles
- WX conditions

Any other known Risk /Intentions

You want to keep it short and to the point, when the other pilots eyes start to glaze over you probabely got it covered.:confused:
Little Bubba said:

Eahhh..... Any malfunction???? I think you guys are playing with fire if you are willing to abort for ANY malfunction prior to V1.
Air Wiskey's seems to be more in line with reality.

It's a reason why on the Airbus many of the cautions are inhibited above 80kts and up to 1500'

"Mental note: Don't fly on PSA again"

Little Bubba,

Just to defend my PSA Brother, if you get a malfuntion and/or CAS MSG below V1 does'nt it make sense to abort the takeoff, clear the runway and deal with the problem rather than continue and let what might have been a small problem with alittle inconvenience turn into a bigger problem with more of an inconvenience. When I say inconvenience I'm refering to taxing back to the gate as opposed to landing right after takeoff and taxing back to the gate, which I think you would agree would take alot more time. I really suck at SYS but if I'm not mistaken many of the CAS MSG's on the Dork are also inhibited in the same way as the airbus so isn't it logical that if you get any malfunction indication to abort?

With so many CAS MSG's in this SYS how would you pick what to abort for? "Today we'll abort for the red CAS MSG's and continue for the Yellow CAS MSG's"? That may not be what your' saying, but I think we have a very safe way of operating and if you choose not to fly us thats your choice but you'll still be welcome.

PS- If I'm wrong on the sys someone let me know it's been 3 months since I've flown. Going back in Jan(time to hit the books).

As Always Fly Safe!:eek:
Here is why Little Bubba said what he said. It is a well known fact that numerous accidents have occurred due to high speed aborted takeoffs. Do you really want to be aborting at or just prior to V1. Supposedly you can stop the airplane in time...but of course you're not a test pilot who already knew you would be aborting AT V1. So you have reaction time, decision time, and task completion time to deal with. Suddenly your abort at or just prior to V1 is actually an abort at a speed somewhat greater than V1. If I had a pack overheat, I would rather deal with that airborne than attempt a high speed abort. Safety must always take precedence over convenience.
Just my $1.50 and a ham sandwich
Excellent thread everybody.
Here's my $0.02 worth...
At ASA on the Brakillya we say "My leg, xxx feet cleared as filed, any red lights, triple chimes, engine failures or fires prior to V1 we'll abort, any amber lights or single chimes call them out as specifically as possible and I'll make the decision to continue or abort. EEC failure we will continue. Any failures after V1 we will treat as an inflight emergency, I'll fly the airplane and you will back me up with the QRH, any questions"?

As for aborting prior to V1 for "minor" issues, you never know what might be minor or not, hence our "call it out". Once, we were on the takeoff roll and got the triple chime "takeoff flap" aural warning. We verified that the flaps were indeed at 15 degrees, yet the warning continued. We aborted at 100KT(about 10kt below V1, a couple seconds on the E120) and turned off the runway. We called mx who told us to retract the flaps... guess what... the left set went to zero, the right outboard went to 45 degrees. DOH! That would have been really bad on retraction had we decided to go.
Now anyone who flies or flew the E120, knows it's famous for bogus takeoff warnings, but this time it paid off to abort.
So my point is you never know. You need to evaluate it and decide. Generator failure or pack, of course you go. Flap or steering fault, abort.
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Hey Bubba:

Before you start slamming airlines, let me clearify. If something does come up on the EICAS, it's usually something big. I didnt write the departure briefing, I just say it. You have to be able to think outside the box alittle with whatever you fly and I think we all do that. It's a matter of judgement Let's show some proffesionalism towards other airlines procedures.

What airline to you fly for anyway since you flamed mine?
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