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Takeoff intervals

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Well-known member
Dec 14, 2001
During a recent discussion on a wake turbulence thread, Mickey made a statement which I disputed using several sources, including the AIM.

On review of my rendering of the AIM, my emphasis was misplaced. The pargraph to which I referred, 7-3-9(b)(2), does specify three minutes separation between a small and a large aircraft. HOWEVER, my error was not reading close enough. This subparagraph refers to a small aircraft departing in the opposite direction on the same runway.

Mickey was specifically referring to aircraft departing from the same threshold, and therefore the same direction. I am, therefore, in error in using that reference for the discussion.

My apologies for the error, to Mickey, and to those who participated in that thread.


I flew KC-135 tankers, among other things, in the AF. We had a MITO procedure-Minimum Interval TakeOffs, where we took off at 5?, 8?, 10? second intervals on the same runway, same direction.

It got pretty interesting sometimes, having 2 or more heavy aircraft leaving together. I'll bet there are some B-52 pilots that did the same thing and have some good stories.

Can you imagine, watching a couple of NWA 747s taking off mere seconds apart at MSP? I'll bet some aircraft watchers would love to see that!

Takeoff Intervals and MITOs


Thanks for clearing that up. I enjoy reading your posts because you list references to back up your statements. As a military pilot soon to enter civilian aviation, I learn a few things here and there from posts like yours.


Our interval was 12 seconds from power application of the leading aircraft to power application of the following aircraft, if they were the same model. Otherwise, it was 30 seconds between power applications for the takeoff. You're right, it could get rather sporty for the sixth B-52 in a six-ship cell formation. Fly safe.

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I think I would enjoy flying with you in either an airplane or the hanger.
Take care.

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