CAA publishes rejected take-off advice

The UK CAA has published updated advice on rejected take offs and how to handle them.

Published in its ‘Clued Up’ safety journal, the CAA says that most, if not all, pilots will be prepared for an engine failure on take off, but not all issues are so clear cut.

Citing an AAIB accident report, the CAA says that in interviews with PPL holders, Flight Instructors and Flight Examiners, the AAIB found that training and awareness of rejected take offs and related decision-making “was variable”. Several long-term PPL holders couldn’t recall initial rejected take off training, nor refresher training for it. Further, the AAIB found that all of the instructors interviewed indicated that pilots commonly focus on getting into the air, rather than considering a rejected take off when preparing to get airborne.

The CAA notes that abandoned take offs are of course taught in the PPL syllabus (Exercise 12/13: Emergencies: (A) abandoned take-off; (B) engine failure after takeoff; (C) mislanding and go-around and (D) missed approach), but training can be varied and pilots might not choose to cover it in their biennial check flights with instructors.

The CAA adds that while many commercial flying procedures or ‘rules’ might not necessarily be suitable in private flying, academic works do indicate that a simple, rule-based structure for decision-making would be appropriate for the take off roll, and the authority recommends that a self-briefed ‘threat’ evaluation should help to make some ‘rules’ to cope with eventualities. These could include considerations such as:

• Take off runway — What’s the surface condition, length available, weather, hazards (trees, bushes, birds etc)?
• Wind information — Wind speed and direction (is it gusty, a crosswind is it within limits)?
• Relevant airspeeds for take off and climb (are they correct for the conditions)?
• Where should the ‘stop or continue’ decision point be on that day?
• Actions to take in the event of stopping.
• Actions in the event of a minor or a major problem after becoming airborne.
• Departure information in the event of a normal take off.
• As the throttle is advanced is the aircraft tracking straight and accelerating as expected? RPM correct at full throttle and, as speed builds, the ASI reading.

The CAA concludes that a good, structured pre-take off ‘threat analysis’ with a predetermined ‘stop’ or ‘continue’ point is an invaluable tool, because by mentally rehearsing possible scenarios and actions, there’s much less chance of being caught unawares and more likely for there to be a successful outcome to any issues. The helpful guide is published under CAA publication number CAP2510.

Author: FTN Editor

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