Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Did You Know? Rejected Takeoff...
Over the next year you will learn the minimum you should know to be a confident passenger on any flight. There is nothing for you to do as all safety precautions are already baked in. If you plan to become a pilot, this will take the mystery out of the Big Picture.
Did you know?
During the typical take off, pilots are aggressively looking for any mechanical reason to abort the take-off
Typically an aborted take-off, which is also called a rejected take-off is usually not that big of a deal. More than likely it’s something out of the ordinary yet manageable that will cause the pilot to abort the take-off. Should it be a major mechanical malfunction, the preplanned response makes this a priority best dealt with on the ground rather than taking it into the air.
As passengers turn their attention to the takeoff roll, their thoughts turn to the possible danger of the lift off. Pilots on the other hand have completed preliminary calculations that are put into effect the moment the pilot releases the brakes. Taken into account is the length of the runway; the wind speed and direction; what contamination may be on the runway surface; what obstacle can be found off of the end of the runway. Be it a tree or a mountain. All factors are taken into account. By knowing the speed required for the airplane to lift off and how long it takes to accelerated to THAT speed, is calculated into the amount of runway required to reach that speed. Then by adding the runway length, obstacle distance and height, the pilot can calculate at what point they would need to put on the brakes and come to a full stop within the runway remaining. That long math calculation has a specific name. It’s call the Accelerated Stop distance. So let’s recap. Before the pilot pulls out onto the runway, they have already figured out at what distance they will be at the fastest speed just before they must put on max breaking to come to a full stop, no matter what the reason, prior to the end of the runway. That distance or point they give another name. It’s called V1. At that speed, the pilot, will retard the throttles/power levers, use reverse to assist the breaking process, apply full and sometimes anti skid breaking, and bring the airplane to a full stop.
While a pilot is taxing onto the takeoff runway, they are completing their final checks looking for some small problem that has the potential to cause unacceptable issues later in the flight. Adding power and rolling down the runway continues the same priority, look for or listen for the slightest indication of a problem. Before V1, the pilots are ready to stop. What if something happens after V1? Then what?
After V1, the next phase of flight begins, and it has its own set of rules. After V1, the calculated distance to stop within the runway length is no longer an option. It is much less dangerous, often not dangerous at all, to continue the flight into the air, handle the malfunction and then bring the airplane back to an airport for a controlled stabilized approach and landing. Last week we discussed an engine failure and how the airplane flys perfectly well on one engine. Pilots practice engine failures during all training evolutions. That may not make passengers happy, but your pilots have expert knowledge in takeoff malfunctions. All pilots must pass a checkride which includes many opportunities to prove competency in takeoff malfunctions.
So whether the pilot stops the airplane on the runway, abruptly it may seem, or takes it into the air, every precise segment of the takeoff roll is planned well in advance expressly for the safety of the passengers and flight crews on board.
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