Takeoff briefings

Prop Trash

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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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pilotyip

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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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AWACoff

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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.
 

bobbysamd

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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.
 

Twotter76

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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.
 

328dude

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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.
 

cheater1239

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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""
 

Little Bubba

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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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DBL NKLS

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Briefing

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...
 

FlyinBrian

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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)
 

NorskAir

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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:

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

Significant...
- 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:
 

BoredToDeath

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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:
 

AWACoff

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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.
 

ifly4food

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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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328dude

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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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puddlejumper

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Student T/O Brief

Here's a little something I would teach to get my students into the habit of briefing a takeoff. You know what they say, "a plan isn't a real plan unless it's written down or verbalized" Ok, ok I made that one up, but y'all get my point. :)

R: Runway; lengths required and available, condition

A: Airspeeds; V1, Vr, V2 , Vx, Vy, best glide, whatever

D: Departure Procedure; ATC, obstacles...

E: Emergencies; big picture stuff, what altitude to turn around at in a single after engine failure, RTO overrun...

The RADE brief would at least keep them thinking about what they were going to do before it was time to do it.

-PJ
 

Twotter76

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I'm with 328Dude on this one. Given that we reach V1 in less than 5 seconds under almost all conditions there is very little time to decide what is major and what isnt. I have aborted several takeoffs for things that turned out to be minor and I have no regrets. I would much rather explain why we aborted to the passengers than explain why I had to declare an emergency to the FAA. Wouldn't you?
 

TurboS7

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MAI briefing

Our briefing is short and to the point for 727 and 737:

1)reduced or max thrust and what rating
2)standard or non-standard noise abatement
3)SID, with altitude first fix and radial
4)any abnormals-runway clutter, etc.

The British version is great but so long I would get kicked off this board just writing it out. Though it is good to review it once and a while.
 

Corp Pilot

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We use a standard brief but also reserve the right to change it as the situation may dictate-

"We'll abort for any malfunction prior to 90 kts. After 90kts and prior to V1 we will abort for an engine failure, fire, loss of directional control or TR deployment. After V1 we will continue the takeoff. At _____________' (1500 agl or acceleration altitude) we will complete the appropriate checklist, contact ATC, request CFR and plan to return to runway __________ (or takeoff alternate) for landing"

We then review our takeoff clearance. (The emergency return ILS is set on the Flying Pilots side. The first fix or DP is setup on the NFPs side).

Review Power setting, V speeds and any special considerations.
Any questions?

The FAA, FSI and many airlines have acknowledge the fact that many highspeed aborts do much more damage and are much more dangerous than if the Flightcrew would have continued the takeoff. Highspeed aborts should be reserved for serious problems that could greatly effect the safety of flight. Losing a generator, ACM or other equipment should not affect your trip around the pattern where you now have the opportunity to use the full runway length for stopping, have CFR waiting for you and have a chance to think about what needs to be done.
The brief is pretty simple. Prior to 90 kts we are aborting for any malfunction. After 90kts and prior to V1 the annunciator panel is pretty much removed from the picture. Only the Eng Fire Lights, TR lights or an engine failure are cause for an abort. Since the groundwork has been layed, both pilots know what we will abort for. EITHER pilot may call for an abort ("abort, abort, abort"). Since we have stated exactly what we will abort for, there is no decision to be made. If either of us see an item that we said we would abort for, we will abort for it. The problem with stating the malfunction and then letting the Captain "make the decision" is that you are eating up over 200' per second while he is analyzing the problem to see if it warrants an abort. Traveling down the runway at 100kts + is not the time to be making decisions.
I am a Captain and have NO problem with an FO calling an abort
Brief it and follow your brief.

Fly Safe,

Corp Pilot
 

dgs

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Here's an example of the standard briefing I used on a military 707-type airframe for over 14 years:

"This will be a left seat rolling TRT. Numbers are ... (review EPR settings, V speeds, etc. from the TOLD card to crosscheck bug settings). Copilot will call "80 knots," "V1," and "rotate." Prior to V1 if any of the pilots or flight engineer notices a rudder boost failure, fire, or engine malfunction which makes the aircraft unsafe for flight, call "Reject." I'll abort with BRAKES-MAXIMUM, THROTTLES-IDLE, SPEEDBRAKES-UP. For any other problem give a short, descriptive statement of the nature of the problem. Unless it's catastrophic, we'll plan to take it into the air and treat it as an airborne emergency. If we need to do an emergency return we'll fly the ILS RWY 17. Numbers for that approach are ... (review speeds and landing distances for the heavyweight approach). Our departure clearance today is ... (hdg, alt, etc.). Any questions?"

As a technique just prior to taking the active, I would restate V1 and rotate speeds to remind everybody what we were looking for as key speeds on the takeoff roll.

I offer this briefing because it differs in some significant ways from some of the previous examples. I'm not saying this is the best possible briefing, but it was what we used as a standard. Here are a few points about this format:

1. I don't want anybody calling "Reject" unless it is one of the big three--rudder boost failure, fire, or engine malfunction which makes the aircraft unsafe for flight. If I lose any of the big three, I have to stop prior to V1 because I likely can't continue the takeoff in the remaining runway.
2. If somebody does call "Reject," there are no if's and's or but's. It's time to execute the boldface immediately and stop the jet.
3. High speed aborts on big airplanes are very dangereous and you may injure more people with an abort and subsequent ground evacuation than you would by treating it as an airborne emergency and coming back to land at a lighter weight and maybe taxiing clear of the runway to a stand. If you are flying smaller airplanes, an abort at V1 may not be a big deal. Anything past 80 kts is a big deal in a heavy. Ground evacuation is probable. Melted fuse plugs and blown tires are a real possibility and danger to the pax.
4. "Short, descriptive statement" about other problems is usually advisory--pressurization, generator, "That's just the #1 EPR flag. Engine is good." It was my decision to abort based on airspeed and severity of the problem. Past 80 knots it really needed to be a big 3 item. Below that speed it's pretty easy to abort for almost anything. The previous poster who said that takeoff roll is no place to be making decisions has a partially valid point. The decisions need to be thought through on the ground long before you get into the left seat. Sim, chair fly, and discuss the possibilities. Make the decision BEFORE you step to the jet. Then it's just a matter of executing that decision of the situation presents itself.
5. There were other items which required an abort, according to the manual, such as a nosewheel tire failure. However, as the one with my hand on the tiller, I was the one in the best position to determine if I lost a tire and what to do about it.
6. Notice the wording "engine malfunction which makes the aircraft unsafe for flight." If I've lost all my oil, that engine's gonna quit. If I lost a gauge, that's nice to know as an advisory, so somebody doesn't get confused that it was an engine failure, but I'm obviously going to continue the takeoff.
7. "Unless it's catastrophic" gives me an option at any speed. As the PIC you're paid to make the big decisions. A 2 engine failure (e.g. birdstrike of geese) would require me to abort no matter what the speed, because there simply were not enough thrusties to get and stay airborne. Better to run off the end of the runway at 50 knots than crash a half mile off the end of the runway at 150!
8. Reviewing the Emergency Return plan is always a good idea. That's when you can talk about a takeoff alternate, if you need one. If you have to do a real ER, you can't afford to take time to read the approach for the first time. If you just briefed it, you can simply say, "As previously briefed. Reset bugs to ..."
9. This was all given in the chocks prior to engine start. I'm a big advocate of 1G, 0 knots briefings, when you can concentrate on what is being said. Briefing while taxiing can be distracting and has caused mishaps. You certainly don't want to be looking inside to check all your bugs while you are moving in heavy ground traffic.

So that's my 2 cents worth. It worked well for our operation. I realize airlines have different timing issues and policies that would negate some of what I've said here. I'm just putting it out here for you to consider, not as gospel.
 
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