Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What am I thinking?

Here's one question from enRoute's February issue. The question was sent in from "follower" Lukas Kusiak in Montreal. Thanks Lukas.

Please note, that is not me in the photo. Although I am getting greyer, balding, and will probably be wearing glasses when I have my next medical. I talked about seniority on my last post, and it's one of the repercussions of moving up in the pecking order- age.

What Are You Thinking?
Captain Doug Morris answers your questions about aviation.
Monday, February 1st 2010

Q: What does a pilot concentrate on during takeoff? Lukas Kusiak, Montréal

After takeoff clearance, the pilot flying (PF) sets takeoff power and uses rudder pedals to steer the airplane down the centreline. The pilot not flying (PNF) monitors the engine instruments and calls “80” at 80 knots (or “100” on Airbus) to which the PF responds, “Roger.” A pre­determined speed, “V1,” is then announced, denoting decision time. “Everything okay” means, “We are going flying!” The PNF then calls, “Rotate!” to begin flight. On your next takeoff, try to envision the calls “80 (or 100), V1, rotate!”


S.O. Lukas said...

Hey Capt'n!
Thanks for the response! Actually, I was wondering, where are your eyes prior to rotation? I'm told there are some calls on the (PFD?) over the attitude indicator? What about runway incursions and such?

Thanks again ;)

Joe d'Eon said...

I guess everybody does this differently, but one thing I am always thinking during take off roll, at least below V1, is "I can still abort ... I can still abort." I say this to myself silently. And then just before V1, I stop saying it. This gets the word "abort" into my head.

This works for me because if I do abort, I want to say it out loud for the copilot to hear.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Lukas. You're right there are Airbus calls made from flight modes depicted just above the PFD called the FMA (Flight Mode Annunciator).
The words ... "Man Flex, SRS, RWY and autothrust" rings out in my head.

I have a picture of the PFD/FMA in my "coffin cormer" article.


Someone did a youtube thing on all the calls for take off, climb, descent and landing.


The PF looks out the window during the take off roll.As far as runway incursions - not a nice thought.


From the Flight Deck said...

Joe d"Eon. You have a system that seems to work. At Air Canada, we use the word "reject" instead of "abort." Although some companies I worked for in the past used "abort." I'm afraid if I kept telling myself the word, "reject" that when it comes to "rotate" I may call "reject." Again, your system works nicely for you.

On another note, it's a little awkward during the first take off after the simulator. One has to remind oneself, "hey, I got two perfectly good engines."

Thanks for your post.

Captain Doug