Takeoff is consistently the phase of flight with the second-highest number of pilot-related accidents.
Proper technique for safe and efficient takeoffs and landing are judiciously taught during flight training, but pilots can lose some of those early acquired skills over time. Do your flying club members calculate the aircraft’s takeoff and landing distance before each flight? How sharp are their crosswind and short-field landing skills?
Takeoff is consistently the phase of flight with the second-highest number of pilot-related accidents. In 2010, the most recent year for which accident statistics are available, there were 142 takeoff/climb accidents, of which 28 were fatal. While rarely fatal, landings continue to result in the largest number of general aviation fixed-wing accidents. In 2010, the total number of landing accidents was 361, and 8 were fatal.
To address the specific areas in which pilots are having difficulty, the Air Safety Institute recently launched a new video series about takeoffs and landings. Funded by the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association Flight Safety Foundation and the Donner Canadian Foundation, the videos unveil the finer points of practicing and honing your takeoff and landing technique beyond currency requirements. Consider showing the videos during your next flying club safety meeting. The first installment in the series, “Takeoffs and Landings: Determining an Abort Point,” helps pilots learn how to choose an abort point if your takeoff roll isn’t going as planned. Also view the next three video segments on short field landings, normal takeoffs, and crosswind landings, to understand simple rules of thumb we can all live by.
The Air Safety Institute is a division of the non-profit AOPA Foundation. Funding for ASI safety programs comes from the generosity of pilots like you.