Part 4: Autonomous activities

Part 4: Autonomous activities

Things to think about, research and discuss:

  • Have you ever had to abort a take-off as a pilot? If so, why?
  • Have you ever experienced an aborted take-off as a passenger? In what circumstances?
  • Imagine you are speaking to someone who isn’t a pilot. Explain to them everything you do after your flight planning but before you take off.
  • Which is the most complicated airfield you have ever taken off from? Why?
  • What are the most difficult conditions in which you have taken off? Where was it? What made the conditions difficult?
  • Have you ever taken off in windy conditions or in a crosswind? What did you need to do to take-off safely?
  • How does temperature affect take off?
  • If you are taking passengers with you for a flight, how does this affect take-off?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you have been concerned about clearing hazards at the end of a runway on take-off? If so, explain the circumstances.
  • Have you ever come across obstructions on a runway / taxiway while you were preparing for take-off? Again, explain the circumstances.
  • If you were taking someone for their first flight in a light aircraft, how
  • would you talk them through take-off?
  • Have you ever experienced wake turbulence? What did you do?

Watch this video of an aeroplane taking off from Paro Airport, Bhutan:

Why do you think the video is entitled, “Take-off at one of world’s most difficult airstrips”?
Try writing a description of the airfield, including an explanation of why it would be difficult to take-off (and land) here. You can find further details on the airport’s own website:

There are plenty of photographs and videos of difficult take-offs, any of which are worth looking at for extra photo description practice. For each, as well as the description of what you see, think about the challenges they represent and what you would need to do if you were taking of in these circumstances.