After taxiing to your assigned runway, you are almost ready for take off. Once you are first in line, you should be in a position similar to the picture below.
Follow these instructions for a smooth and successful take off at a towered airport.
Airplane Position prior to contacting Tower
List of available commands
- Never enter any runway prior to receiving clearance to do so. Taxi to the position in the picture above and tune to the tower frequency when ready to take off.
- Send the Request Takeoff message (you need to select a runway number). The runway you have been assigned previously should be on top of the list.
- If you are staying to practice landings (touch and goes), select Remaining in the pattern
- If you are leaving the airport, select Departing and then a direction of flight
- In a typical scenario, tower will respond with "N1RT, Runway 31, cleared for take off" (See below for other possible responses from Tower)
- You are now authorized to enter the runway. Acknowledge the take off clearance by sending the Acknowledge message, then proceed to take off.
- If an active Approach or Departure Controller is active at the time, tower will send a request for frequency change to that controller. If no facility is open at the time, tower will send a Frequency Change Approved message.
- Depending on traffic conditions, tower can respond in one of the following two ways:
- Hold Short, Runway XX: This means that there is landing traffic, or on the runway. If you're not at the hold short line, taxi up to it but do not enter the runway.
- Line up and wait, Runway XX: This means that a traffic has landed, or is taking off, and you can prepare for take off by entering the runway and line up. Do not take off until you receive the clearance.
Line up and wait
- Once again, do not enter the runway without a clearance.
- No waiting on the runway when you've cleared to takeoff. Line up and go. Others might be waiting behind you to have fun too.
- When instructed to do an "immediate take off", please try to expedite, no waiting on the runway, there is most likely traffic coming for landing. Tower is giving you a favor by letting you go quickly, don't let them down.
- Do not send unnecessary messages, especially when frequency is busy. Once you've asked for take off, wait a bit for the reply. If you don't get an immediate reply, be patient, the controller might be busy.
- If frequency is busy when you're leaving, just change frequency, tower knows if you've switched. Use common sense to keep everyone happy
- Touch and goes requests may not be granted all the time. During peak times, tower cannot handle incoming/outgoing traffic as well as airplanes in the pattern. This is at the controller's discretion.
- Before take off, make sure you turn on your landing light as well as your strobe lights.
- Check for crosswind before you take off. Active runways at airports are not necessarily the one that the wind favors the most.