You’re lined up on the runway, the pre-departure checklists complete, ready to blast off on another fun flying adventure. You’ve confirmed the runway is long enough, that you’ve got sufficient fuel, the weather is within your personal limits and all notams and TFRs have been checked.
Is there anything you missed? What about the engine failure you’re about to have on takeoff?
That’s right. You need to be thinking “engine failure” on every takeoff. You can hope it will never happen for real, but luck is no substitute for preparation.
And remember that climbing at best rate of climb airspeed might not always be the best idea. Climbing more slowly, at best angle airspeed, will put you higher, closer to the runway. We all know about the “impossible turn.” But depending on when the engine decides to quit, you might be high enough and close enough to at least make it back to the runway safety area, if not onto a runway itself.
That’s also one reason why it’s a good idea to study the area surrounding the departure airport. If you have an engine failure after takeoff, what are your best options for making an off-airport emergency landing causing the least grief for your airplane as well as property and people on the ground?
When it comes to takeoff emergencies, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst could mean the difference between a minor incident or a catastrophic accident.
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