An anonymous forum to allow you to share those moments in flying that caused you concern. You can post without registering a username, registered users can log out to post
By Anon
#1668739
So here it is - that first solo moment. The instructor is out and the power checks are done. This is a middling international airport and so a small delay after checks for one of the local airline flights to arrive. Running through the important things to remember - switch the transponder on on the runway....remember the aircraft is lighter so will get to circuit height faster.... lovely sunny day....

Cleared to enter and line up. Ok I can do this.... cleared for take off so here we go. I’ve done it so many times before it’s almist second nature. Rolling Ts and Ps in the green... excellent. Then.......strange.... the view is different......I’m usually up by now.... speed is rising .....not there yet....I’ve never seen the actual runway end on take off before ...... what’s happening ? There’s the speed and I’m off... great. All going fine then onto the downwind checks. And there it is -




a slight movement forward on the brake handle - it hadn’t fully been released...so the brakes had been binding slightly causing a slightly longer take off run. The clues were there and I should have realised as soon as the picture wasn’t right.

Learning from this - if it looks wrong it is wrong. Do something about it as this could have ended very differently!
By Cessna57
#1669313
quite an interesting one for first solo, you’ll not do that again I presume !

Basically, well done for spotting it downwind.

PA28 I presume? After training on C152s and never actually using the weird brake I’m always cautious of the handbrake. Just one of the things to check when you line up.
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By Genghis the Engineer
#1669337
I've done a variation on this (not on my first solo, many year later) flying a large vintage tailwheel aeroplane with a poor parking brake off wet grass.

Very juddery take-off - but successful. Parked that fact for later.

Returning to the field, start pre-landing checks...

B - Brakes. OH *****, I TOOK OFF WITH THE PARKING BRAKE ON.
U - Undercarriage down and welded, etc.


If the runway surface hadn't been so slippery, I imagine I'd have noticed this and never taken off with it on. But, if I hadn't done my checks properly and at the right time, that might have ended very badly indeed.

It's an important lesson. I always have my students, now I'm an instructor, include "parking brake off" in their pre-landing checks.

G
By BehyBill
#1683414
Anon wrote:slight movement forward on the brake handle - it hadn’t fully been released...so the brakes had been binding slightly causing a slightly longer take off run. The clues were there and I should have realised as soon as the picture wasn’t right.

Learning from this - if it looks wrong it is wrong. Do something about it as this could have ended very differently!


I did it on someones else aircraft, unlike you it did not make much difference to the takeoff run, his parking break ON/OFF makes zero difference :D

What can be done differently?

You did the right thing on downwind checks that is when it matters IMO

For takeoffs, I think most of us will tell you about rejecting them, have a look at "50/70 rule" anytime you fly new/different, but to be honest rejecting a takeoff takes a lot of balls, process, discipline and planning...most of us will just hang on the prop hoping for the best, including me (on 500 takeoffs? 10 were probably worrisome, I only rejected 2, and I only cancelled the flight after 1 of them, the 10 were for various reasons you name it: heavy, tailwind, short runway, pitot cover...