|By Russ Still
November 20, 2020
The concept of an emergency briefing prior to takeoff isn't new. In fact, most students were taught to mentally review their options before crossing the hold short line to the runway. The issue is that this idea has not been stressed adequately. Many pilots overlook it and blithely launch into the sky, hoping for (and expecting) the best. A simple review of options that cover the first 2-3 minutes of flight is easy to do and can greatly reduce your risk.
First, understand that the departure profile is broken into four phases. Each one has different risks and different emergency responses. This period of time lasts roughly 90 seconds, a time during which your exposure is increased.
The goal is to develop a standard briefing that covers each of these four phases. It does not replace the Pre-Takeoff Checklist. It is additional. And the briefing card is not something to be be referred to when an emergency occurs. Brief it immediately before takeoff so that the information is fresh in your mind. In an emergency while close to the ground, you must react quickly.
In this video, I cover the issue in detail. You will find a .PDF of the emergency briefing for my Cessna 182 in the sidebar. It may be folded and laminted. Or better yet, create your own.