I was skimming through the RealATC videos on YouTube today and watched this one. In it there are two flights taking off from Chicago-Midway (KMDW); Delta flight DAL1328/DL1328 and SouthWest's SWA3828/WN3828. They are each taking off from crossing runways (4R and 31C). For some reason, even though SWA3828 is given clearance to take off, the Delta flight also starts its own rollout.

After the call to abort is given, both aircraft abort takeoff and are able to then safely leave their respective runways in order to taxi back to the proper starting point. One of the aircraft states it will need a few minutes to check for heated brakes. Then both aircraft state they will need to "call company" for some unspecified reason.

Why would both planes need to call company? My guess is to recalculate fuel used to determine if they will have enough fuel to continue the trip. Why else might they need to do so?

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    $\begingroup$ Likely to have the company to recalculate some performance data / fuel. If the brakes are hot, the gear may need to remain extended for a while after take-off for cooling purposes. This affects climb performance and fuel consumption. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Jun 30, 2016 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ +1 DL, Also to explain what happened for airline scheduling purposes. The company will want to know why one of their flights RTO'ed. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Jun 30, 2016 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ After the RTO they may have had less than release fuel and needed a dispatch release amendment to be able to depart. $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Jun 30, 2016 at 17:47
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    $\begingroup$ More about the incident $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jun 30, 2016 at 19:04
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    $\begingroup$ From the captain's standpoint, apart from the technical reasons in the answers posted thus far, think of it this way: If something has happened, whether it be an RTO or whatever, that is likely to cause your company to be notified, if at all possible, you want to be the one calling calling the company. That's better than them having to contact you. This is especially true if whatever it was is going to involve your chief pilot. $\endgroup$
    – Terry
    Jul 1, 2016 at 3:46

3 Answers 3


An RTO can happen for any reason, mechanical, FOD, ATC error, etc.

The boss (airline operations) will want to know what happened.


Is everyone safe?

Is anyone in immediate danger?

Prepare documents for the NTSB investigation.


How much time will be lost (e.g. to cool the brakes); this can affect the schedule of this particular plane days ahead. Especially if maintenance is required.

Notify the destination airport of the delay, and also publish the delay for the next flight from said destination airport.


Make sure the airline's maintenance stationed at the airport can deal with the issue.

If not, get on the phone with airlines who can help.

Find a replacement plane and send it over there.

Get the all-clear from an airline engineer that the hot brakes won't affect another attempt. It depends on how hot they are.

If a delay is expected, start the clock, airlines can keep passengers on a stationary plane for so long, I guess it's two hours. Been there, it's awful.

If it will take more, find them a gate, if no gate is available, get the stairs and a bus.

Whose fault was it?

Get a grip on the PR before things get out of hand, i.e. tweet.

If anyone is suspected of not doing their job properly, start an investigation.

If the ATC is at fault, send them the bill.

If it is another airline's fault, call the insurance company.


Not really an issue for an aborted take-off after few seconds of take-off thrust, but nonetheless run the numbers again. Both in the cockpit and in the ops center.

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    $\begingroup$ Jet engines still burn a lot of fuel at idle, so the extra time on the ground to cool the brakes, taxi back, etc. can burn a significant amount. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Jun 30, 2016 at 19:42

While many of the answers shared "may" be partially correct, there is a compliance issue that requires the "call company" to occur.

The Dispatch Release (the document that permits the flight to be operated) under Part 121 is valid for one operation. When the aircraft took the runway for the purpose of takeoff and then aborted that takeoff, and then left the runway surface, that Dispatch Release is no longer valid, and would require either a revalidation or issuance of a new Dispatch Release.


Almost certainly refers to calling station ops in order to get a gate. After a rejected takeoff, even at fairly low speed, it's common to need to let the brakes cool, and if they aren't so hot as to be dangerous, cooling at the gate is preferred -- allows passengers a chance to get off & use a real restroom, buy food, etc. Since Ops has the picture of what gates won't be needed for the next XX minutes, the crew calls them to determine where they need to go next.


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