I was wondering if an airliner was instructed to line-up on the runway ("line-up and wait"), will the park brake be used or will manual braking be used (pedals) during the wait until the take-off clearance is given? Same for holding short the runway before line-up / take-off clearance? Does it make a difference which brakes are used in the first place?

  • $\begingroup$ If you are on the runway it should be the toe brakes, it is typically a very short hold. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ Somewhat Related: I some times get a lineup and wait in my little Piper. In that case toe brakes are used. On small planes the E-Brake usually just actuates the regular brake system anyway. As Ron mentions, you never really wait that long. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 13:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This question is like asking "Do you step on the brake pedal or set the parking brake while waiting for a red light when driving". It boils down to (1) how long do you expect to wait & (2) whether want to rest your feet at the expense of using your hands. $\endgroup$
    – kevin
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 18:25

1 Answer 1


Just toe brakes. Typically the instruction between line-up-and-wait and clearing for takeoff is very short, maybe ten seconds. In simpler aircraft, the parking brake just "pinches" or closes off the brake fluid line to keep the wheel brakes held, but in the fly-by-wire airliners, the parking brake just clamps the normal wheel brakes as if the toe brakes were held.

  • $\begingroup$ In addition, most companies (that I know of) forbid the use of parking brake on runway. That is to reduce the risk of trying to take-off with parking brake on. There have been some accidents because of that. $\endgroup$
    – Sami
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 20:54

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