Are departure briefing and take-off briefing the same thing? If the same, when is it appropriate to brief? (before starting the engine, while taxiing, just before takeoff) I am asking the question as a student pilot, so I'd appreciate it if you could answer the question assuming I'm flying a light aircraft.


2 Answers 2


This would depend mostly on academy/company procedure.

For me, the departure review or briefing is a preflight item that revolves around an IFR clearance, the initial routing, and navigation setup.

Takeoff briefing can be an abbreviated repetition of the runway safety items prior to receiving a takeoff clearance. Depending on the operation, it can be normal for an hour or two to elapse between the first departure review and the takeoff briefing.


I see them as being separate. Back when I am gathering ATIS I am thinking about direction of departure, which runway, does that runway have a run up pad, pattern direction. It’s so casual I hesitate to call it a brief. But then, at the run up pad, I have a more formal takeoff briefing than any GA pilot I have ever known. It only takes me 5-10 seconds longer than most others.

  1. Based on my weight, performance, and recency of practice, what is the lowest altitude I will ever consider the return-to-field “impossible turn” on loss of takeoff thrust.

  2. At that altitude, based on wind and terrain, will my turn be left or right, and I note the target bank and speed.

  3. What is my DMMS (Minimum Maneuver Speed or 1.4 Vs), a speed below which I will not perform any maneuver that increases wing loading, decreases speed, or increases lift demand. (Banking, pulling back on yoke, retracting flaps)

  4. What is my best glide, at my weight.

“I’m on Rwy 14 and I have 3,000 feet. Rotate at 50, no maneuver below 59. LOTOT above x00 feet, I will turn left at X degrees bank and X KIAS.” Literally takes me 5-6 seconds.

BTW, I also re-arrange my checklist a bit from the POH. GA POHs almost have you do things like set TO flaps and TO trim before doing quite a few other things, including an autopilot function check. That’s a hard no from me. Setting my final takeoff configuration for flaps, gear handle, prop, and mixture are at the bottom of my checklist, after any test of them is complete. Example, testing the autopilot’s pitch servo after setting the takeoff trim, that’s a non-starter for me.


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