From the Flight Deck features insights from the core of our aviation family – our pilots! This issue, learn more about the V1 and takeoff decisions with Mike Kopp, Jet Linx Director of Operations and longtime pilot.
Have you ever wondered what it means when you hear one of your pilots say “Vee One” before takeoff? “V1” is known as decision speed. It is the speed that, prior to reaching that speed, guarantees the aircraft can stop on the runway if a takeoff is aborted or, beyond that speed, ensures enough performance has been gained for the takeoff to continue in the event of an engine failure. It is an essential number that must be calculated prior to takeoff either from flight manual tables or a computer program approved for use on that aircraft. Any abnormalities prior to the decision speed require the takeoff to be stopped; after decision speed the aircraft will be flown to a safe altitude where the abnormality can be assessed safely.
Aircraft performance is based on many factors including weight, wind, temperature, elevation and runway length. Pilots are trained to take these factors into consideration when calculating V1 and the other speeds associated with the takeoff climb profile. Takeoff speeds include V1 (decision speed), VR (rotation/takeoff speed), V2 (initial climb speed), VFTO (final takeoff climb speed), and VERC (enroute climb speed). All speeds after V1 are based on one engine inoperative climb performance. The aircraft must be capable of continuing flight after V1 with an engine out, otherwise the takeoff may not be initiated. Performance calculations, use of decision speed, and practice of aborted and continued takeoffs are a part of initial and recurrent training curriculum for all Jet Linx pilots. Prior to every flight, PICs and SICs are required to brief the possible takeoff scenarios and associated speeds and conditions that will warrant an aborted or continued takeoff. Verbal call outs are used during the takeoff to identify the briefed speeds.
Standard callouts and repeatable performance allow for the safest possible outcome should there be an abnormality on takeoff. Flight crews are prepared for all possible outcomes, and every takeoff is calculated to meet the strictest of safety standards.