“The pilot’s quick thinking saved the day.”
A fairly standard newspaper headline when an airliner has rejected its takeoff and come to a rapid halt on the runway. However, calling this “quick thinking” is a real disservice to the thousands of people who, over the history of commercial aviation, have worked to improve safety.
The decision to abort a takeoff is not made in a split-second by the pilot, it’s a binary decision based on science and maths. It’s calculated before the engines are even started and discussed in depth between all the pilots on the flight deck before they enter the runway. If that rare moment does occur, it puts into action hours spent practising in a flight simulator for this exact moment.
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