How A Pilot Operates An A380 During Take-Off

Captain Abbas Shaban, Chief Pilot, technical operations at Emirates airline offers a glimpse into how a pilot operates the superjumbo while taking off.

Prior to flying, pilots meet with each other and discuss the Dispatch briefing provided to them by the airline.

The Dispatch briefing contains details of the route, enroute and destination airports weather conditions, information about the airport they are landing at, information of the runway condition, specifications for take-off/landing and other details they need to be aware of.

1. Pilots get into the cockpit.One will proceed to do an external inspection of the aircraft, checking the over all condition of the engines, wings, wheels, and the general condition of the flight controls to ensure there are no obstacles, while the other pilot will prepare the cockpit inserting the route plan and other performance details into the Flight Management System (FMS) that will manage the flight all the way to the destination airport.

2. Once they program the FMS and after the passenger boarding is completed and aircraft doors are closed, the flight crew will request the Air Traffic Control (ATC) for engine start clearance.

3. Request for pushback from ATC ground once pilots finish their checks at this stage.

4. During push back, pilots will start all engines. On an A380, they will start two engines at a time.

5.Complete the after start checklist.

6. Once ready, they will ask the ground engineer to remove the tow truck which was use to push back the aircraft and then request the ATC for taxi clearance.

7. ATC will provide the pilots with specific instructions regarding the taxi route to the runway, which will have to be followed by the pilots.

8. After reaching the runway and if the pilots are ready for take off, they will request the ATC for the Take-off Clearance. Once given by the ATC, the pilot flying will enter the runway and line-up the aircraft for the take-off.

9. They then ensure that thrust levers are set up to the approximate positions to obtain the required
forward thrust to reach the pre calculated rotation speed.

10. Pilots will then 10 wait for the speed to build up and conduct a last minute check for any at this stage.

11. Once rotation speed is reached, the pilot flying will start the take off rotation and fly the aircraft in the air.

12. Once up in the air, the landing gear will be raised and as the aircraft speed increases, the pilots will retract the flaps. Following that, pilots will continue to monitor the speed, thrust and other conditions of the aircraft.

13. The autopilot can be engaged above 100 feet from the ground after take-off and kept engaged until about 400 feet above the ground on the approach phase before landing unless the pilots decide that they will allow the autopilot
to land the aircraft.