Rejected takeoff

A rejected takeoff or RTO (more commonly known outside aviation jargon as an aborted takeoff) is the situation in which it is decided to abort the takeoff of an airplane. There can be many reasons for deciding to perform a rejected takeoff, but they are usually due to suspected or actual technical failures, like an engine failure such as a compressor stall occurring during the takeoff run.

A rejected takeoff is normally performed only if the aircraft's speed is below the takeoff decision speed known as V1, which for larger multi-engined airplanes is calculated before each flight. Below the decision speed the airplane should be able to stop safely before the end of the runway. Above the decision speed, the airplane may overshoot the runway if the takeoff is aborted and therefore a rejected takeoff is normally not performed above this speed, unless there is reason to doubt the airplane's ability to fly. If a serious failure occurs or is suspected above V1 but the airplane's ability to fly is not in doubt, the takeoff is continued despite the (suspected) failure and the airplane will attempt to land again as soon as possible.

Single-engine aircraft will normally reject any takeoff after an engine failure, regardless of speed, as there is no power available to continue the takeoff. Even if the airplane is already airbone, if sufficient runway remains, an attempt to land straight ahead on the runway may be made. This may also apply to some light twin engine airplanes.

Before the takeoff roll is started, the autobrake system of the aircraft, if available, is set to the RTO mode. The autobrake system will automatically apply maximum brakes if throttle is reduced to idle or reverse thrust during the takeoff roll below V1.

It is not uncommon for one or more tires to deflate during a high speed rejected takeoff. An inspection of the tires, brakes and undercarriage may be needed after a rejected takeoff has been performed, primarily due to the large amount of heat produced when dissipating the energy of a high-speed rejected takeoff.

External links

* [ Video of a Boeing 747 overshooting the runway after performing a rejected takeoff] - Correction: not an overshoot, just an engine flameout on Number 1.
* [ - Photos detailing a RTO performed by a Lockheed Tristar at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport]

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