Short Runways SFO 1L )

Hi guys I was flying from San francisco to Istanbul the other day, I asked for a taxi from the Atc tower.

He told me to make a 1R taxi too,
I stated that I wanted to get up from 1L so that it would be closer while I was progressing, Atc approved,
but I didn’t know the 1L track was short,
I usually look at the small map and don’t notice it.
I finally line up runway and accelerated with the Boeing 787-9.
When I reached 120 knots, I realized that I was very close to the end of the runway.
i forced N1, I managed to get up dangerously.
then when I researched this situation, I saw that big planes take off from 28 L and R runways. :)
I would have liked the Atc to have known about this situation beforehand.


was this on the expert server?

Yes ,Expert server.

Do you know who was the controller by any chance?

unfortunately, I don’t know, but the date is 07.29.2022 Departed time is 🇺🇸13:37 pm

That is not ATC’s responsibility. As pilot in command, it is your job to determine how long of a runway you need based off of your weight, the temperature, the wind, and the altitude of the airport. ATC has no way of knowing how much takeoff runway you need and since you requested a runway, they let you taxi to it. ATC has their hands full as it is without having to calculate the takeoff distance needed by every aircraft. Also, you can check the length of each runway by clicking on the airport on the map, and pressing runways at the bottom of the screen.


all right, I’ll be more cautious from now on, thank you for the answer. 👍🖤


1L is 2330meters. A heavy long haul flight would struggle to lift at FLX settings. Try continuous TOGA thrust (max thrust) then it might work. The atc wouldn’t know if you’re gonna be using FLX or TOGA so you gotta request the longer runway (28L/R)


There are two things I have to point out here that would possibly greatly improve your experience with ATC in the future.

  1. Don’t assume that the ATC knows how heavy you are, since it’s the pilot’s duty to plan ahead accurately whether a runway would be long enough for the takeoff conditions, which include wind, flap setting, density altitude, aircraft load and power setting.

  2. I would highly recommend using flight planning software like Simbrief whenever you fly. Certain flight plan formats offer the V-speeds for takeoff and the maximum weight of your aircraft to be allowed to depart on the selected runway safely. However, it is always important to double check for yourself, so by clicking the runway information on the airports within the map in IF, you will be able to see the length of each runway at the selected airport.


If your on a B787 just please use the 28 lol

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SFO will operate in a dep 1s, landing 28s config all the time and they send 747s and A380s off the ones too. It shouldn’t be to much off an issue.

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SFO uses 1R for heavies on the daily. This 777 to Amsterdam just did it. But they always use 1R not 1L because it’s a little longer. But when in doubt use one of the 28s.



As other people have stated, it us the pilot’s responsibility to determine which runway(s) they should use.

To add an additional point, the controller actually gave you a suitable runway - 01R is used for quite a few heavies in real life - and you declined it. The correct assumption on the controller’s part was to assume you would be fine on that runway, and that seems to be exactly their thought process.


You should be good with a 787 tho… But as suggested above, use 1R and I reccomend it as well and you should be all good. I use it with a 772 all the time without any problems.

So in my opinion, this is not ATC related. He’/she’s not responsible for this. Check FR24 or Flightaware for which aircraft is using the 1’s. So far as I know the 77W is the biggest one but only for flights inside the US. The 772 is the biggest one for long hauls if I’m right.


Closing this as messages are starting to get a tad repetitive and I believe the op has gotten the message. Thanks all for your help!