What to do when you're cleared for takeoff.

Recently I’ve been flying specifically around the So Cal area, and I’ve begun to notice that when an air traffic control gives someone clearance to take off, they line up and wait for a very long time. At one point I had 3 go arounds because of it. I think people should learn the difference between line up and wait and cleared for takeoff. When you’re holding short of the runway and you contact the tower that you’re ready for your departure, there are three options that he/she will give you. One: Hold short, which means you remain in position because of some form of traffic. Two: Line up and Wait: when a controller says to line up and wait, you pull out onto the runway and align yourself with the centerline and hold the breaks. Three: cleared for takeoff. When you are instructed that you are cleared for takeoff, you typically should have a rolling takeoff because there might be traffic on final behind you. If you line up and stop, this can cause disruption to the approaching aircraft and can create problems. So next time you’re ready for departure, you’ll know what to do :)


It may be the controllers fault if that happens, if there are incoming aircraft not too far from the airport, they should tell them to request an Immediate takeoff. BTW, welcome :D


I noticed some people take their own sweet time but that is probably because they’re running through the checklist… Perhaps TWR should send “Cleared for immediate takeoff” as @JFKPlaneSpotter said that it may be the controller’s fault :)

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I agree very much with that, but typically in real life you have your checklist done at the hold short line, and your flight plan is typed in at the gate, the only real checklist you do as you pull onto the runway is turning on the landing light and strobe. I know because I am a real pilot, I’d just like to see people not idling on the runway for too long. :)


Need to be familiar with distances from the airport. Generally under 2 or 3nm and I’ll tell them to hold short and let them wait for the aircraft to land. Some pilots drag their feet and creep out and take forever to takeoff. Usually if I have an aircraft within 5nm of the airport and no one doing a landing roll I’ll clear the waiting aircraft for takeoff. If I do have one doing a landing roll I’ll look at the aircrafts speed on approach and how much the aircraft on the runway is dragging their feet before issuing a line up and wait call. I do this on PG for the reason you are making this post; some pilots just don’t get it.

Now let’s talk about people using “Going around” when they are entering your airspace hahahaha.

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this was on playground im guessing. You wont stop trolls there. #flyadvanced

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his subscription ran out a few days ago…

Let me get this clear:

  1. Immediate Takeoff is YOU CAN TAKE OFF RIGHT NOW, normally used in a situation where an aircraft is about 30-45 seconds from landing. Do not take your time, do not sit there. There might be Traffic behind you.

  2. Cleared for takeoff is you’re allowed to go, you can take your time but do not sit there spooling your engines.

  3. Line up and Wait is pretty basic, normally an ATC uses this to expedite departures. Like say if a 737 is going down the runway for takeoff, the controller can tell you to line up and wait, also if traffic has just landed, the controller can tell you to Line up and Wait until the traffic exits the runway appropriately. Oh, and yes, YOU CAN SPOOL YOUR ENGINES!

Some people still need to get familiar with the LAW clearance. It sometimes ruins our sequence when a guy is holding short while we need him on the RWY for an immediate T/O…

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