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"Line up and wait" - how long would you be confortable waiting?

In LEVX they have cameras to cover all the blind spots so you are permanently in sight. The runway has a huge slope.
If ATC tells to line up and wait that’s what you do. If you are not comfortable with that go to uncontrolled airfields.


Don't get too slow
LECU | LECN, Spain

@speed I disagree. I too learned to fly in the USA and have been taught that being on the runway is a dangerous situation. After about a minute I call tower and state that I am on the runway, ready to depart. This is not only a reminder to the tower but foremost serves as a blind call to all aircraft approaching the airport. Not doing this would make me highly uncomfortable. Edit: And rather contrary to you I hope that all pilots have this situational awareness and act on their assessment of the situation.

Last Edited by ArcticChiller at 31 Aug 07:37


I don’t see this post as a discussion. ATC instructions are to comply. If you are feeling uncomfortable and you would like to “remind” ATC that you are waiting is OK, specially if you are a PPL (not professional flyer).
SA is provided by all onboard sensors (eyes and radio too) so it’s also your work to listen carefully to the radio to build your SA when feeling a little bit uncomfortable.
I am not discussing the point of “reminding” ATC that you are fully ready for departure, I do it when I’m late for an AAR or the Push too, what I’m trying to bring to light is that we don’t discuss ATC instructions nor cheat them. I have read replies in this thread that have really shocked me.

Don't get too slow
LECU | LECN, Spain

speed wrote:

I have read replies in this thread that have really shocked me.

What’s shocking me in this discussion is the implicit sentiment that you should follow ATC instructions unquestionably. The PIC has a duty to not accept clearances (s)he feels would be risky.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Absolutely. It is absolutely reasonable when you hear that you’ll have to wait on the runway another 9 minutes due to CTOT or whateber, to say: “Unable to continue to wait on the runway for prolonged time. Request taxi back to holding position.” Unable is the most important word there is in pilot phraseology.

Absolutely agree. ATC are not perfect and you don’t follow their instructions blindly and unquestioningly. You follow them if it is safe to do so, and you question anything you feel is unsafe. It isn’t the controller who will die if it all goes wrong, it is you.

During my PPL training (a dual landaway) a tower controller cleared us to land on a runway that had two aircraft on it – one lined up for departure and the other rolling out to vacate. My instructor visited the tower afterwards and I wish I had witnessed that ‘discussion’.

Last Edited by Graham at 31 Aug 08:20


I am not following ATC instructions unquestionably but I won’t question them till I see a traffic right in front me or creating a dangerous situation.
Are you really serious you will questionate a “Line-up and wait clearance” in a controlled airport with no oher external factors like traffic, LVP, etc? Really? To the point of “just crossing the line and stopping” or “turning 45 in the runway to see incoming traffic”?

This is unacceptable.

Don't get too slow
LECU | LECN, Spain

speed wrote:

Are you really serious you will questionate a “Line-up and wait clearance” in a controlled airport …

Obviously I will not question without reason. But if I see a reason, yes I would and the reason need not necessarily be a known external factor. I would likely question an instruction to line up and wait if I expected the wait for take-off clearance to be several minutes. Then I’d rather wait at the holding point. On the other hand, I would not expect such an instruction from ATC in the first place.

Also, in wleferrand’s case, there was known other traffic.

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 31 Aug 08:34
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Speed I would not dream of following ATC instruction blindly without question if I had a safety concern, I am sure it is incumbent on any pilot to put safety first. If you fly for a commercial airline what does your ops manual say (and who do you fly for?) so I can beware.

UK, United Kingdom


Don’t put words in my mouth I din’t say. I think the discussion is being extrapolated.
Generally speaking, I don’t follow instructions blindly neither I question them without a measurable/real threat. I tend to trsut the professionalism of the ATCO in the same way I expect them to trust me.

In this particular scenario, I would ask ATC ETD. Nine minutes is time enough to taxi back to the holding point, nevertheless ATC should offer you this possibility in the first place (traffic and external factors that you don’t know depending).

What I strongly disagree is as stated in my previous posts, trying to cheat ATC or doing strange maneouvres on the rwy.

Don't get too slow
LECU | LECN, Spain
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