Takeoff Minimums


  • Takeoff minimums provide a margin of safety
  • Civil aviation minimums are dependent upon which part you operate

Civil Takeoff Minimums:

  • Takeoff Minimums Example
    Takeoff Minimums Example
  • ODP Takeoff Minimums
    ODP Takeoff Minimums
  • For general aviation (part 91), there are no takeoff minimums and instead, good judgment should be applied
    • A prudent pilot will look to maintain any published takeoff minimum and not takeoff unless they have the expected minimums to shoot an instrument approach back to the same airport (think of an emergency)
    • If you are assigned an instrument departure that has published minimums, they you must at least meet those
      • In fact, you are obligated to decline the departure if you cannot meet the performance requirements
  • Part 121, 125, 129, and 135 operators must follow their requirements:
    • Must meet the requirements of part 97, or if none are prescribed:
      • For aircraft, other than helicopters, having 2 engines or less - 1 SM visibility
      • For aircraft having more than two engines, 1/2 SM visibility
      • For helicopters, 1/2 SM visibility
      • No pilot may takeoff under IFR from a civil airport having a published obstacle departure under part 97 for the takeoff runway to be used, unless the pilot uses such ODPs or an alternative is assigned
  • An inverted triangle with a capital letter "T" means a textual departure is located in the front of the IAPs indicates an ODP developed solely for obstacle avoidance [Figure 2]
    • Review these before departure!
  • If the pilot does not possess a DP or does not wish to use one, he/she is expected to advise ATC
  • This may be accomplished by stating "NO DP" in the remarks section of the flight plan or by verbally advising ATC
  • ODP Takeoff Minimums
    ODP Takeoff Minimums


  • Pay attention to landing minimums before you worry about takeoff minimums
  • Always make sure you can return to the airfield if you have an emergency
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