It’s up to the airplane to demonstrate to us it’s capable of performing on takeoff. And it’s up to us to ensure it’s doing what it’s supposed to do and, if not, to abort the takeoff and live to fly another time. At most of the airports from which we fly, even a runway overrun, like the one pictured above, results in no or minimal damage.
Remember: Aborting a takeoff isn’t a failure on the part of the pilot; it’s a pilot showing the right stuff by recognizing the wrong stuff and taking action to keep people alive.
Are trim tabs, flaps and fuel selector(s) properly positioned? If not, fix or abort. If yes, continue.
At full throttle, are the rpm and/or manifold pressure and fuel flow where they should be for the elevation and temperature? If not, abort. If yes, continue.
It should be off the peg and moving smoothly within 5 to 10 seconds of adding full power. If not, abort. If yes, continue.
Has the airplane reached at least 71 percent of the published liftoff/rotation speed? If no, abort. If yes, continue.
At the published speed, does moving the pitch control aft raise the nose? If not, abort. If yes, continue, and enjoy the flight.