What is a good Pilot looking for once he is cleared to line up on the active runway?
There are a quite a few things a pilot should be thinking of, which not only shows good airmanship but also assures the safety of his passengers and aircraft.
Take a look at that windsock. That’s the best indicator of wind assessment you’re going to get before taking off.
Check for traffic on final approach. Controllers, just like pilots, are human and prone to make mistakes.
Once cleared for take-off, be sure you’re ready to go. Sitting out on the runway is not a good place to be rearranging your charts, doing take-off briefings or doing checks. Be ready to go before you call ATC.
Listen to instructions that are given to other traffic by ATC. In the past there have been lethal accidents with aircraft cleared for landing while aircraft traffic still occupied the runway.
Situational awareness can never be over-emphasized. This can be thought of as an internalised mental model of the current state of the flight environment. This integrated picture forms the central organising feature from which all decision making and action takes place. A vast portion of the aircrew’s job is involved in developing SA and keeping it up to date in a rapidly changing environment- what’s going on around the pilot certainly does affect aircrew and we can’t be myopic when we’re entering the runway for take-off.”
Make sure you are ready to go when you communicate with ATC in the tower. Be aware what is going on around you and listen out on the radio. Know what instruction was given to whom and visualise where the aircraft are in relation to you and the airport.