Boomer From United States of America, joined May 1999, 102 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1165 times:
I think that flap position is likely the most obvious clue. Other indicators are more difficult to spot. Things like dust or rain water blown up from the runway by engines under high power, blurred images of tires that indicate whether they are turning. Other clues relate to the profile of the aircraft. Takeoffs usually result in a more nose-high angle than landings. The MD11 you show is likely taking off as the caption states. The flaps are not extended enough for a landing, and the high nose-up angle is contrary to a landing profile (unless the pilot severely got out of shape and had to over-flare to avoid a hard landing).
Wing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1552 posts, RR: 24 Reply 6, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1003 times:
The most obvious reason to understand that this a take off simply read the explanation underneath the picture its written "PH-KCI About to lift off runway 24L"Ha Ha!But seriously if that smoke was burned rubber I think we should see the spoilers deployed and the flaps should seem more extended.