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Airplane Flying Handbook
Takeoffs and Departure Climbs
Normal Takeoff

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Airplane Flying Handbook


Table of Contents

Chapter 1,Introduction to Flight Training
Chapter 2,Ground Operations
Chapter 3,Basic Flight Maneuvers
Chapter 4, Slow Flight, Stalls, and Spins
Chapter 5, Takeoff and Departure Climbs
Chapter 6, Ground Reference Maneuvers
Chapter 7, Airport Traffic Patterns
Chapter 8, Approaches and Landings
Chapter 9, Performance Maneuvers
Chapter 10, Night Operations
Chapter 11,Transition to Complex Airplanes
Chapter 12, Transition to Multiengine Airplanes
Chapter 13,Transition to Tailwheel Airplanes
Chapter 14, Transition to Turbo-propeller Powered Airplanes
Chapter 15,Transition to Jet Powered Airplanes
Chapter 16,Emergency Procedures



At this stage of training, beginning takeoff practice, a
student pilot will normally not have a full appreciation
of the variations of control pressures with the speed of
the airplane. The student, therefore, may tend to move
the controls through wide ranges seeking the pressures
that are familiar and expected, and as a consequence
over-control the airplane. The situation may be aggravated
by the sluggish reaction of the airplane to these
movements. The flight instructor should take measures
to check these tendencies and stress the importance of
the development of feel. The student pilot should be
required to feel lightly for resistance and accomplish
the desired results by applying pressure against it. This
practice will enable the student pilot, as experience is
gained, to achieve a sense of the point when sufficient
speed has been acquired for the takeoff, instead of
merely guessing, fixating on the airspeed indicator, or
trying to force performance from the airplane.

Since a good takeoff depends on the proper takeoff
attitude, it is important to know how this attitude
appears and how it is attained. The ideal takeoff attitude
requires only minimum pitch adjustments
shortly after the airplane lifts off to attain the speed
for the best rate of climb (VY). [Figure 5-2] The pitch
attitude necessary for the airplane to accelerate to VY
speed should be demonstrated by the instructor and
memorized by the student. Initially, the student pilot
may have a tendency to hold excessive back-elevator
pressure just after lift-off, resulting in an abrupt pitchup.
The flight instructor should be prepared for this.

Each type of airplane has a best pitch attitude for
normal lift-off; however, varying conditions may
make a difference in the required takeoff technique.
A rough field, a smooth field, a hard surface runway,
or a short or soft, muddy field, all call for a slightly
different technique, as will smooth air in contrast to
a strong, gusty wind. The different techniques for
those other-than-normal conditions are discussed
later in this chapter.

Initial roll and takeoff attitude.
Figure 5-2. Initial roll and takeoff attitude.

When all the flight controls become effective during
the takeoff roll in a nosewheel-type airplane, back elevator
pressure should be gradually applied to
raise the nosewheel slightly off the runway, thus
establishing the takeoff or lift-off attitude. This is
often referred to as "rotating." At this point, the
position of the nose in relation to the horizon should
be noted, then back-elevator pressure applied as
necessary to hold this attitude. The wings must be
kept level by applying aileron pressure as necessary.

The airplane is allowed to fly off the ground while in
the normal takeoff attitude. Forcing it into the air by
applying excessive back-elevator pressure would only
result in an excessively high pitch attitude and may
delay the takeoff. As discussed earlier, excessive and
rapid changes in pitch attitude result in proportionate
changes in the effects of torque, thus making the airplane
more difficult to control.

Although the airplane can be forced into the air, this is
considered an unsafe practice and should be avoided
under normal circumstances. If the airplane is forced
to leave the ground by using too much back-elevator
pressure before adequate flying speed is attained, the
wing's angle of attack may be excessive, causing the
airplane to settle back to the runway or even to stall.
On the other hand, if sufficient back-elevator pressure
is not held to maintain the correct takeoff attitude after
becoming airborne, or the nose is allowed to lower
excessively, the airplane may also settle back to the
runway. This would occur because the angle of attack
is decreased and lift diminished to the degree where it
will not support the airplane. It is important, then, to
hold the correct attitude constant after rotation or liftoff.

As the airplane leaves the ground, the pilot must
continue to be concerned with maintaining the
wings in a level attitude, as well as holding the
proper pitch attitude. Outside visual scan to
attain/maintain proper airplane pitch and bank attitude
must be intensified at this critical point. The
flight controls have not yet become fully effective,
and the beginning pilot will often have a tendency
to fixate on the airplane's pitch attitude and/or the
airspeed indicator and neglect the natural tendency
of the airplane to roll just after breaking ground.

During takeoffs in a strong, gusty wind, it is advisable
that an extra margin of speed be obtained before the
airplane is allowed to leave the ground. A takeoff at the
normal takeoff speed may result in a lack of positive
control, or a stall, when the airplane encounters a
sudden lull in strong, gusty wind, or other turbulent
air currents. In this case, the pilot should allow the
airplane to stay on the ground longer to attain more
speed; then make a smooth, positive rotation to leave
the ground.