NORMAL TAKEOFF AND CLIMB

Normal Takeoff and Climb Lesson by wifiCFI


Objective

To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with a normal takeoff, climb operations, and rejected takeoff procedures. 

Knowledge

The applicant demonstrates understanding of: 

Effects of atmospheric conditions, including wind, on takeoff and climb performance. 

VX and VY. 

Appropriate aircraft configuration.

Risk Management

The applicant demonstrates the ability to identify, assess and mitigate risks, encompassing: 

Selection of runway based on pilot capability, aircraft performance and limitations, available distance, and wind. 

Effects of: 

Crosswind, to include exceeding maximum demonstrated crosswind component 

Wind shear

Tailwind

Wake turbulence 

Runway surface/condition/length 

Abnormal operations, to include planning for: 

Rejected takeoff 

Engine failure in takeoff/climb phase of flight 

Collision hazards to include aircraft, terrain, obstacles, and wires. 

Low altitude maneuvering/stall/spin. 

Distractions, loss of situational awareness, and/or improper task management.

Normal Takeoff and Climb (AFH C5)

A normal takeoff is one in which the airplane is headed into the wind; there are times that a takeoff with a tail wind is necessary. 

However, the pilot must consult the POH/AFM to ensure the aircraft is approved for a takeoff with a tail wind and that there is sufficient performance and runway length for the takeoff. 

Also, the takeoff surfaces are firm and of sufficient length to permit the airplane to gradually accelerate to normal lift-off and climb-out speed, and there are no obstructions along the takeoff path.

Takeoff Roll

For takeoff, use the rudder pedals in most general aviation airplanes to steer the airplane’s nose wheel onto the runway centerline to align the airplane and nose wheel with the runway. 

After releasing the brakes, advance the throttle smoothly and continuously to takeoff power. 

As the airplane starts to roll forward, assure both feet are on the rudder pedals so that the toes or balls of the feet are on the rudder portions, not on the brake. 

At all times, monitor the engine instruments for indications of a malfunction during the takeoff roll.

As the airplane gains speed, the elevator control tends to assume a neutral position if the airplane is correctly trimmed. 

At the same time, the rudder pedals are used to keep the nose of the airplane pointed down the runway and parallel to the centerline.

As the speed of the takeoff roll increases, more and more pressure will be felt on the flight controls, particularly the elevators and rudder.

Liftoff

When all the flight controls become effective during the takeoff roll in a nose-wheel type airplane, the pilot should gradually apply back-elevator pressure to raise the nosewheel slightly off the runway, thus establishing the takeoff or lift-off attitude. 

This is the “rotation” for lift off and climb. 

As the airplane lifts off the surface, the pitch attitude to hold the climb airspeed should be held with elevator control and trimmed to maintain that pitch attitude without excessive control pressures. 

The wings should be leveled after lift-off and the rudder used to ensure coordinated flight.

Initial Climb

Upon lift-off, the airplane should be flying at approximately the pitch attitude that allows it to accelerate to VY. 

This is the speed at which the airplane gains the most altitude in the shortest period of time. 

If the airplane has been properly trimmed, some back-elevator pressure may be required to hold this attitude until the proper climb speed is established.

During initial climb, it is important that the takeoff path remain aligned with the runway to avoid drifting into obstructions or into the path of another aircraft that may be taking off from a parallel runway. 

Private Pilot ACS Standards

Complete the appropriate checklist. 

Make radio calls as appropriate. 

Verify assigned/correct runway. 

Ascertain wind direction with or without visible wind direction indicators. 

Position the flight controls for the existing wind conditions. 

Clear the area; taxi into the takeoff position and align the airplane on the runway centerline.

Confirm takeoff power; and proper engine and flight instrument indications prior to rotation.

Rotate and lift off at the recommended airspeed and accelerate to VY. 

Establish pitch attitude to maintain the manufacturer’s recommended speed, or VY+10/-5 knots. 

Retract the landing gear and flaps in accordance with manufacturer’s guidance. 

Maintain VY+10/-5 knots to a safe maneuvering altitude. 

Maintain directional control and proper wind drift correction throughout takeoff and climb. 

Comply with noise abatement procedures.

Commercial Pilot ACS Standards

Complete the appropriate checklist. 

Make radio calls as appropriate. 

Verify assigned/correct runway. 

Ascertain wind direction with or without visible wind direction indicators. 

Position the flight controls for the existing wind conditions. 

Clear the area; taxi into the takeoff position and align the airplane on the runway centerline.

Confirm takeoff power; and proper engine and flight instrument indications prior to rotation.

Rotate and lift off at the recommended airspeed and accelerate to VY. 

Establish pitch attitude to maintain the manufacturer’s recommended speed, or VY+/-5 knots. 

Retract the landing gear and flaps in accordance with manufacturer’s guidance. 

Maintain VY+/-5 knots to a safe maneuvering altitude. 

Maintain directional control and proper wind drift correction throughout takeoff and climb. 

Comply with noise abatement procedures.

Common Errors

Failure to review AFM/POH and performance charts prior to takeoff. 

Failure to adequately clear the area prior to taxiing into position on the active runway. 

Abrupt use of the throttle. 

Failure to check engine instruments for signs of malfunction after applying takeoff power. 

Failure to anticipate the airplane’s left turning tendency on initial acceleration. 

Overcorrecting for left turning tendency. 

Relying solely on the airspeed indicator rather than developing an understanding of visual references and tracking clues of airplane airspeed and controllability during acceleration and lift-off. 

Failure to attain proper lift-off attitude. 

Inadequate compensation for torque/P-factor during initial climb resulting in a sideslip. 

Overcontrol of elevators during initial climb-out and lack of elevator trimming. 

Limiting scan to areas directly ahead of the airplane (pitch attitude and direction), causing a wing (usually the left) to drop immediately after lift-off. 

Failure to attain/maintain best rate-of-climb airspeed (VY) or desired climb airspeed. 

Failure to employ the principles of attitude flying during climb-out, resulting in “chasing” the airspeed indicator.

FAA Sources Used for This Lesson

Private Pilot Airmen Certification Standards

Commercial Pilot Airmen Certification Standards

Airplane Flying Handbook (AFH) Chapter 5

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