SHORT FIELD TAKEOFF AND CLIMB

Short Field Takeoff and Climb Lesson by wifiCFI


Objective

To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with a short-field 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.

Short-Field Takeoff and Climb (AFH C5)

When performing takeoffs and climbs from fields where the takeoff area is short or the available takeoff area is restricted by obstructions, the pilot should operate the airplane at the maximum limit of its takeoff performance capabilities. 

To depart from such an area safely, the pilot must exercise positive and precise control of airplane attitude and airspeed so that takeoff and climb performance result in the shortest ground roll and the steepest angle of climb.

The pilot must have adequate knowledge in the use and effectiveness of the best angle-of-climb speed (VX) and the best rate-of-climb speed (VY) for the specific make and model of airplane being flown in order to safely accomplish a takeoff at maximum performance.

Takeoff Roll

Taking off from a short field requires the takeoff to be started from the very beginning of the takeoff area. 

At this point, the airplane is aligned with the intended takeoff path. 

If the airplane manufacturer recommends the use of flaps, they are extended the proper amount before beginning the takeoff roll. 

This allows the pilot to devote full attention to the proper technique and the airplane’s performance throughout the takeoff.

The pilot should apply takeoff power smoothly and continuously, without hesitation, to accelerate the airplane as rapidly as possible. 

Some pilots prefer to hold the brakes until the maximum obtainable engine revolutions per minute (rpm) are achieved before allowing the airplane to begin its takeoff run.

Liftoff

As VX approaches, the pilot should apply back-elevator pressure until reaching the appropriate VX attitude to ensure a smooth and firm lift-off, or rotation. 

Since the airplane accelerates more rapidly after lift-off, the pilot must apply additional back-elevator pressure to hold a constant airspeed. 

After becoming airborne, the pilot will maintain a wingslevel climb at VX until all obstacles have been cleared or; if no obstacles are present, until reaching an altitude of at least 50 feet above the takeoff surface.

Thereafter, the pilot may lower the pitch attitude slightly and continue the climb at VY until reaching a safe maneuvering altitude.

Initial Climb

On short-field takeoffs, the landing gear and flaps should remain in takeoff position until the airplane is clear of obstacles (or as recommended by the manufacturer) and VY has been established. 

Until all obstacles have been cleared, the pilot must maintain focus outside the airplane instead of reaching for landing gear or flap controls or looking inside the airplane for any reason. 

When the airplane is stabilized at VY, the landing gear (if retractable) and flaps should be retracted.

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 utilizing maximum available takeoff area.

Apply brakes while setting aircraft power to achieve maximum performance.

Confirm takeoff power prior to brake release and verify proper engine and flight instrument indications prior to rotation. 

Rotate and lift off at the recommended airspeed, and accelerate to the recommended obstacle clearance airspeed or VX +10/-5 knots.

Establish a pitch attitude that will maintain the recommended obstacle clearance airspeed, or VX, +10/-5 knots, until the obstacle is cleared, or until the airplane is 50 feet above the surface. 

After clearing the obstacle, establish the pitch attitude for VY, accelerate to VY, and maintain VY, +10/-5 knots, during the climb. 

Retract landing gear and flaps after a positive rate of climb has been verified or in accordance with aircraft 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 utilizing maximum available takeoff area.

Apply brakes while setting aircraft power to achieve maximum performance.

Confirm takeoff power prior to brake release and verify proper engine and flight instrument indications prior to rotation. 

Rotate and lift off at the recommended airspeed, and accelerate to the recommended obstacle clearance airspeed or VX +/-5 knots.

Establish a pitch attitude that will maintain the recommended obstacle clearance airspeed, or VX, +/-5 knots, until the obstacle is cleared, or until the airplane is 50 feet above the surface. 

After clearing the obstacle, establish the pitch attitude for VY, accelerate to VY, and maintain VY, +/-5 knots, during the climb. 

Retract landing gear and flaps after a positive rate of climb has been verified or in accordance with aircraft 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. 

Failure to utilize all available runway/takeoff area. 

Failure to have the airplane properly trimmed prior to takeoff. 

Premature lift-off resulting in high drag. 

Holding the airplane on the ground unnecessarily with excessive forward-elevator pressure. 

Inadequate rotation resulting in excessive speed after lift-off. 

Inability to attain/maintain VX. 

Fixation on the airspeed indicator during initial climb. 

Premature retraction of landing gear and/or wing flaps

FAA Sources Used for This Lesson

Private Pilot Airmen Certification Standards

Commercial Pilot Airmen Certification Standards

Airplane Flying Handbook (AFH) Chapter 5

where aviation comes to study

worldwide site members: 19,212