Page 3.40 Takeoffs (11043)
Takeoffs and Departures
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POH Takeoff Factors; …Takeoff Notes; …P-Factor; ...Takeoff to En route Procedures; ...Takeoffs Are Different from Landings; …Takeoff Killers; ...Attitude; ...A Proficient Pilot Can; ... The Takeoff; ...Why Takeoff Pitch Changes; ...Short Field Takeoff; ...Soft-Field Takeoff; ...Downwind Takeoff; ...Short, Soft, and Rough Takeoff; ...Aborted Takeoff; ...Crosswind Takeoff; …Class C Mountain Departure; ...Close the Door; …Departures; …Noise Facts; …Why the 270: ...Takeoff Accident Scenarios; ...What Is Runway Heading?Why the On-Course Departure?Takeoff Failings; ...Say, " On course", of Course; ...

POH Takeoff Factors
any airports of the U.S. are long enough and wide enough for all G.A. aircraft. Oddly, most are not. When the runway has variations of length, obstacle clearance, surface texture, slope, and density altitude the pilot is called upon to do some combination of artistic and technical figuring. He must figure the foregoing variables into the POH as they apply along with the aircraft weight and balance. He must factor in his pilot skills and knowledge of technique which is, perhaps, the most unknown variable. An airplane can land in considerably less distance than it needs for takeoff. Pilots tend to over-estimate their skills. The POH is required reading.  

Every takeoff is as unique as every landing. Every takeoff occurs in unique conditions. After landings, takeoffs are the most frequent source of accidents. The minimum safe runway takeoff length should be one and a half times that indicated by the POH. The extra 50% is required to cover pilot optimism. The first warm day of spring gives a completely different takeoff than those you have made all winter. Also, this takeoff will be different from the first 100-degree takeoff of summer. The hotter it is, the less pitch attitude recommended during acceleration.

For standard temperatures you should increase takeoff distances by 25% for each 1000 feet of elevation. Increase POH distances by 10% for every 25 degrees Fahrenheit above standard for any altitude. Every 2500' of increased elevation causes 10 degree standard reduction in temperature. If an airport at 2500' elevation is warmer than 70 degrees you have a density altitude situation.

Factors that make a difference have some rules of thumb that a pilot should know and perhaps reference on his lap board. For every 15 degrees F above standard temperature raises density altitude by 1000'. Every 2 knots of tailwind increases takeoff distance by 10%. A firm turf takeoff requires 7% more distance, short grass requires 10% more distance, and soft surface/tall grass requires 25% more distance than recommended by a POH for a macadam runway.

Most common takeoff mistake is using apparent ground speed to initiate an early rotation. Making a proper rotation using indicated airspeed may cause a pilot to pitch for a sea level climb. It is not unusual to find the aircraft a mile or two off the runway end after having mushed through the air that far without climbing.

Attempting to climb out of ground effect with insufficient airspeed is the problem.  You must be patient and prepared to stay in ground effect to gain airspeed. Any go-around decision must be made early in the approach will carefully controlled changes in configuration and airspeed.

By listening on the radio you can get insight into the ATC mind and prepare for such things as "taxi closer and hold, prepare for an immediate", "taxi into position and hold", etc. You must become aware as to what is occurring with other aircraft in the air and on other runways. The mental process required to execute a safe takeoff extend far beyond just moving the aircraft.

1. Pre-takeoff checklist/position Emergency list
2. Clearing the approach area both base and final
3. Configuration and yoke set for wind direction
4. What-if considerations such as power, aborting, emergency, etc.
5. Vso speed for rotation and attitude for Vy climb

Takeoff Notes
Check weight and balance
Density altitude 'begins' to make a difference at 2000' and 80 degrees F.
Keep the nose straight with rudder
Crosswinds require crosswind controls
Rotate sooner rather than later
Don't hesitate to abort a takeoff

Preflight and configuration
Runup and configuration
Aircraft performance vs runway and environment
Abort sooner than later
10% of accidents occur during or immediately after takeoff
Confirm power, required airspeeds, sounds, and control positions
Density altitude affects lift, thrust and power
Engine failure options

--Except for x-winds, get the nose wheel off the ground and let the airplane fly itself off the runway. Don’t force a takeoff. Note the nose attitude that gets you airborne at 60 knots will just touch the end of the runway. Pre-plan heading to be used for any x-wind runway alignment and options selected for engine failure on takeoff.

--Look back at runway above 300’ to confirm that you are aligned and not drifting over adjacent runway.

--Make ten-degree cut away from adjacent runways at the departure end of the runway.

--Trim for hands-off climb, not within the range of speeds given in the POH, but on an exact Va speed.

--Practice holding that speed while moving the trim through its full range of movement. Lock your elbow against the door panel to do this. If you ever fly with some out-of-trim yoke pressure a distraction will create a problem.

--Use climb-out as practice time for Dutch rolls. It helps you clear the flight path and gives x-wind skills you will need for landing.

--Always make your first airwork turn to the left. Any following traffic should be passing to your right. Fly at altitudes other than even thousands or five-hundreds when within 3000’ of the ground. Select your area to be clear of common air routes and airways.

--Practice left/right climbing turns only at 30 degree bank. Take feet off rudder during entry and while in left climbing turns. Note that ball stays centered. P-factor.

--Practice using the right rudder to come out of a left turn with very little aileron. Practice making right climbing turns using right rudder for your entry. Note that at 30 degrees of right bank your yoke is held as though in a left turn. To level wings from a right climbing turn relax on the right rudder and use the aileron.

The POH (Pilot Operations Handbook) has compiled the manufacturer's experience with wind velocity and direction, flap configuration, density altitude, runway surface, and slope to determine the performance capability of the aircraft for a given weight to lift off and overfly the FAA 50' obstacle. The POH has determined the flap requirements, the rotation speed, tire inflation, and the climb speed. If the surface is firm an over-inflated tire is preferred, under inflation can increase required distances by 15%.

Many POH charts fail to provide for variables of runway surface, for this we must use 'rules of thumb' that provide safety margins. For grass runways increase lift-off distance by 20%. If the grass is long or damp add 50%. Slope of the runway and wind direction can be compounded by the slope and turn clearance area of the departure path. For specifics you must consult with the locals. Distances can be reduced by 5% for every 100 pounds below gross or POH weights. A 3000' runway becomes very short when temperatures exceed 80 degrees at 3000' elevation

In the aircraft POH there is reference data that show how the aircraft will perform under a variety of conditions. One of these conditions is going to be an appropriate fit for most any takeoff you will make. You should make a practice of referencing some of your takeoffs with the information contained in the POH. The more often you do this the least likely will you be a pilot who if found by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) as not understanding takeoff data and responsible for improper decision-caking. The POH will have charts that cover the takeoff influence of weight, power, runway surface, wind and density altitude. Any one of these factors can alone or in combination cause a takeoff accident. The worst thing that can happen to a pilot is to get-away-with-it one time.

An overweight aircraft may be pitched too high during the takeoff roll. This pitch limits the ability of the aircraft to accelerate. The perception of attitude improving takeoff from previous flights or even a flight simulator may get you off the ground only to cease flying out of ground effect and stall to the surface. The pitch attitude puts the aircraft behind the power curve. The aircraft may fly off the runway but it will crash because once behind the power curve, you must lower the nose and lose altitude before gaining flying speed.

P-factor results when there is a differential in thrust between two propeller blades. This asymmetric disc loading of the blades moves the line of thrust from the axis of rotation. The result is adverse yaw which must be countered by rudder application. When the propeller blades differ in thrust there is a proportional decrease in total propeller performance.

Every time an aircraft rotates for takeoff or for landing flare the propeller has asymmetric loading of the propeller blades and the resulting adverse yaw. The higher the pitch angle or the power the greater need exists for rudder application to keep the nose straight. Some lack of climb performance is due to the inefficiency of the descending propeller blade.

Takeoff to En route Procedures
Clear Rwy ......Airspeed ..1. Dive/trim .......Time
Configuration ...Trim ........2.Level/trim .......Heading check
Rotate Vso ....Alignment ..3. Accelerate ....Gauges
Alignment .......Gauges .....4. RPM ............Radios set
Gauges ...........CLEAR ....5. Fine trim .......ATA/ETA
Turn Alt ..........Turn ..........6. Gauges ........Alternate
What if... ..Altitude

The safest takeoff requires that maximum use of the runway be made. Anything other than a smooth rapid application of throttle is relatively unsafe. Most aircraft engines and carburetors are not designed for sudden applications of power. Rotation and liftoff should occur at minimum safe operating speed (bottom of the green arc) and climb trimmed for best rate. On takeoff, it is a good practice to have the student check his runway alignment between three and four hundred feet AGL. The first time a student does this he will unknowingly pull the yoke and cause dramatic attitude and airspeed changes. Emphasize that the aircraft must be correctly trimmed and the yoke released for the runway check. If parallel runways are in use it is well to teach a 10 degree divergence from runway heading as a safety measure.

An abrupt application of throttle can cause the carburetor to 'load up' from excess fuel and effectively 'choke' the engine. This can be traumatic on takeoff and dangerous on a go-around. Too slow an application of power wastes runway. With fixed propeller aircraft all takeoffs and climbs are done at full power. Oddly enough, the reason for this is engine cooling. At full power the last fraction of throttle movement opens an additional fuel jet in the carburetor. This additional fuel is beyond the operational requirement of the engine and serves to cool the cylinders and valves when air flow cooling is reduced in climb. Full power operations also raise the octane of the fuel used. 80/87 (red) fuel has the higher octane under full power operations. Sudden power changes are to be avoided.

A pilot is expected to used the maximum allowable power for every takeoff. You are not helping the engine or safety by using less than maximum power. A reduced power takeoff requires more time, runway and engine wear. The sudden acceleration often causes a student to over apply rudder control. Rudder should be applied only to straighten the nose to parallel on the center line with no effort to center on the runway. Light rudder control is best during the takeoff. The student must anticipate the right rudder required as the nose is raised off the runway. With the runway out of sight, the runway alignment is maintained by peripheral vision on the horizon or by reference to the left side.

On a takeoff, the pilot has only a few moments to make the go-no go decision on a less than 3000' runway. Every takeoff should have a pre-planned takeoff option of aborting, or continuing at a given point on the takeoff runway. Once airborne the pilot should have pre-planned off-airport landing options up to and including 700 feet. Above 700' you may have a shot at getting back to the airport but perhaps not back to the takeoff runway. A takeoff is a matter of technique and planning. Complacency is the pilot's greatest enemy.

No climb of any duration should proceed without clearing. Climb at best rate for safety and noise abatement. At an altitude of 600' (A Contra Costa County regulation) we may turn on the course requested. No turn should be made without clearing. As a procedural habit "Clear left-turn left" should orally precede every left turn. Likewise for right turns.

Takeoffs Are Different from Landings
The actual condition of the aircraft for takeoff probably bears no relationship to the presumptions of the POH or AFM. There are entirely too many variables of surface, slope, wind, performance configuration, and pilot technique, to put into such a source. The takeoff distance on a runway is not just a matter of speed. It how soon over the distance that the speed is attained that is important. Takeoff distance is a function of speed squared. Once you have reached half the takeoff speed, you will need four times as much more distance to takeoff. A 10% increase in weight will require slightly over 20% more takeoff distance. Abort the takeoff if you can't acquire 75% of your takeoff speed before using half of the total distance.

Any wind will have a significant effect on the takeoff. A tailwind will double the takeoff distance. The same takeoff into the wind would have a 30% decrease in distance. The slope becomes significant only when it is above 5-degrees and a low powered aircraft. Expect about a 4% change in required distance for every one percent of slope. This is not very much change per degree of slope. Only 10 pounds per 1000 pounds of aircraft weight. an uphill takeoff will be easier to abort. A tail wind that increases in velocity as you climb will result in a lower slope gradient. Add at least 25% to any POH performance requirements just for the aircraft and pilot capabilities that will differ from those when new at the factory.

Takeoff Killers:
You should use a higher than normal liftoff speed in strong wind/gusty conditions because of stall probability.

1. Configuration
2. Fuel-fullest/pump/pressure
3. Trim-indexed
4. Instruments
5. Speed-abort distance
6. Seats, belts, doors, windows

An engine failure on takeoff results in a few moments of incomprehension while the pilot holds the climb attitude even though a climb does not exist. No change in control pressure is required to bring this effect. At some point the sink rate increases with an increase in angle of attack because of a lower airspeed until the critical angle brings about the stall. Only lowering the nose will break the stall. Otherwise the nose will fall in the stall. Pilot input can only increase the sink rate and airspeed. Achieving a minimum sink rate at best glide speed is the best compromise of speed for the most distance over the ground.

Second Opinion:
Vx gives you a benefit of getting over an obstacle... best climb per distance, but overall, you will gain the best altitude per time, which is the issue. Better cooling, better visibility, and you will be in a better position to set up best glide, in the event of a power plant failure. R.B. MD

The handmaiden of airspeed is attitude. When power is a constant then airspeed is determined by attitude. Poor liftoffs and touchdowns occur not because of poor airspeed control so much as poor pitch control. A pilot sets pitch attitude by using the visual view of the actual horizon or selected horizon through the windshield. Holding a given pitch with constant power sets airspeed. There is a delay factor between setting the pitch and getting the performance. The delay depends on the excess power and thrust available.

Even though the takeoff and climb pitch attitudes are similar they are not exactly the same. On liftoff a slightly lower pitch will be used for Vy and a slightly higher pitch will be used for Vx. Just prior to touchdown the pitch will be increased slightly to accomplish a minimum airspeed touchdown.

The kind of airplane and the pilot's seat position determines the level pitch position. Where you sit and how you sit in a cockpit will affect your visual picture through the windshield. The more consistent your position the better. The higher your position the better except in high-wing aircraft where you want to be able to turn your head and see under the wing without bending forward. Tall pilots want to have at least four inches of clearance below the headliner. Even a snug seat belt will allow you to lift about four inches off the seat in severe turbulence.

A pilot who learns in a nose-wheel aircraft has a near level pitch attitude while taxiing. The pitch attitude used for both takeoff and landing is one that just covers the far end of the runway. You should set and hold that attitude just as soon as elevator authority allows. On takeoff the initial set must be relaxed as soon as authority increases. On landing, the initial set must be gradually increased as elevator authority decreases.

The simulation of these attitudes is difficult to achieve. They are approximately identical except that the pitch authority of the elevator is increasing on takeoff and decreasing on landing. One way this can be demonstrated is by use of a runway that is not active. With ATC approval, taxi to the threshold end and shut down. The instructor should get out and hold the nose of the aircraft at various nose high pitch attitudes. Have the student advise you when the nose of the airplane reaches and covers the far end of the runway. The pitch attitude will approximate the angle set by the attitude of a tail-dragger aircraft. Only consistent exposure to this attitude and pitch pressure will provide the visual picture and memory of a proper takeoff and landing attitude. Once the stationary pitch position has been attained the instructor should move the tail side to side a foot or two to give a visual picture of how rudder movement affects the nose across the horizon. Since the horizon may not be visible over the nose the peripheral vision should be used referenced to the lower outside corners of the windshield. The purpose of this exercise is to show the pilot who is offset from the center of the aircraft just how much parallax adjustment is required to center the aircraft in taxiing, on the approach and on the runway. Every transition to a new aircraft presents both the pitch and yaw problem.

A proficient pilot can:
--Set takeoff attitude on rotation
--Set both Vx, Vy and Vref for climb after takeoff
--Set clean pitch landing attitude
--Set full-flap pitch power on/off landing attitude
--Set go-around pitch attitude

The Takeoff
The runup is completed and the trim is set for takeoff. We have used our pre takeoff and takeoff checklist and have been cleared by the tower. Taxi toward a point adjacent to the runway that will allow a turn that will give a full view toward final and base. Hold a couple of inches of back yoke. Cross the hold bars and align the plane with the runway centerline in a slow taxi. Check that the runway is clear. Smoothly apply full power. Lightly touch and hold right rudder as required to keep nose straight. Quick-check the instruments and listen to the engine. Learn what a normal aircraft engine sounds like during takeoff. With experience in hearing a good engine you will more readily recognize poor engine operation.

I let my students handle the first and all other takeoffs unless a demonstration is called for. Student applies power and rotational forces. Power is applied smoothly, rapidly, and fully. The instructor maintains initial directional control and may reach across to the student's fingers on the left yoke to help as required. The idea is to allow the student to relate pressure with yoke movement and nose attitude. The instructor's hand pressures on the student's is far more indicative of control requirements than if the instructor were to use his own yoke. Instructor maintains active control of rudder.

A takeoff has three distinct phases, first, the takeoff where the initial acceleration occurs and the emphasis is upon directional control and pitch attitude. Second, the liftoff where the pitch attitude is held to let the aircraft fly off around the landing gear rotation axis, only to be changed to adapt to the center of lift horizontal axis for acceleration. Finally, the initial climb out is set by attitude to perform a climb at Vy. This is usually the noise abatement climb speed.

The control position during the takeoff is set for full deflection toward any crosswind. In a crosswind weight is left on the main gear with the nose wheel barely off the ground. Initial directional control is a function of braking, since the rudder is the first control to become effective, use it as soon as it becomes effective. Liftoff is initiated at POH recommended speed by leveling the yoke and increasing the pitch to get liftoff before side loads can develop. Rudder is applied to crab into the wind sufficient to maintain track of runway heading. Do not set climb pitch until reaching Vx or even Vy.

Your problem, should you chose to undertake it, is to draw the diagram and place the words where they belong..

wind into position
direction runway and hold
hold bars
taxiway clearing/closer hold
short position to see runup area landing aircraft

Make a guess at a yoke setting that will get and keep the nose wheel off the ground. This setting is usually obtained by moving the control-lock hole about three inches from the panel in a C-150. Every aircraft has such a yoke reference you just need to find it. Lock the elbow on the door. Scan the instruments when you first apply power. As acceleration occurs the elevators will become more effective and allow a yoke position to raise the nose wheel off the ground. This is called rotation and in the C-150 occurs at about 45 kts . If the rotation attitude selected is correct the aircraft will lift off at Vso but never any faster than 60 kts. This is the standard from which special circumstances require additional knowledge and skill. Any rotation will require an application of right rudder. Rudder is best applied in anticipation rather than reaction. The higher the nose the more right rudder required.

Rearward yoke pressure is maintained with one finger to get weight off the nose wheel. This pressure and any additional required to obtain lift off at 55 kts is locked by pressing the elbow and arm against the door. Minimum lift off speeds are desirable since higher speeds wear out tires. At lift off the nose is slightly lowered to allow acceleration to best rate of climb of 65 kts. If the initial trim setting was neutral in a C-150, a full downward turn of the trim wheel top button to the very bottom will come very close to being the correct trim setting for a 65 knot climb. Use this first climb out to let the student experiment with the results of full movements of the trim wheel. Trim is the cruise control of flying. Its early introduction and use is essential for developing awareness and a light control touch.

The rotation fault in the beginning is failing to do it at all. The plane proceeds down the runway at 60, 70 or even 80 knots and the student is still waiting for it to fly. Personally, I never let this happen more than once. It is exceptionally difficult on the aircraft. The next rotation fault is called over-rotation. This means that the nose is held so high off the runway that were the aircraft to become airborne it would be unable to climb or to accelerate. It is behind the power curve. The only thing that will get the aircraft flying is lowering the nose. Unless this is slowly and very carefully done a relatively hard contact with the ground will occur. This over-rotation is a practiced procedure used for making soft field takeoffs.  It is also a not to be practiced instinctive reaction (apparent high ground speed) during high-density takeoffs.

The rotation used for crosswind takeoffs is somewhat different in that the aircraft is lightly held on the runway with yoke held fully into the wind. This prevents the wind from sliding the aircraft sideways on the runway surface. At the moment the aircraft reaches a safe takeoff speed for the existing ground effect the yoke is leveled and the yoke is used to 'hop' the aircraft off the ground while the rudder is used to crab the nose into the wind. Once in the air the airplane is flown in ground effect long enough to reach climb speed. Takeoff stalls often occur if the pilot tries to climb before acquiring POH climb speeds. Through a misunderstanding of how ground effect can give an initial but false indication of climb capability, the pilot will initiate a climb at a relatively low airspeed only to find that his climb capability ceases at about half a wing span height above the ground.

There is an alternative to this minimum speed lift off. Some pilots prefer to let the aircraft accelerate nearly to Vx before lifting off the ground. This greatly increases tire wear and nose strut problems. On the other hand it does let the aircraft climb continuously out of ground effect without the momentary leveling off for acceleration.

Vso or minimum safe operating speed is the most desirable takeoff speed for several reasons. Aircraft tires are relatively small and expensive. The sooner they are off the ground the less wear. Rolling ground contact at high speeds is potentially more damaging to the airframe structure than at slow speeds. We want to get off the grounds as slow as possible. Less runway is required, thus more is available for aborted takeoffs. See Abort

The best angle of climb speed (Vx) is a precise speed at present weight that gives the highest altitude over distance. The hazard of the best angle of climb speed is that it is close to the power off stall speed. A power failure at best angle requires an immediate lowering of the nose to avoid disaster. The best rate of climb speed (Vy) is a precise speed at present weight that gives the highest altitude over time. Any speed different than the precise speed gives reduced performance.

Vx is the climb speed after Vso lift off that will, in the shortest distance and steepest climb, get the aircraft over an FAA tree. All FAA trees stop growing at 50".

The Vy climb would make the aircraft fly through the top branches of the FAA tree but would get the aircraft to a higher altitude in a given time interval.

Once we have established a climb at 65 kts in the C-150 the trim must be fine tuned for hands off. With experience you can pre-set the trim and 'know' the correct pitch attitude.

On takeoff it is a good practice to have the student check his runway alignment between three and four hundred feet AGL. The first time a student does this he will unknowingly pull the yoke and cause dramatic attitude and airspeed changes. Emphasize that the aircraft must be correctly trimmed and yoke released for the runway check. If parallel runways are it use it is well fly a 10 degree divergence from runway heading as a safety measure regardless of the wind and especially if there is a crosswind component that could carry you into the extended line of the adjacent runway. Once you have learned the standard takeoff you must be prepared to exercise different configuration, power control and pitch attitudes for the other types of takeoff.

Since so many takeoffs occur without incident, pilots are given a false sense of certainty that all takeoffs are successful. POH takeoff performance is based on an optimum technique. If you deviate from this optimum the aircraft performance will decline. In addition, with the present average age of operational aircraft you should add at least a 20% fudge factor into the book figures.

The takeoff is one instance where the aircraft should be trimmed so that after the first pilot setting of aircraft attitude than the plane does the rest. On initial power application the pilot should have anticipated the required yoke movement needed to hold a level attitude with minimum weight on the nose wheel. As soon as the elevator comes effective a fine adjustment to the yoke is used to set the desired climb attitude. These yoke movements should be anticipated before the need occurs. The sight view should be such than the aircraft nose covers the far end of the runway. This attitude is used except in crosswind conditions where the level attitude should be held until a higher pop-off airspeed is attained.

Since the rotation axle of the wheels differs from the center of lift axis a slight change in yoke and sight picture will be required once the aircraft becomes airborne. You are usually trying to anticipate the trim for and then the yoke pressures to get the Vy climb speed. Doing this correctly means that the aircraft will fly itself off the runway with no yoke emphasis by the pilot.

--Unless your performance equates with your knowledge you have a problem.
--The recency of experience is critical to successful accomplishment.
--Aborting a takeoff is best done before liftoff.
--Use a heading bug to set in takeoff wind direction.
--Avoid letting the aircraft to weathervane into the existing wind prior to liftoff.
--Normally the indicated speed is greater than the ground speed. Fly indicated speeds.
--A crosswind becomes relatively more effective as an aircraft accelerates.
--During a crosswind takeoff the flight controls are used to keep the aircraft aligned with the centerline.
--Airborne the flight controls give directional control.
--The greater the time interval since you last performed something well, the worse will be your performance.
--Takeoff is critical because weight is heaviest, controllability is least, and altitude is lowest.
--Interpretation of performance charts is very common accident precipitation factor in takeoff.
--Knowledge deficiency related to takeoff conditions and aircraft requirements is major accident factor.
--Preflight deficiencies such as tire pressure greatly affect takeoff.
--Takeoff charts cover temperature, pressure, wind, weight, runway length, condition and slope.
--Density altitude converts the 29.92 pressure altitude to standard altitude.
--Performance is used with density altitudes of this standard atmosphere.
--Weight is a takeoff factor because the more pounds per horsepower the longer the takeoff run.
--Waiting for cooler takeoff conditions is always an option.

Why Takeoff Pitch Changes
The initial lift off attitude at Vso is slightly higher than that required for Vy (best rate of climb) but is about right for Vx (Best angle of climb) so for a best rate climb after takeoff the nose needs to be lowered slightly to allow acceleration to 65 kts. The reasons behind this procedure are because the rotation of an aircraft while on the ground is about the axles of the main landing gear. Once airborne the rotation of an aircraft occurs about the centers of lift and balance..

On the ground an aircraft rotates in pitch about the wheels, in the air the same aircraft rotates about the center of gravity. This difference is the reason that on takeoff once an airplane leaves the ground there will be a perceptible difference in yoke feel and authority. The pitching moment in flight is usually much greater than when on the ground. For this reason a pilot should be prepared to counter this momentary change by immediately allowing the nose to lower after liftoff. For the same reason you should apply additional back pressure on the yoke on landing. This is needed at touchdown to hold the nose wheel clear of the runway.

Additionally you should not set your trim for a liftoff but rather for climb. This means that you will apply back pressure to the yoke for liftoff and relax this pressure to meet the 'takeoff' setting used for climb. I have noticed that this effect is most apparent with Piper aircraft in certain loading conditions.

The art of the smooth takeoff begins before lining up with the runway. The yoke should be held back so that the application of takeoff power will raise the nosewheel clear of the runway. Hold the nose so that it just touches the far end of the runway and the airplane will lift off the ground so gently and smoothly that you may not even notice breaking ground. Once off lower the nose to attain Vy since the difference in rotational forces from being on the ground and in the air makes it necessary. Knowing that this change is required is part of the art of anticipation that will make you a better pilot.

Short Field Takeoff
The procedure requires performance that results in the shortest ground roll and the steepest angle of climb. Two beginning options are available with little advantage going to either. Takeoff #1 is the rolling-running start where the aircraft tries to gain speed while entering the runway. Full power is applied in anticipation with runway alignment. Takeoff #2 places the aircraft so as to be aligned at the very end of the runway. Power is applied with the brakes applied until maximum rpm is attained. During the ground roll the aircraft is held for minimum air resistance and best acceleration. Figure a 1% decrease in book takeoff distance for each knot of headwind. Any part of the runway distance not used for initial acceleration is never to be recovered. Extending partial flaps at moment of liftoff has not been shown to be an advantage.

Shortly before the best angle of climb speed is attained the aircraft is rotated to that angle of attack what the pilot believes will give the best angle of climb airspeed. The aircraft will accelerate quickly after lift off so this change must be anticipated with additional back pressure. Failure to hold a constant best angle airspeed makes a significant difference in the flight angle of the aircraft.  Even worse, failure to increase the application of right rudder with the increase of pitch will cause very dangerous yaw to occur.

Pilot techniques will determine how well the takeoff occurs. Half the aircraft should project off the runway for maximum distance. Application of power should be such as to avoid 'loading-up' the carburetor. At full power the aircraft is allowed to accelerate to rotation speed accompanied by right rudder in anticipation of  P-factor yaw.. Pre-mature rotation is a major mistake and more common than delaying rotation. The technique for rotating, obtaining, and holding that attitude which will give the best angle of climb takes practice. There is a lag in airspeed indications and aircraft performance which makes much practice necessary. Using the airspeed indicator usually results in a lower pitch attitude than required.  Common error is delayed application of right rudder.

Departure on an apparently short runway can contribute to a series of piloting mistakes which compound the problem. The pilot may mistakenly attempt to get into the air too soon, before the airplane is ready to fly, by over rotation. Sure, the nose will go up. Over rotation will require the nose to be lowered to obtain climb speeds and result in decreased climb performance both over time and distance. Aircraft speed is one way to get the lift performance to overcome an obstruction. At lighter than book speeds the speeds of performance change at a rate of 1/2 the percentage of weight change. A 20% reduction in gross weight will allow a 10% reduction of book speed for maximum performance.
Short Field
Full length
Full power check
Minimum drag
Rotate/climb at Vx to 50

The success of a maximum performance short field takeoff requires precise control of airspeed, aircraft attitude and rudder application.. Even a slight deviation of either initially or later will result in a significant reduction of performance.

--Get the highest altitude for distance covered.
--Use all of the available runway.
--Hold brakes until getting full power.
--At liftoff climb at Vx as determined by weight and density altitude.
--Anticipate rudder application.\
--Flying one wing low will cost you a hundred feet per minute in climb.
--Over obstacle climb speed is at Vy.

What to avoid:
1. Not using all available runway
2. Getting to full power quickly
3. Lifting off too soon
4. Letting airspeed exceed Vx
5. Inadequate rudder input

Soft-Field Takeoff
The situation is a takeoff area of unlimited length but having a soft surface the nature of which would prevent acceleration of an aircraft to takeoff speed without the application of special techniques. The intention is to make a running start on to the runway with 10 degrees of flaps and the yoke held full back. Power is smoothly applied so as to give sufficient elevator power to raise and keep the nose wheel off the ground. The aircraft is allowed to lift off at a minimum flying speed that can be maintained and accelerated only in ground effect. The aircraft is flown in ground effect until climb speed is attained. At 200' AGL the flaps are removed and normal climb maintained. So much for procedure.

Piloting techniques require that the elbow and arm be locked so that over rotation does not occur with sudden power application. Coordinated power and yoke is required to attain the required/desired smoothness. As the aircraft accelerates the pitch attitude is increased to attain lift off. Anticipatory rudder application is very important during this entire takeoff to maintain directional control.

Once in the air you will be behind the power curve. This means that since you have no more power available you must lower the nose to increase the speed. Unless this speed increase is carefully crafted by combining close flight to the ground and a gradual lowering of the nose an unintentional ground contact is likely. The closer you are able to fly to the ground while avoiding contact the sooner the aircraft will attain the flying speed required for climb. Most common mistake is failing to remove flaps before initiating climb..

--Object is to get off the ground as soon as possible and then accelerate to climb speed.
--In real conditions the soft surface will develop a ridge before the tire that impedes acceleration.
--A 10-percent reduction in acceleration will require a 20-percent in distance.
--In real conditions raise the nose only enough so the nosewheel clears the surface.
--Avoid excessive pitch as weight is transferred from wheels to wing.
--Stay low and within ground effect until acceleration to Vy occurs.

Soft Field
Full length
Running start, rotate early stay low
Accelerate, reconfigure

Downwind Takeoff
At controlled airports the non-assertive pilot just goes where he is told to go. There are occasions where for convenience or necessity that you may need to make a downwind takeoff. If a downwind takeoff is assigned or mandated by field conditions the pilot has a few things to think about. The pilot must understand that as little as a 10 knot tail wind will almost double the takeoff distance. Increase takeoff distance 10% for each 2 knots of tail wind. Ground speed will give all the sounds, feel, and sensations of being much faster than usual. It is. I don't suggest any takeoffs with more. Ground speed will be 20 knots higher at liftoff than it would be for a 10 knot headwind. Rotation and climb speeds are indicated airspeeds and remain the same. The climb will be flatter and even at Vx we won't clear much of an FAA obstacle until nearly twice the usual distance. With a tailwind, we will need a higher ground speed to make the indicated rotation speed required for lift off. Most pilots show a lack of knowledge as to just how much a tail wind can affect takeoff performance. Any tailwind with a component of 10 knots is going to be full of surprises.

Tailwind accidents occur with nearly the same frequency as density altitude and low ceiling accidents. Tailwind accidents happen half as often as crosswind accidents and twice as often as carburetor ice accidents.

Short, Soft, and Rough Takeoff
Use the recommended flap setting either prior to takeoff or after reaching 30-40 knots. The idea is to get clear of the ground as soon as possible and utilize the reduced induced drag by staying as close to the ground as possible until reaching Vx or Vy as required.

This is takeoff is like a combination dinner order. A bit of everything and not too much of anything. We may compromise on the amount of flaps used, we compromise on how high to hold the nose, and we compromise the performance figures between Vx and Vy and everywhere else. It is worth noting that loading to the rear C.G. limit will get us into the air sooner but with a compromise in control sensitivity. If an obstacle is present blend your combination toward short field performance.

Once airborne fly direct to the obstacle. If you are above the best angle of climb speed you can then fly Vx with some assurance of passing above the obstacle. Visually, if you can see more and more of terrain over the top of the obstacle you are higher than the obstacle. If not Vx chop it and drop it. Given two poor choices, it is better to hit something on the ground while slowing down that anything while flying.

Aborted Takeoff (Instructor)
(once is enough)
It is all too common to have a seat slide back during initial takeoff acceleration. For this reason the seat security should be part of the takeoff checklist as well as doors and windows. Have the student accelerate for take off and pull the power off just before lift off. Do not apply the heavy braking that might be required in a real situation because of possible damage to the nose gear or tires. The idea of rejecting the takeoff with a resulting accident off the end of the runway is not pleasant. Running off the end of the runway while decelerating is better than colliding with the ground after becoming airborne.

Training works provided you remember to carry the lessons learned into the situation. The takeoff is one of the highest risk phases of flight. Time is not, necessarily in your favor, at 60 knots you are going 100 yards (a football field) every three seconds. At 80 knots 200 yards in five seconds. Regardless of the runway, you should pre-decide an abort point for every takeoff. Beyond that abort point you are committed to takeoff. Due to potential hazards the aborted takeoff is best not practiced to excessive limits. Simulate but doing the real thing can be dangerous or hard on the aircraft. Once airborne the reason for aborting becomes even more complex and dangerous. Quick thinking and analysis is needed prior to liftoff. Hitting something while skidding off the runway can be far less damaging than going into an off-airport area. Use 150% of the POH landing roll distance for your required abort/stop distance.

The sooner the abort decision is made the more chance of success. On a short runway abort before lift off. Heavy braking is hard on the aircraft but it will probably be required in an aborted take off. If you have full power you may be better off not to abort. Abort problems often occur when there is a conflict of authority. If airborne, continue if door pops open. Return to land and close door. In the event of fire or smoke be prepared to evacuate.

Takeoffs are successful so often that we fail to prepare for the one failure. In fact, we will never be fully prepared for rejecting the takeoff unless we learn what to do before it happens. We must pre-decide what aircraft performance we will require over the distance remaining. We must relate what we have commonly experienced in acceleration and speed with what is occurring at a given moment. If the performance is not there, we must immediately pull the power and mixture, apply brakes up to the point of a skid but not into the skid. We must maintain a straight line with the yoke pulled all the way back to give maximum weight to the main wheels.

The aborted takeoff, often called the RTO or rejected takeoff, is a not too common occurrence. It can occur because of a seat sliding back, a clearance, a door opening, etc. Airlines have RTO (rejected take off) 1 out of 2000 takeoffs more often because of indications of failures rather than actual failures. You must make a book determination that the runway is adequate for the aircraft and conditions. A conservative 2.2 x book figures is a good risk management margin for takeoff. A 10-knot tailwind will double the book figures without any margin. If you are half way down the available runway and performance is not as expected, abort. Some abortions occur because the pilot has not correctly anticipated how density altitude and changing wind conditions along the runway. Winds can and do vary along the length of a runway.

If you can reduce your speed by half before impact with an object you will decrease your force of impact by 75%. Hit any objects while turning with the wing or tail to utilize the ability of collapsible material to absorb impact. Your survival is more important than the insured condition of the aircraft. At impact be sure electrical system is off.

An aborted takeoff due to engine failure should include immediate power reduction, mixture to idle/cutoff, and heavy braking on runway heading with a ground loop as required to avoid obstruction impact. Any engine failure after takeoff should be followed by setting nose glide angle and trimming (3 additional full turns from climb trim) for best glide. Select the best available within 60 degrees of heading and wind direction. Pull throttle and mixture to full off since numerous fatal accidents have been caused by sudden and unanticipated power resumption. Shut off the fuel. Avoid obstacles and use full flaps prior to ground contact at minimum speed. Turn off electric master when flaps are down. Unlatch doors.

At some later point in the training a no-airspeed-indicator takeoff should be made. The student will be required to visualize the nose attitude that gives a desirable airspeed. Requiring visualization is good for the student because they must have in their mind a picture of what they are doing. With the airspeed and perhaps other instruments covered makes the student feel and hear aircraft performance.

I have only aborted one takeoff in 30 years. I did this when engine power did not seem adequate. Twice I did not pick up the lack of airspeed indication on takeoff and proceeded to takeoff when indicator showed only 60 knots or less. I one case, at night, I returned for an uneventful landing and removal of the pitot cover. In the other pitot heat melted the ice in the pitot tube in less than a minute. Preflight could not have picked up the ice blockage. In cold weather preflight use of pitot heat is a viable consideration. An aborted takeoff gives you three results. First, you have time and distance to stop. Second, it is better to go off the end of the runway at a slow survivable speed than, third to become airborne in an uncontrollable configuration that will result in injury or worse.

--A liftoff with a problem carries the problem with you.
--An airborne problem is worse than an on the ground problem.
--Power all the way off before using brakes.
--Accelerate-stop distance is to use the larger distance between the takeoff & climb to 50' and takeoff and ground roll distance.

Crosswind Takeoff
The crosswind takeoff requires some timing skills that are not present in other landings. On full power application the yoke is held full over into the wind but not back as in normal conditions. The intention is to hold the up-wind wheel on the ground while remaining firmly enough on the ground to prevent any sideways skipping of the aircraft. As the ailerons become effective only enough is used to prevent side movement.

Although the student has been making takeoffs from the very beginning of training, the crosswind takeoff has a special technique. During the application of power and acceleration the plane must not be allowed to lift off the runway until you are certain that flying speed is acquired. In the C-150 this will be about 55 knots. As with taxiing, the yoke is held full over into the crosswind to prevent the upwind wing from lifting. The nose wheel is kept lightly on the ground.

One of the reasons you should always practice estimating winds at airports that have wind reporting is to develop some skill at direction and velocity estimates. A wind less than 10 knots will take the droop out of a wind sock. Over 15 knots straightens out the sock. The headwind of a 30 degree off runway heading wind should be given full value. Up to 60 degrees off heading should be given only half its velocity value. Beyond 60 degrees the headwind has no value. Rule of thumb says every 10 knots of wind speed reduces takeoff distances by 15%. A 10 knot tail wind will double all distances.

The crosswind takeoff requires a somewhat longer roll before liftoff since there is aerodynamic drag due to the deflection of the control surfaces. This deflection will slow the acceleration. Additionally, the forward yoke pressure required to keep the crosswind side-load from sliding the aircraft sideways prior to liftoff will slow acceleration. When liftoff flying speed is attained at 55 kts the yoke is leveled and given a rather abrupt movement to 'hop' the plane into the air before side loads or skidding can affect the landing gear.

The crosswind takeoff requires some timing skills that are not present in other landings. On full power application the yoke is held full over into the wind but not back as in normal conditions. The intention is to hold the up-wind wheel on the ground while remaining firmly enough on the ground to prevent any sideways skipping of the aircraft. As the ailerons become effective only enough is used to prevent side movement. This aileron change depends on the pilots sense of takeoff speed and the crosswind effect.

Once the speed reaches within five knots of your normal rotation speed a combined series of events should occur. The yoke is leveled and moved relatively abruptly to 'pop' the aircraft off the runway. Once off the runway the plane is held into ground effect and crabbed into the wind with rudder application. The intention is to allow the plane to accelerate quickly while maintaining runway alignment. Unlike the landing, no effort is made to keep the aircraft parallel to the runway centerline.

In the air, rudder is applied to turn the nose into the wind. The hop and rudder application is about simultaneous. The ball is centered. Slight forward yoke is held to set the angle of attack required for normal climb. Once off the ground the aircraft will perform the same without regard to the wind. No effort is made to keep the plane parallel with the runway as when making a crosswind landing. Rather, the plane is crabbed into the wind with the ball centered by rudder. Heading is adjusted to correct drift so as to maintain a ground track in line with the runway center line. When operating from parallel runways it is always a good idea to take a 10 degree cut away from the adjoining runway regardless of the wind. Skill in tracking a line in a crosswind is directly related to ground reference skills.

From an instructional viewpoint the best initial lesson should occur in a crosswind of about 10-12 knots. You want enough to make the cross control position for takeoff necessary but not so much that mistakes will create a hazard. Later lessons should be deliberately planned with ever stronger winds. The student needs to be exposed so as to determine how his ability in this aircraft.

--Initially we hold the aileron into the wind to increase the effective weight on the upwind wheel but…
--Essential purpose is to keep the upwind wing from being lifted by the wind.
--Rudder and nose wheel steering are used to prevent the wind from pivoting the plane about the upwind wheel.
--The faster the aircraft moves the more effective the controls and the less the effect of the crosswind.
--The increased relative wind offsets the crosswind and gives more control authority.

Opinion (Landings)
There are two distinct techniques used:
1. Keeping the longitudinal axis of the aircraft aligned with the centerline of the runway and maintaining a certain bank-angle to compensate for the crosswind; and
2. Maintaining a crab angle on approach, and applying some rudder just before touchdown to get the aircraft aligned with the runway.

Technique #2 actually consists of crabbing into the wind and remaining coordinated for most of the final approach and then converting to technique #1 just prior to touchdown. The trick is in judging just how much slip is required to eliminate any sideways motion at touchdown.

Practice makes perfect, but don't get in over your head. Start with a modest, steady crosswind and work up as you become proficient. Don't practice alone, make sure your instructor is there to give advice and keep you out of trouble.

Sometimes the simplest explanations are the best.
From a former instructor:
Use the ailerons to compensate for drift away from the centerline, and the rudder to keep yourself aligned parallel to the runway. With this in mind, you'll be using the controls automatically to compensate without realizing it. Like driving a car; do you consciously think of how much pressure to apply to the brakes to stop in a certain manner, or how far to turn the wheel to turn into another street? Probably not; you just do "whatever it takes". Of course the landing/driving analogy breaks down when one considers that you can always see which way the road will go when driving, but you can only react to gusts when landing. But that makes it fun.

Put aileron into the wind with opposite rudder during the final approach. If strong winds are present then use a no-flap or partial flap approach. It's that simple. Don't make it more complicated than it is.

Wish I could have made it that simple and easy for the students I have taught over the past thirty years. Seems that students have trouble with all the variables of airspeed, wind velocity, bank angle and rudder application. Of all standard flight maneuvers the crosswind landing requires the greatest variety of contradictory control applications.

The trick is to separate in your mind the function of the controls. Once you turn on finally, the rudder has one purpose - keeping the nose aligned parallel with the runway, regardless of the position of the runway centerline. The ailerons have just one job, maintaining position over the centerline.

Every aircraft is certified as having a demonstrated crosswind capability. This is determined by the winds available at the time of certification. An average pilot should be capable of landing in such conditions. As crosswinds exceed this demonstrated minimum a pilot should minimize flaps and increase approach speed. The maximum aircraft capability is exceeded when full control input is not capable of maintaining directional control even at increased speeds.

Actually you DO want to "take off" in a slip. You should be carrying the ailerons for crosswind correction during the takeoff roll. When you leave the ground expect to leave with the downwind wheel first, with the upwind wheel following shortly. As soon as you are firmly in the air with a positive rate of climb established transition into a crab and center the ball for optimum climbout.

As long as you are on the runway, the crosswind takeoff is identical to the crosswind landing in the same wind. :-)

You make a very good point, Highflyer, and I've been trying to work out why, at least in my experience, that symmetry is broken to make crosswind takeoffs more difficult than crosswind landings.

I think there are two aspects to it:
1) For the takeoff, the time you spend on the ground at higher speeds tends to be longer. The aircraft accelerates fairly rapidly from touchdown speed to a speed at which the wheels provide good authority over the direction the aircraft is headed. Taking off, that last 10 knots to rotation is the hardest, and it always feels like an age to me.

2) Un-sticking one wheel is different to putting one wheel down. When landing, you have some time to assess the drift. Ideally, you are not moving sideways when you touch down. Even if you are, the friction of the wheel on the runway helps you. However, in taking off in a slip, you have to transition from both mains on the runway to one main on the runway. If there is any lateral force on the downwind wheel when you lift it -- and I think there is bound to be some -- you instantly lose that force. So you instantly have to find the right angle of bank to compensate for the loss, as well as changing the rudder input to stay straight. That's harder.

In practice, I land in a slip, but I usually don't take off in a slip. I transition to a slip or a crab after I lift the wheels. In some cases, I wait a little before doing so, which means that I'm moving laterally until I reach an appropriate attitude. It seems to work, but you've encouraged me to think harder about the mechanics of what's going on.
Julian Scarfe (England)

Actually you DO want to "take off" in a slip. You should be carrying the ailerons for crosswind correction during the takeoff roll. When you leave the ground expect to leave with the downwind wheel first, with the upwind wheel following shortly. As soon as you are firmly in the air with a positive rate of climb established transition into a crab and center the ball for optimum climbout.

As long as you are on the runway, the crosswind takeoff is identical to the crosswind landing in the same wind. :-)

Drive it down the centerline on all three. When you "rotate" it will start to crab into the wind. Hopefully your mains are off the runway when it does! :-)--

Class C Mountain Departure
Had a situation late this afternoon when departing Reno for Concord, CA. To go west from Reno you must cross a ridge that is nearly 8500 feet. I try to give at least a 1000' cushion even in light winds. In strong winds 2000'

In order to give my C-172 some extra climb time I requested a left 270 off 16L. My clearance was, "Proceed on course, VFR, Departure 126.3 and Squawk 3454." I confirmed with Reno Tower that the left 270 was not contrary to the clearance.

On my arrival to Reno I had been told to cross midfield for a left downwind arrival to 16L at or above 6500. I asked the tower as to whether there was a minimum crossing altitude on my departure and was assured none was required.

However, just as I turned to cross the airport, a Navajo called in and was told to enter right downwind for 16R. It was apparent that we were in conflict. I immediately told the tower that I did not have the traffic and requested a vector. I was told to turn to 160 which is parallel to my departure runway. I found the traffic and told the tower that I had contact and requested to proceed on a course that would take me behind the Navajo. On course was approved and I was then turned over to Departure.

Several problems were resolved in my departure. All of these suggestive solutions to ATC required that I be assertive in my proposals. Knowing what to say in such a situation comes with experience. I make a point to expose my students both to the situations and how to use the radio to get what you want/need from ATC.

What every pilot needs to work on is saying what needs to be said in a timely and efficient manner. I am presently working with a 'retread' who has great difficulty thinking of how to send a verbal telegram instead of a letter. I am having him write out word for word what he is going to say in a particular planned situation. By always giving your accurate position, direction of flight, and altitude you will set an example that will be 'catching'.

Close the Door
--The open door is no emergency
--Noise and sense of speed are increased.
--Some loss of climb
--Ignore door, land and close door
--Simulate approach at altitude for practice
--Airborne closing is possible.

--Minimize the space occupied in the runup area as a courtesy to other pilots.
--Use a checklist and be deliberate in following it so that time is slowed down for safety.
--The runup is the last step before you clear the approach course and align with the centerline.
--Before applying power seats, belts, doors are o.k. x-ponder is 'alt', mixture is 'rich', and configuration is 'set'.
--Precision in applying power and control creates a good takeoff.
--Any shortcut in takeoff preparation is a seedbed for an airborne surprise.
--By setting the heading bug for the wind direction (windsock check) you can know where to hold yoke.
--Confirm airspeed indicator alive and power up before liftoff.
--A 'sense' that something is not right is reason enough to abort a departure.
--Crosswind liftoff should be somewhat fast, abrupt and with appropriate rudder application.
--Leveling off done in anticipation and predetermined trim applied while accelerating before reducing power.
--About one in five G.A. accidents occur on departure.
--When in doubt, sacrifice engine and aircraft to save people.
--Directional control because of failure to use controls as required is a common departure problem.
--Better to crash slowing on the ground than speeding up in the air.
--Part of the takeoff planning has to do with runway length, climb gradient, obstacles along departure route.
--A tailwind increases liftoff roll, decreases climb rate and all figures double/halve at 10 knots tailwind.
--Configuration must be according to POH. Flaps help liftoff but decrease climb rate.
--Below pattern altitude engine failure best option is runway heading + 30 degrees.
--Use POH and weight to determine Vref for liftoff. Stay in ground effect to accelerate to climb speed.
--Options increase logarithmically with altitude.

Noise Facts
C-172 at 1000' 70 dB same as dishwasher at 10'.
C-172 takeoff from local airport 3.5 miles away 60 dB
C-182 90 dB truck at 50'
Cockpit of high performance single 100 dB or chain saw at 100'

Why the 270?
The greatest benefits of the 270 departure is that it can be adjusted to allow you to depart initially following the course line of your flight. Course lines are usually drawn center to center of airports. Some airport departures can take you one or two miles away from the center of the airport and your drawn course line. Near my home field there is a 4000+ foot mountain in one direction and some 2000 foot hills that must be over flown enroute to nearby airports. The 270 departure gives you more flight time to gain required altitude or improve radio reception.

Several months ago a controller had me overfly the numbers one of the parallel runways at pattern altitude and then make a 270 descent into the other one. Knowing when to ask for and how to do it can be a time-saver.

Takeoff Accident Scenarios
--Failure to plan for, anticipate and compensate for wind conditions.
--Failure to have required pilot competency and/or aircraft capability for existing conditions.
--Failure to maintain appropriate airspeed after liftoff , during climb or climbing turn.
--Taking off with a tailwind
--Failure to correctly make takeoff decision under existing density altitude conditions.
--Failure to correctly configure aircraft for load and load distribution.
Takeoff Revisited
--Shoulder harness must be worn if available.
--Use the POH to plan for performance under loading, runway factors and atmospheric conditions.
--Know the required airspeeds and fly those speeds.
--Don't fly in conditions beyond your competency.
--Know or learn about your departure options specific to the airport.
--Takeoff knowing that a loss of power will occur at the most inopportune moment.
--Review engine gauges during runup and initial takeoff roll. Check for airspeed alive 1/4 of the way.
--Always confirm airspeed alive aloud.
--Some wings have designed flexibility called washin or washout. The wing flexes angle of attack with speed.
--Wing lift will vary with temperature, humidity and altitude individually or in combination.
--Weight, angle of attack and air conditions determine when lift exceeds gravity.
--Engine power is dependent upon air/fuel mixture and air density. More density makes better efficiency.
--Leaning for takeoff is needed when required by density altitude. Failure to lean costs you power and money.
--Only the airplane knows when it is ready to fly. We don't know when conditions meet aircraft readiness.
--No two takeoffs, or landings, will ever be exactly alike. Environmental, aircraft and human factors differ.
--Angle of attack makes difference, slightly positive angle will give smoothest liftoff with some exceeds speed.
--High angle of attack will lift off sooner at lower speed and make control more difficult.
--24-percent of all accidents occurred during takeoff and departure. 12-percent of the fatalities occur then.
--Airspeed indicator is the pilot's primary source of liftoff information regardless of runway or altitude.
--Touching the end of the runway with the top of the cowling you reach the exotic needs for liftoff when ready
--When you have doubts about the takeoff, don't.
--Runway of 3000' or less, altitude 3000 or more and warm needs a density altitude check.
--Run the POH weight and balance, density altitude, runway conditions and takeoff numbers with safety factor.
--Use all the runway all the time.
--Never trust wind forecasts nor expect windsock indications to remain the same during takeoff.
--Unexpectedly early liftoff occurs during gusty conditions plan to keep aircraft on the ground longer.
--Tailwind is the worst wind possible requiring more ground speed and distance with resulting shallow climbs.
--Lower your crosswind limits when you have not been maintaining proficiency.
--You lose proficiency when you don't use your checklist.
--We have a gust lock accident every month. Check your control movements.
--Practice taxiing in strong winds even when there is no wind.
--Know your emergency options for engine failure before you take the runway.
--When weather is marginal, know whether it is improving or a no-go situation.
--Make your no-fly decisions before you get into the airplane.
--Once aligned with the runway, look for a point on the horizon for takeoff alignment.
--Walk an unimproved runway before takeoff and add 50% to aircraft requirements.
--Under inflated tires will increase takeoff requirements by 15% or more.
--Make sure your feet are off the brakes.
--Every takeoff is in a crosswind. Use the windsock to preplan your liftoff crab angle.
--Clear the base legs and final approach course before every takeoff.
--The rudder is the steering control once the nosewheel is airborne.
--Never change fuel tanks just before takeoff.
--Survival odds of an aborted takeoff are much better than an emergency landing.
--During takeoff check aircraft performance, your turn altitude and course and situational awareness.
--Clearance by ATC for an immediate takeoff is a red flag of warning…do not hurry the takeoff.
--There are negative aspects for takeoff climb at any speed other than Vy.
--Retract gear at predetermined point or altitude at which a runway landing is no longer possible.
--Your landing light is seen by birds and other aircraft long before anything else.
--Takeoff has Four more TTTTs Turn heading indicator, set the trim,  turn on the transponder and thumb on carb heat.
--Know where to set trim for normal takeoff. Adjust for load after liftoff.
--Your fuel selector is the major cause of all engine failures.
--Know the indicated speed at which you will lift the nosewheel without lifting the aircraft.
--The aircraft rotation speed is based upon the axle, The liftoff speed is based upon the wing's center of lift.
--The safest place to avoid obstacles is over and in direct line with the runway.
--Know your aircraft speeds for rotation, liftoff, and Vy. Vx is a special situation number.
--Have a runway point that is go/no-go decision point. Indecisiveness is the greatest hazard.
--After liftoff the aircraft is most vulnerable to an engine failure accident.
--Know your WARTS. Weather, Airport, Runway, Terrain and Special considerations.
--On occasion you should use carburetor heat until applying takeoff power. C.H. off for takeoff.
--Non-tower airports may have preferred runways but all runways are legal. Make a 360 prior to takeoff.
--Know the altitude loss it takes for you to execute a 240-degree power off turn. Need to know information.
--A steep turn is better than a shallow turn in getting around with less loss of altitude.
--Trees grow. The takeoff of five years ago may not work this year.
--Takeoffs and landings are the region of 5 percent of the accidents fatality rate is 22 percent of accidents
--There is no way to prepare for the problem disguised by the unpredictable event.
--Briefing your passengers is an essential process. Make them aware of how to behave.
--Good maintenance is good insurance.
--Know how high you must be to return back to the runway on engine failure.
--There is no end to the possible takeoff distractions. Only a few will occur during your lifetime.
--The first objective of every takeoff is to reach a safe altitude as quickly as you can.
--After liftoff there is only one airspeed that gains the most altitude for time flown, Vy, fly it.
--After liftoff your flying Vy requires forward yoke pressure to counter speed, airflow over horizontal stabilizer and the longer elevator moment arm.

What is Runway Heading
Then after we took off controller said SOMETHING that sounded to me like I should remain following his directions but my instructor said we now were free to terminate his control and squawk 1200. This flight was to MacArthur (ISP) and the controllers were a lot DIFFERENT than Flight Following to Wilkes-Barre! You had to be the PIC.
Tony Woolner

Perhaps he actually said, "fly runway heading, maintain VFR at or below 2000". You are free to terminate Class C services and squawk 1200 as soon as you leave Class C airspace. If you don't terminate Class C services, the controller must continue to provide them until you depart the outer area.

Maintain runway heading is just that...if you're taking off on 32, then you maintain a heading of 320. In your case, 320 at or below 2000 ft. As for what your instructor said about the approved freq change, resume vfr, handoff, or whatever might've been said, I can't tell...but make sure you snag your CFI and ask about the handoff or whatever happened at that point. It takes some time to get used to the rhythm and tempo of flying out of controlled airspace.
Victoria Deaton

That's not quite correct. "Runway heading" is the magnetic direction that corresponds with the extended runway centerline, not the painted runway number. When cleared to "fly runway heading", pilots are expected to fly the heading that corresponds with the extended centerline of the departure runway without correcting for wind drift. If you're departing runway 32 and the actual magnetic direction of the runway is 324, then you should fly a heading of 324, not 320.

Like Victoria said, maintain the runway **heading** -- no correction for wind drift. I've seen tower controllers who weren't even very clear on this.

[Actually, the runway "heading" is the magetic alignment of the runway. Not the runway numbers times 10. But VFR pilots don't usually have this info easily available, and it will never be off more than about 15 degrees. {Yes, 15, not 5!}]
James M. Knox

Yes, I'm aware that the runway heading isn't necessarily the MH, but it seemed to be overkill at the moment when basically the answer was "keep flying sorta straight ahead, dude". I couldn't remember the potential deviance (5?10?15? Drew a blank) though it was on the oral *and* I was late for work so I didn't take the time to quote Kershner or the FAR's in detail

"Maintain runway heading" is not valid phrasology (phrasology is the FAA buzzword for "controller-speak"). The word "maintain" is used with altitudes. The word "fly" is used with headings. Thus "fly runway heading, maintain at or below 2000".

It may be redundant, but it actually makes it easier to understand. After a while, your brain will get tuned in and when it hears the word "fly", you'll be primed that the next thing you'll hear is a heading. When you hear "maintain", you'll be expecting to hear an altitude next.
Roy Smith

>"Cessna--------" ,runway heading maintain at >or below 2000,
What he probably said was "Cessna----- maintain runway heading at or below 2000" This is a standard beginning to a departure clearance. He wants you to fly straight out and stay below 2000'. You will then either be vectored or maintain that heading until you leave his airspace. When you start your Instrument you'll become very familiar with all this.
: HLAviation

Why the "On Course" Departure
1. The downwind departure can be almost any direction within 90 degrees of downwind direction. It is quite variable and imprecise.
2. Remember, in addition to ATC you are talking to all other aircraft on the frequency some whom may be in conflict with the broader 'downwind' request but would be able to anticipate any conflict with an 'on course' request.
3. By mentioning a direct 'on course' you have filed a 'mini-flight plan'.

Takeoff Failings
--Planning and technique determines probability of takeoff success
--Attempting to force plane off the ground before it is ready.
--Stall s plane by trying to make it climb better lthan conditions allow.
--No need to rotate until at 1.2 of stall speed
--The center of gravity must not be neglected as a takeoff essential.
--Operational problems can be solved if the correct series of questions are asked prior to takeoff.

Say, " On course", of Course
One of my pet peeves in all uncontrolled airport departures as well as controlled airport departures is a failure of pilots to communicate beyond the airport and ATC. I do not like or teach straight-out, crosswind, downwind 270' departures. Rather, I teach 'on course'. 'On course...' to a specific location is even better than a magnetic direction since even locals have difficulty knowing the directions of their roads but do know where the roads go.

By including the words 'on course' in your departure call you tell everyone on the frequency a line of flight as compared to the broad brush flight areas of the pattern. At a towered airport including a possible destination in your departure call you have 'filed' a mini-flight plan. At an non-tower airports you have greatly reduced the 'hot' traffic scan space for other pilots to see you. Try it, you'll like it.

Some of the RAS group disagree, as they often will. My experience at a dual-parallel runway airport has overwhelmingly shown, ATC and my students that the callup for takeoff that includes the direction of the turn if any and the distant aiming point as being "On course " is the most information to more radios than any other.

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