Normal Initial Climb Normal Initial Climb

   Upon liftoff, the airplane should be flying at approximately the attitude which will allow it to accelerate to its best rate of climb airspeed. The best rate of climb speed (Vy) is that speed at which the airplane will gain the most altitude in the shortest period of time.

   If the airplane has been properly trimmed, some back pressure may be required on the elevator control to hold this attitude until the proper climb speed is established. On the other hand, relaxation of any back pressure on the elevator control before this time may result in the airplane settling, even to the extent that it contacts the runway.

   The airplane will pick up speed rapidly after it becomes airborne. However, only after it is certain the airplane will remain airborne and a definite climb is established, should the flaps and landing gear be retracted (if the airplane is so equipped).
   It is recommended by engine manufacturers, as well as the FAA, that takeoff power be maintained until an altitude at least 500 feet above the surrounding terrain or obstacles is attained. The combination of best rate of climb (Vy) and maximum allowable power will give an additional margin of safety, in that sufficient altitude is attained in minimum time from which the airplane can be safely maneuvered in case of engine failure or other emergency. Also, in many airplanes, the use of maximum allowable power automatically gives a richer mixture for additional cooling of the engine during the climbout.

   Since the power on the initial climb is fixed at the takeoff power setting, the airspeed must be controlled by making slight pitch adjustments using the elevators. However, the pilot should not stare at the airspeed indicator when making these slight pitch changes, but should, instead, watch the attitude of the airplane in relation to the horizon. It is better to first make the necessary pitch change and hold the new attitude momentarily, and then glance at the airspeed indicator as a check to see if the new attitude is correct. Due to inertia, the airplane will not accelerate or decelerate immediately as the pitch is changed. It takes a little time for the airspeed to change. If the pitch attitude has been over or under corrected, the airspeed indicator will show (belatedly) a speed that is more or less than that desired. When this occurs, the cross checking and appropriate pitch changing process must be repeated until the desired climbing attitude is established.

   When the correct pitch attitude has been attained, it should be held constant while cross checking it against the horizon and other outside visual references. The airspeed indicator should be used only as a check to determine if the attitude is correct.
   After the recommended climbing airspeed has been well established, and a safe maneuvering altitude has been reached, the power should be adjusted to the recommended climb setting and the airplane trimmed to relieve the control pressures. This will make it much easier to hold a constant attitude and airspeed.

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

   If necessary to take off immediately behind another airplane, the possibility of wake turbulence must be anticipated, especially if the wind condition is calm or straight down the runway. If turbulence is encountered, resulting in sudden deviations in flight attitudes, firm control pressures should be applied to make a shallow turn to fly out of the wake turbulence. When in smoother air the airplane can then be realigned with the original flightpath. If a crosswind is present, the turn should be made into the wind, since the wake turbulence will be blown downwind or away from your flightpath.