CHAPTER 7. Takeoff and Departure Climbs

Takeoff Roll

Taking off from a short fi eld requires the takeoff to be started from the very beginning of the takeoff area. The WSC manufacturer’s recommended specifi c trim setting should be set before starting the takeoff roll. This permits the pilot to give full attention to the proper technique and the aircraft’s performance throughout the takeoff.

Some authorities prefer to hold the brakes until the maximum obtainable engine revolutions per minute (rpm) is achieved before allowing the WSC aircraft to begin its takeoff run. However, it has not been established that this procedure results in a shorter takeoff run in all WSC aircraft, many of which can not hold the brakes at full throttle. If the brakes are not held with the throttle advanced to full and then released, takeoff power should be applied immediately to full throttle as fast as possible without the engine bogging down to accelerate the aircraft as rapidly as possible. The WSC aircraft should be allowed to roll with the wing fi nding the trim position for minimum drag during acceleration to the lift-off speed.

Lift-Off and Climb Out

At VX speed, the WSC aircraft should be smoothly and fi rmly rotated by applying control bar forward pressure to an attitude that results in the VX airspeed. After becoming airborne, a wings-level climb should be maintained at VX until obstacles have been cleared. Thereafter, the pitch attitude may be lowered slightly and the climb continued at VY speed until reaching a safe maneuvering altitude.

Remember that an attempt to rotate off the ground prematurely or to climb too steeply may cause the WSC aircraft to settle back to the runway or into the obstacles. Even if the aircraft remains airborne, the initial climb remains fl at and climb performance/obstacle clearance ability is seriously degraded until VX airspeed is achieved. [Figure 7-10]

In addition to normal takeoffs, common errors in the performance of short fi eld takeoffs are:

  • Deciding to do a questionable short fi eld takeoff when the WSC aircraft can be packed up and driven away.
  • Failure to adequately determine the best path with the longest run and shortest obstacle.
  • Failure to utilize all available runway/takeoff area.
  • Failure to wait for the best atmospheric conditions of density altitude and wind direction.
  • Failure to reduce all possible weight from the WSC aircraft.
  • Failure to have the WSC aircraft properly trimmed prior to takeoff.
  • Premature lift-off resulting in high drag.
  • Holding the WSC aircraft on the ground unnecessarily.
  • Inadequate rotation resulting in excessive speed after lift-off.
  • Inability to attain/maintain best VX airspeed.
  • Fixation on the airspeed indicator during initial climb.
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