Normal Takeoff and Climb


Understand normal takeoff, climb operations, and rejected takeoff procedures.


This is the required reading for this lesson. Numbers in [brackets] indicate the starting and ending page in the referenced reading material. Read all the pages and sections referenced.


The notes below highlight the important parts in the referenced material. Reading the notes without having read the actual referenced material is generally not sufficient to pass the written exam!

PHAK - Chapter 5

  • Wake Turbulence
    • Most common during approach and departure
    • Avoidance:
      • Rotate prior to the point at which the preceding aircraft rotated
      • Avoid following another aircraft on a similar flight path
      • Approach the runway above a preceding aircraft's path
      • Touch down after the point at which the other aircraft wheels contacted the runway
    • Ground Effect
      • Air cushion between wing and landing surface
      • Increase in drag (when leaving ground effect)
      • Decrease in stability (when leaving ground effect)

AFH - Chapter 5

  • Takeoff into wind
    • Permits a shorter run and a lower ground speed at the moment of take-off.
    • Eliminates drift, so that there is no additional strain on the landing gear.
    • Affords best directional control, especially at the beginning of the run.
    • Results in better obstacle clearance owing both to a shorter run and a steeper angle of climb.
    • Establishes the correct pattern direction for all aircraft in the case of an uncontrolled airport.
  • Crosswind take-off
    • The aircraft has more keel surface behind the main wheels than ahead of them. As a result, the wind exerts a greater sideways force on the rear of the airplane which causes the nose to turn into wind. This is referred to as "weather cocking."
    • The wind blowing across the runway tends to push the entire aircraft sideways creating a sideways strain on the landing gear.
    • The into wind wing is exposed to more wind because the fuselage shelters the other wing somewhat. The wing that receives the greater effect from the wind will produce more lift.
    • With positive dihedral, the angle of attack on the into wind wing is larger than the angle of attack on the other wing. Again, the wing that receives the greater effect from the wind will produce more lift than the other wing.
  • Takeoff roll
    • Abrupt application of power may cause an abrupt yaw to the left
    • Aileron correction into the wind
  • Rejected takeoff
    • Identify and announce verbally point along runway where airplane should be airborne
    • If need to abort takeoff:
      • Throttle to idle
      • Maximum breaking
    • Engine failure on initial climb-out
      • Maintain aircraft control
      • Establish controlled glide
      • Land straight forward

AFH - Chapter 12

  • VMC - Minimum control speed with the critical engine inoperative - marked with a red radial line on most airspeed indicators.
    • If an engine fails below VMC while the airplane is on the ground, the takeoff must be rejected
    • If an engine fails below VMC while airborne, directional control is not possible with the remaining engine producing takeoff power
  • VYSE - Best rate of climb speed with one engine inoperative (OEI). Marked with a blue radial line on most airspeed indicators.
  • Climb (Indicated numbers are for a PA44-180 - Consult the POH for the type of aircraft that is being used)
    • Best rate of climb OEI (VYSE) - airspeed that will afford the greatest gain in height in a given time with OEI
      • 88 KIAS (blue line)
    • Best angle of climb (Vx) - airspeed that will achieve the greatest gain in height in a given distance
      • 82 KIAS
    • Normal climb - airspeed speed at which the aircraft is climbed under normal circumstances
    • En-route climb - various airspeeds between normal climb and normal cruise speed

Sim Pilot Notes

These notes highlight the differences between simulator and real-world flying. These differences are most often due to simulator limitations or specific VATSIM rules.

PHAK - Chapter 5

  • Wake turbulence needs to be taken into account even in the sim as some add-on weather programs depict it

AFH - Chapter 5

  • Yaw and roll tendency during take-off is modelled differently depending on the sim and aircraft type
    • Make sure to be familiar with the characteristics of your aircraft with different power settings
  • Although noise abatement is less of an importance in a sim, it is still preferable to know the local area
    • Adjust procedures to avoid overflying populated areas as other pilots may prefer to simulate a high level of realism

Tomas Hansson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Chief Flight Instructor, VATSTAR
DISCLAIMER: all information contained herein is for flight simulation purposes only.
March 2021

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