Sunday, March 22, 2009

Initial Climb - Ground Effect On Takeoff

On short-field takeoffs, the landing gear and flaps should remain in takeoff position until clear of obstacles (or as recommended by the manufacturer) and VY has been established. It is generally unwise for the pilot to be looking in the cockpit or reaching for landing gear and flap controls until obstacle clearance is assured. When the airplane is stabilized at VY, the gear (if equipped) and then the flaps should be retracted. It is usually advisable to raise the flaps in increments to avoid sudden loss of lift and settling of the airplane. Next, reduce the power to the normal climb setting or as recommended by the airplane manufacturer.

Common errors in the performance of short-field takeoffs and maximum performance climbs are:

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 best angle-of-climb airspeed.

Fixation on the airspeed indicator during initial climb.

Premature retraction of landing gear and/or wing flaps.

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