Student:_____________________ Date Completed:________________ Private & Commercial Pilot Flight Training Soft Field Takeoff and Climb Objective: To develop the student's proficiency in conducting soft-field takeoffs and climbs. Elements: 1. Factors related to the transfer of airplane weight from the landing gear to the wings as rapidly as possible. 2. Review of wind conditions and takeoff surface. 3. Use of wing flaps. 4. How to align the airplane with the takeoff path without stopping. 5. Initial positioning of flight controls. 6. Power application. 7. Directional control during acceleration on the surface. 8. Crosswind control technique during acceleration on the surface. 9. Lift-off attitude and airspeed. 10. Acceleration in ground effect to climb airspeed (Vy). 11. Track during climb. 12. Use of checklist. Schedule: Preflight Discussion 0:15 Inflight Demonstration and Student Practice 0:30 Postflight Discussion 0:15 All Times Dependent on Pilot's Ability Equipment: Aircraft Drawing Surface and Marking Utensil Instructor's Actions: Student's Actions: PREFLIGHT: PREFLIGHT Discuss lesson objective Discuss lesson objective. Discuss common student errors in performing the Listens and takes notes. maneuver. Resolves Questions. Discuss the FAA's emphasis on safety including INFLIGHT collision avoidance and division of attention. Reviews maneuvers. INFLIGHT: Pays attention and asks questions. Demonstrate the maneuver. Practices maneuver as directed. Coach student practice. Answers questions posed by instructor. Evaluate student understanding of maneuver. POSTFLIGHT POSTFLIGHT: Ask pertinent questions. Critique student performance. Answers questions posed by instructor. Answer student questions. Critiques own performance. Assign homework for next lesson. Completes assigned homework. Private & Commercial Pilot Flight Training Completion Standards: FAA-H-8081-14AS (Private PTS, IV. C. 1-10) 1. Exhibits knowledge of the elements related to a soft-field takeoff and climb. 2. Positions the flight controls for existing wind conditions and to maximize lift as quickly as possible. 3. Clears the area; taxies onto the takeoff surface at a speed consistent with safety without stopping while advancing the throttle smoothly to takeoff power. 4. Establishes and maintains a pitch attitude that will transfer the weight of the airplane from the wheels to the wings as rapidly as possible. 5. Lifts off at the lowest possible airspeed and remains in ground effect while accelerating to VX or VY, as appropriate. 6. Establishes a pitch attitude for VX or VY, as appropriate, and maintains selected airspeed +10/-5 knots, during the climb. 7. Retracts the landing gear, if appropriate, and flaps after clear of any obstacles or as recommended by the manufacturer. 8. Maintains takeoff power and VX or VY +10/-5 knots to a safe maneuvering altitude. 9. Maintains directional control and proper wind-drift correction throughout the takeoff and climb. 10. Completes the appropriate checklist. Completion Standards: FAA-H-8081-12B (Commercial PTS, IV. C, 1-10) 1. Exhibits knowledge of the elements related to a soft-field takeoff and climb. 2. Positions the flight controls for existing conditions and to maximize lift as quickly as possible. 3. Clears the area; taxies onto takeoff surface at a speed consistent with safety without stopping while advancing the throttle smoothly to takeoff power. 4. Establishes and maintains a pitch attitude that will transfer the weight of the airplane from the wheels to the wings as rapidly as possible. 5. Lifts off at the lowest possible airspeed and remains in ground effect while accelerating to VX or VY, as appropriate. 6. Establishes a pitch attitude for VX or VY, as appropriate, and maintains selected airspeed ±5 knots, during the climb. 7. Retracts the landing gear, if appropriate and flaps after clear of any obstacles or as recommended by the manufacturer. 8. Maintains takeoff power and VX or VY ±5 knots to a safe maneuvering altitude. 9. Maintains directional control and proper wind-drift correction throughout the takeoff and climb. 10. Completes appropriate checklist. Common Errors: FAA-H-8083-3A (Chapter 5-11) 1. Failure to adequately clear the area. 2. Insufficient back-elevator pressure during initial takeoff roll resulting in inadequate angle of attack. 3. Failure to cross-check engine instruments for indications of proper operation after applying power. 4. Poor directional control. 5. Climbing too steeply after lift-off. 6. Abrupt and/or excessive elevator control while attempting to level off and accelerate after liftoff. 7. Allowing the airplane to “mush” or settle resulting in an inadvertent touchdown after lift-off. 8. Attempting to climb out of ground effect area before attaining sufficient climb speed. 9. Failure to anticipate an increase in pitch attitude as the airplane climbs out of ground effect. References: FAA-H-8083-3A (Chapter 5-10) FAA-S-8081-14AS (Private PTS, IV. C. 1-10) AFM/POH FAA-S-8081-12B (Commercial PTS, IV. C. 1-10) FAA-H-8083-25 Things to Remember: Hand on throttle unless trimming until safe altitude. Leave gear on single down until no useable runway remaining. Check POH for flaps or gear retraction first. Walk field first determining ruts, bumps, or other obstacles. Determine abort point if not airborne. Determine emergency landing points after rotation before takeoff. Once airplane is moving, keep it moving. Differences between grass, wet grass, snow, dirt, dry lakebeds, gravel, sand, and other surfaces. Private & Commercial Pilot Flight Training Soft Field Takeoff and Climb Technique: Main concept: Keep the weight off of the nosewheel and get airborne as soon as safely possible TAKEOFF ROLL 1. As the airplane accelerates, enough back-elevator pressure should be applied to establish a positive angle of attack and to reduce the weight supported by the nosewheel. 2. Hold the airplane in this attitude so that the airplane becomes airborne at a speed lower than usual. LIFT-OFF 3. After becoming airborne, the nose should be lowered while accelerating to Vx or Vy. INITIAL CLIMB 4. After Vx or Vy is achieves a positive rate of climb is established Instructor notes and visual aids Private & Commercial Pilot Flight Training Soft Field Takeoff and Climb Narrative: DESCRIPTION Takeoffs and climbs from soft fields require the use of operational techniques for getting the airplane airborne as quickly as possible to eliminate the drag caused by tall grass, soft sand, mud, and snow, and may or may not require climbing over an obstacle. The technique makes judicious use of ground effect and requires a feel for the airplane and fine control touch. These same techniques are also useful on a rough field where it is advisable to get the airplane off the ground as soon as possible to avoid damaging the landing gear. Soft surfaces or long, wet grass usually reduces the airplane’s acceleration during the takeoff roll so much that adequate takeoff speed might not be attained if normal takeoff techniques were employed. MOTIVATION It should be emphasized that the correct takeoff procedure for soft fields is quite different from that appropriate for short fields with firm, smooth surfaces. To minimize the hazards associated with takeoffs from soft or rough fields, support of the airplane’s weight must be transferred as rapidly as possible from the wheels to the wings as the takeoff roll proceeds. Establishing and maintaining a relatively high angle of attack or nose-high pitch attitude as early as possible does this. Wing flaps may be lowered prior to starting the takeoff (if recommended by the manufacturer) to provide additional lift and to transfer the airplane’s weight from the wheels to the wings as early as possible. Stopping on a soft surface, such as mud or snow, might bog the airplane down; therefore, it should be kept in continuous motion with sufficient power while lining up for the takeoff roll. TAKEOFF ROLL As the airplane is aligned with the takeoff path, takeoff power is applied smoothly and as rapidly as the powerplant will accept it without faltering. As the airplane accelerates, enough back-elevator pressure should be applied to establish a positive angle of attack and to reduce the weight supported by the nosewheel. When the airplane is held at a nose-high attitude throughout the takeoff run, the wings will, as speed increases and lift develops, progressively relieve the wheels of more and more of the airplane’s weight, thereby minimizing the drag caused by surface irregularities or adhesion. If this attitude is accurately maintained, the airplane will virtually fly itself off the ground, becoming airborne at airspeed slower than a safe climb speed because of ground effect. LIFT-OFF After becoming airborne, the nose should be lowered very gently with the wheels clear of the surface to allow the airplane to accelerate to VY, or VX if obstacles must be cleared. Extreme care must be exercised immediately after the airplane becomes airborne and while it accelerates, to avoid settling back onto the surface. An attempt to climb prematurely or too steeply may cause the airplane to settle back to the surface as a result of losing the benefit of ground effect. An attempt to climb out of ground effect before sufficient climb airspeed is attained may result in the airplane being unable to climb further as the ground effect area is transited, even with full power. Therefore, it is essential that the airplane remain in ground effect until at least VX is reached. This requires feel for the airplane, and a very fine control touch, in order to avoid over-controlling the elevator as required control pressures change with airplane acceleration. INITIAL CLIMB After a positive rate of climb is established, and the airplane has accelerated to VY, retract the landing gear and flaps, if equipped. If departing from an airstrip with wet snow or slush on the takeoff surface, the gear should not be retracted immediately. This allows for any wet snow or slush to be air-dried. In the event an obstacle must be cleared after a soft- field takeoff, the climb-out is performed at VX until the obstacle has been cleared. After reaching this point, the pitch attitude is adjusted to VY and the gear and flaps are retracted. The power may then be reduced to the normal climb setting.
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