Reference: FS2002 Ground School Text, FS9 Flying Lessons

Taking off is one of the easier tasks in flying. The key is to make sure you are prepared so that means checklists. These will vary by aircraft but listed here are some basic things to do.

Homework assignment: Read Class 5: Takeoffs in the Ground School Text (FS2002); or Lesson 5: Takeoffs (FS2004)

Technique: Taxi onto the runway and once cleared for takeoff push the throttle to full. Keep the aircraft straight on the centerline and on reaching 50-55 knots smoothly pull the joystick back to pitch to about 10 degrees on the attitude indicator.

When you reach 70 knots retract flaps, accelerate and use pitch to maintain about 90-100 knots in the climb. Reduce the propeller RPM to 2400.

Continue to use pitch to maintain 90-100 knots.

Leave propeller rpm set at about 2400 rpm for all climb, cruise and descent operations. Adjust trim and throttle for level flight in cruise.

Extra credit: Takeoff technique varies by aircraft type and we’ll cover this in future lessons.

In aircraft with tail-wheel steering, you don’t pitch the nose up (rotate) to takeoff but rather just fly straight off the runway and sometimes pitching forward slightly to raise the tail-wheel first.

Jets are very similar to the technique described here, except speeds and flap settings will vary and the use if auto-throttle may come into play.

There is a set of “V” speeds used in takeoff (primarily turbine engine aircraft)…

V1 refers to the speed below which a takeoff roll can still be aborted and stop safely on the runway. After reaching this speed you are committed to takeoff.

Vr is the speed at which the aircraft can be “rotated” nose up to start the takeoff.

V2 is the speed at which flight can be maintained even with the loss of the “critical engine” on multi-engine aircraft.

Initial climb in a jet to 1000 feet AGL is usually done at V2+20 knots.

Practice flight one: Learn To Fly – Student Pilot – Lesson 5: Takeoff

For additional practice start in the ramp area of KLGB. Perform your checklists and taxi to runway 25L. Takeoff, paying particular attention to the speeds and climb rates described in this lesson and in Lesson 3.

At 700 AGL, turn left to a heading of 210 degrees and climb to 3,500. Make sure you perform checklists at each point and watch your airspeed, rate of climb and heading from takeoff too 3,500.


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