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Course Name:
ALC-485: Takeoff, Landing, and Aircraft Control
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Normal Takeoff

A normal takeoff is one in which the airplane is headed into the wind, or the wind is very light. Also, the takeoff surface is firm and of sufficient length to permit the airplane to gradually accelerate to normal lift-off and climb-out speed, and there are no obstructions along the takeoff path.

There are two reasons for making a takeoff as nearly into the wind as possible:

  1. Aircraft speed will be less, therefore reducing wear and stress on landing gear
  2. Shorter ground roll and therefore much less runway length

After taxiing onto the runway, the airplane should be carefully aligned with the intended takeoff direction, and the nose wheel positioned straight, or centered. After releasing the brakes, the throttle should be advanced smoothly and continuously to takeoff power. An abrupt application of power may cause the airplane to yaw sharply to the left because of the torque effects of the engine and propeller. This will be most apparent in high horsepower engines. As the airplane starts to roll forward, the pilot should assure both feet are on the rudder pedals so that the toes or balls of the feet are on the rudder portions, not on the brake portions. Engine instruments should be monitored during the
takeoff roll for any malfunctions.


Upon lift-off, the airplane should be flying at approximately the pitch attitude that will allow it to accelerate to VY. This is the speed at which the airplane will gain the most altitude in the shortest period of time.


Always keep the Aircraft on the centerline of the Taxiway and Runway. It's important to maintain control over the aircraft during taxi, take off roll, and initial climb out. You can do this by using the centerline as your primary reference point


  • Failure to adequately clear the area prior to taxiing into position on the active runway. 
  • Abrupt use of the throttle.
  • Failure to check engine instruments for signs of malfunction after applying takeoff power. 
  • Failure to anticipate the airplane’s left turning tendency on initial acceleration.
  • Over correcting for left turning tendency. 
  • Relying solely on the airspeed indicator rather than developed feel for indications of speed and airplane controllability during acceleration and lift-off. 
  • Failure to attain proper lift-off attitude. 
  • Inadequate compensation for torque/P-factor during initial climb resulting in a sideslip. 
  • Over-control of elevators during initial climb out.