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Certified Flight Instructor Resources by Derek W Beck




Maximum performance take-off where the takeoff area is short or restricted by obstructions.


To teach techniques necessary for a short field take-off to avoid obstructions or obtain maximum performance.


         Clear the area

         Choose forced landing area

         Configure aircraft: flaps as specified (C172RG: 10), cowl flaps open, propeller to full

         Select outside references: vanishing point on runway

         Taxi onto runway centerline

         Apply full brakes

         Smoothly apply full power, upon engine peak, release brakes

         Anticipate need for right rudder pressure

         Check engine instruments (in green)

         Attitude slightly tail-low

         Do NOT rotate at VR for short field take-off

         At VX (gear out) (C172RG: 63 KIAS), apply back pressure to lift nose wheel

         Adjust pitch to maintain steep climb out at VX

         Clear the real or simulated obstacle (if applicable)

         Adjust to normal climb VY (gear out) (C172RG: 84 KIAS)

         Gear up upon positive rate of climb, safe airspeed, no useable runway and clear of obstacle

         After 500 AGL, flaps up

         Maintain ball centered

         Look for traffic


Note VX and VY: 5 knots off can have a big difference. Emphasize using the very beginning of the runway. On lift-off, rotate firmly. Insure gear and flaps remain extended until clear of obstacle.

Common Errors

         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


FAA-H-8083-3A Airplane Flying Handbook p. 5-8

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