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Certified Flight Instructor Resources by Derek W Beck




Maximum performance take-off from a soft field, designed to get airborne as quickly as possible to eliminate drag caused by tall grass, soft sand, mud or snow.


To teach techniques necessary for a take-off when it is necessary to get airborne as quickly as possible by quickly transfer weight from landing gear to wings.


·         Clear the area

·         Choose forced landing area

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

·         Select outside references: vanishing point on runway

·         Taxi onto runway centerline with full elevator back pressure: do not stop once taxiing

·         Smoothly apply full power

·         Anticipate need for right rudder pressure

·         Check engine instruments (in green)

·         As aircraft accelerates, apply enough back pressure to establish positive angle of attack (C172RG: pitch to put instrument glare shield on horizon)

·         After lift-off, lower the nose gently with the wheels clear of the runway, attempting to fly in straight-and-level flight within a half-wingspan above the ground

·         Accelerate in ground effect to VY (C172RG: 84 KIAS)

·         Gear up upon positive rate of climb, safe airspeed, no useable runway

·         After 500’ AGL, flaps up

·         Maintain ball centered

·         Look for traffic


Emphasize holding back pressure on elevator throughout taxi. On lift-off, add gentle forward elevator pressure.

Common Errors

·         Failure to adequately clear the area

·         Insufficient back-elevator pressure during initial takeoff roll resulting in inadequate angle of attack

·         Failure to cross-check engine instruments for indications of proper operation after applying power

·         Poor directional control

·         Climbing too steeply after lift-off

·         Abrupt and/or excessive elevator control while attempting to level off and accelerate after lift-off

·         Allowing the airplane to “mush” or settle resulting in an inadvertent touchdown

·         Attempting to climb out of ground effect area before attaining sufficient climb speed

·         Failure to anticipate an increase in pitch attitude as the airplane climbs out of ground effect


FAA-H-8083-3A Airplane Flying Handbook p. 5-10

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