Taking Off

Normal takeoff and climb.

So your aircraft is ready to taxi on to the runway and take off. First, take a look around the airport pattern to see if any other aircraft are trying to land. If they are, wait. If your plane has a communications radio, you can use your it to tell other pilots what you’re doing (at an uncontrolled airport): “Ukiah traffic, Cessna 5-5-6-6-Echo is ready for takeoff runway one-five Ukiah.”

After a final look around the pattern, especially on the base leg, you taxi your aircraft to the centerline of the runway, apply full power to the engine with the throttle, and use the rudder controls to keep the craft lined up with the center of the runway. Once the aircraft reaches the runway liftoff speed (identified in the aircraft’s operating handbook) the plane will want to fly itself off the runway.

If you’re flying a tailwheel aircraft the tail will lift off first as the wind over the wings and elevators start to make the aircraft want to fly. Don’t try to force the plane off the ground until it is fully ready. Meanwhile, keep your hand on the throttle in case you have to pull it back to abort the flight.

You probably can’t fly along just above the ground forever, so you’ll next want to climb. Just make sure the airspeed indicator says you have enough speed to safely do so.

Stall Warning!

The reason you practice stalls is to know how to recognize and handle one when it happens. Stalls really aren’t dangerous — unless they occur at an altitude lower than required for recovery from a stall. So practice, practice, practice those stalls.