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Instrument Takeoff (Part Two) Common Errors in Instrument Takeoffs

in Airplane Basic Flight Maneuvers - Analog Instrumentation

Common errors during the instrument takeoff include the following:

1. Failure to perform an adequate flight deck check before the takeoff. Pilots have attempted instrument takeoffs with inoperative airspeed indicators (pitot tube obstructed), gyros caged, controls locked, and numerous other oversights due to haste or carelessness.

2. Improper alignment on the runway. This may result from improper brake application, allowing the airplane to creep after alignment or from alignment with the nosewheel or tailwheel cocked. In any case, the result is a built-in directional control problem as the takeoff starts.

3. Improper application of power. Abrupt application of power complicates directional control. Add power with a smooth, uninterrupted motion.

4. Improper use of brakes. Incorrect seat or rudder pedal adjustment, with feet in an uncomfortable position, frequently cause inadvertent application of brakes and excessive heading changes.

5. Overcontrolling rudder pedals. This fault may be caused by late recognition of heading changes, tension on the controls, misinterpretation of the heading indicator (and correcting in the wrong direction), failure to appreciate changing effectiveness of rudder control as the aircraft accelerates, and other factors. If heading changes are observed and corrected instantly with small movement of the rudder pedals, swerving tendencies can be reduced.

6. Failure to maintain attitude after becoming airborne. If the pilot reacts to seat-of-the-pants sensations when the airplane lifts off, pitch control is guesswork. The pilot may either allow excessive pitch or apply excessive forward elevator pressure, depending on the reaction to trim changes.

7. Inadequate cross-check. Fixations are likely during trim changes, attitude changes, gear and flap retractions, and power changes. Once an instrument or a control input is applied, continue the cross-check and note the effect during the next cross-check sequence.

8. Inadequate interpretation of instruments. Failure to understand instrument indications immediately indicates that further study of the maneuver is necessary.


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