Four tips for better takeoffs

Chris Findley, a flight instructor in the Nashville area and the founder of, has written an interesting post on the Let’s Go Flying blog containing four tips for better takeoffs. Chris began by writing that takeoffs are often neglected as a maneuver and are often treated simply as a mechanical action without much thought (unless of course there is a crosswind). He then added that takeoffs have become very “Cro-Magnon” as in “Come plane. Now we fly, ugh ugh…” rather than the gentle finesse associated with landings. 

However, Chris then gave the following four tips (along with plenty of further details for each tip) as to how you can improve your takeoffs:

1.) Mentally begin the takeoff prior to moving onto the runway and be aware of the takeoff environment. 

2.) Line up on the centerline, insure the nose wheel is straight and the ailerons properly deflected to account for the wind.  Apply full power steadily and smoothly.

3.) Easy on the rudder/nosewheel.

4.) Use control deflection to help the airplane do what it wants to do.

Chris concluded his post by reiterating that takeoffs should not be overlooked and as a maneuver as they require practice in order to be done both smoothly and well. He also included a link to the following video about takeoffs shot in a Cessna 172 that is well worth watching.

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