Tuesday, September 6, 2011

PTS Maneuvers - Soft Field Take Off

I've got a new toy, an Nflightcam+ (which is really just a contour HD camera that is marketed to us pilot types because it has a frame rate that prevents prop blur.. its nice). I've been using the camera to record my practice sessions so I can see what I did right and wrong at different points.

This is a Soft Field take off I did this weekend.

This is one of my favorite maneuvers.. it makes me almost feel like a helicopter pilot skimming low over the ground like that. Its fun.

The point of the soft field takeoff is to get the plane off the ground as quick as possible while keeping as much of the plane's weight as possible off the nose gear (if you are flying a tricycle gear plane like me) and on the mains. Once in the air at a very low speed, you stay low to the ground and accelerate in ground effect up to a Vx or Vy and then climb out normally. This procedure, if you happened to be on an actual soft field, attempts to prevent the plane from nosing over and flipping over if the nose gear gets literally caught in a rut, or gopher hole, or deep mud, etc. I don't have access to an actual soft field, so I practice on the regular runway and pretend like its a soft field.

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