Timed-Out Takeoffs

I’ve not found any published data on the subject, but after years or reading accident reports I’ve formed the opinion that pilots making takeoffs that will be followed by a flight on an IFR flight plan may unconsciously add a little more “I gotta go come hell or high water” attitude than their normal, Type A, mission-completion orientation to the decision-making process.


Rotor Wash

Dealing with prop wash or jet blast is relatively straightforward: It is directed behind the aircraft. Wingtip vortices are a bit more complicated, but still they are easy enough to visualize. Helicopter rotor wash can almost be seen as a hybrid blend of the two. A recent accident at a Colorado airport implicated the rotor wash from a Blackhawk helicopter in the pattern with a Cirrus. It did not end well for the Cirrus, which dragged a wing tip and cartwheeled while in the landing flare. The drift of rotor wash from the recently departed Blackhawk is suspected as a contributing factor.


From The NTSB

The private pilot in a light, single-engine airplane was taxiing toward the runway. The pilot observed a four-engine military C-130 that appeared to be doing an engine run-up, about 300 feet to the left of his taxiway. Seeing the implications of this setup, the pilot asked ground control for further taxi instructions. The controller cleared him to proceed behind the C-130 at his discretion. The pilot continued to taxi behind the C-130 and the plane subsequently blew sideways and overturned.


Blowin’ In The Wind

photo 1 (5)photo 2 (2)photo 1 (4)photo 3 (4)When your plane is stationary, it’s a good time to consider Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion, regarding inertia. It essentially tells us a great deal of energy is required to convert your airplane’s gross weight at rest into your airplane’s gross weight in motion. In other words, it takes a lot of throttle to get things moving. When your advance the throttle(s)is the time to think about Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which states a force in one direction creates an equal force in the opposite direction.