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Feature Article: Downwind Takeoff
At controlled airports the non-assertive pilot just goes where
he is told to go. There are occasions where for convenience or
necessity that you may need to make a downwind takeoff. If a downwind
takeoff is assigned or mandated by field conditions the pilot
has a few things to think about. The pilot must understand that
as little as a 10 knot tail wind will almost double the takeoff
distance. Increase takeoff distance 10% for each 2 knots of tail
wind. Ground speed will give all the sounds, feel, and sensations
of being much faster than usual. It is. I don't suggest any takeoffs
with more. Ground speed will be 20 knots higher at liftoff than
it would be for a 10 knot headwind. Rotation and climb speeds
are indicated airspeeds and remain the same. The climb will be
flatter and even at Vx we won't clear much of an FAA obstacle
until nearly twice the usual distance. With a tailwind, we will
need a higher ground speed to make the indicated rotation speed
required for lift off. Most pilots show a lack of knowledge as
to just how much a tail wind can affect takeoff performance. Any
tailwind with a component of 10 knots is going to be full of surprises.
Tailwind accidents occur with nearly the same frequency as
density altitude and low ceiling accidents. Tailwind accidents
happen half as often as crosswind accidents and twice as often
as carburetor ice accidents.
Last Modified September 25, ©2016 TAGE.COM