Normal Takeoff

Purpose: To transition from a hover to a normal climb.

Cyclic: Pitch Attitude/Airspeed; Ground Track
Collective: Altitude; Rate of Climb
Pedals Heading (Below 50 ft AGL); Trim (Above 50 ft AGL)


  • From a stabilized 3-5 foot hover headed into the wind.
  • Complete a pre-take off check
  1. Engine and rotor tachometers are in the green
  2. All operating gauges in the green
  3. Sufficient fuel for the operation (quantity and time)
  • Begin takeoff with a small amount of forward cyclic.  Simply start taxiing forward slowly.
  • Maintain the aircraft heading with pedals and altitude with collective.
  • As the helicopter accelerates through Transverse Flow Effect, a vibration will be felt.
  • Following the vibration, as the aircraft reach 16-24 KTS, effective translational lift (ETL) will occur.
  • At ETL, the aircraft will become noticeably more efficient in its climb and will have a tendency to pitch up.  The pilot should correct by applying forward cyclic to maintain altitude and continue ETL.
  • As airspeed increases, the streamlining of the fuselage and the increased efficiency of the tail rotor will cause a slight left yaw.  Correct by applying slight right pedal.
  • Continue to accelerate while maintaining ground track with the cyclic.  As aircraft reaches 40-45 KIAS, gently reduce the amount of forward pressure on the cyclic.  This will cause the nose of the aircraft to rise and climb.
  • Slowly and smoothly maintain hover power and continue to accelerate to 60 KIAS.
  • Ensure the aircraft is in trim.
  • Maintain an established climb at 60 KIA and hover power.

Note: During takeoff, the acceleration to climb speed and the corresponding altitude gain should be accomplished without entering the shaded areas of the Height vs. Velocity Diagram.

Crosswind Considerations:

During crosswind takeoffs, the aircraft is flown in a “slip” until an altitude of 50 feet AGL.  Cyclic adjustment may need to be made in the direction of the wind in order to maintain proper ground track.  Above 50 feet AGL, place the aircraft in trim using the pedals.

Private ACS Commercial PTS
Heading + 10 Degrees + 5 Degrees
RPM + 2% + 2%
Ground Track + 5 Feet + 3 Feet
Common Errors

  1. Improper use of controls.
  2. Failure to maintain a position over the reference point
  3. Failure to look in the direction of flight
Safety Considerations

  1. Positive exchange of controls
  2. Guard Controls in the event the student applies abrupt control inputs
  3. Ensure skids are clear of debris, tie-downs, and other obstructions
  4. Ensure tail and tail rotor is clear prior to applying any pedal input
  5. Ensure student looks in the direction of movement and area is clear from obstacles
  6. Be aware and plan immediate action in the event of a drastic increase or decrease of RPM