Short and Soft Field Takeoffs and Landings

The ceiling at Caldwell was about 1900 feet today. I’m not allowed to solo unless it’s above 3000 feet. So we went on to the next unit and practiced some short and soft field takeoffs and landings.

A short field takeoff requires holding the brakes while powering up. Since we were doing touch and goes, we didn’t actually do the short field takeoff. We started with soft field takeoffs followed by short field landings (mixing it up a bit). Then we started doing soft field landings.

Soft Field Takeoffs

We kept the plane moving as we took the runway. The flaps were at 10 degrees and the elevator was fully back. As we took off, we leveled the plane to stay just above the runway (in ground effect) to pick up speed. Then, we climbed out normally.

Short Field Landings

The approach is a little different than normal. Instead of 65 knots, we used 60 knots. We aimed for the runway threshold and planned to stretch the glide to the numbers. The approach is a little bit steeper. I managed to drop it right on the numbers once.

Soft Field Landings

The approach for soft field landings is the same as the short field. This time, though, we planned to stretch the flare as much as possible and hold the nose wheel off the runway as long as possible. That prevents the nose wheel from digging into the grass (not that we had a real grass field).

And that’s all there is to it. I still have to work on landings, though. They can be smoother.

Plane: N272LP (C172)
From: CDW
To: CDW
Duration: 1.5