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Vx and Vy - almost completely useless?

This new article from John Deakin is worth a read.

I do agree with him – with the obvious exception of an obstacle clearance issue near the runway.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

He’s so right about this Vr stuff that one tends to hear. CFIs often are ATPLs and try to apply their jet procedures. The airplane just starts to fly at some point without the need to “rotate” and Vx and Vy fry the engine in most airplanes anyway. In a C172 with its massive cooling air flow (read: poor aerodynamics) and a relatively weak engine, Vx is fine but if I do Vx in my airplane, apart from frying the engine, I will have a very unpleasant nose up attitude with all the consequences Deakin describes.

In the SR22, which has a lot of power in initial climb, I have always done it “his” way, i.e. after liftoff, I normally “split up” the excess thrust such as to accelerate quickly and climb moderately until say 125 KIAS is reached, then increase the pitch angle in order to maintain those 125 knots. Yes, he’s right, passengers love that. They hate high pitch angles right after liftoff.

The only thing that one might have to add to the equation (especially in Europe) is noise. The method used will have a big effect on the altitude reached at the airfield boundary and thus an enourmous effect on noise levels. Therefore, in certain conditions, one might consider staying closer to Vy (or, theoretically, even Vx.)

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

passengers love that. They hate high pitch angles right after liftoff.

In my plane, the pilot is no different. ( :blush: )

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

He’s so right about this Vr stuff that one tends to hear. CFIs often are ATPLs and try to apply their jet procedures.

Oh, yes… one of the pet peeves of mine…

I used to be based at an airfield with a 1000-metre hard runway. I always cringed when I saw the Cessna 150s used for PPL training by the local FTO taking off with 10 degrees of flaps (always!). “Simulating” a more complex aircraft and having the students “get used to” the more advanced aircraft right from the start…

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

“Simulating” a more complex aircraft and having the students “get used to” the more advanced aircraft right from the start…

Why do you bang your head against the wall because of that? I instruct in an ATPL school. We get less than 200 hours (a lot of which are flown solo, so even less instructing time) to train pedestrians to become Airbus/Boeing right seaters. 95 percent of these guys will never in their whole life fly a piston single again after they land their airline job. So please, what’s wrong in training them what they pay to be trained for? And by the way: In a proper flying school, an individual instructor does not have much freedom regarding the way he instructs. There is a training syllabus together with standardisation (typically one FI standardisation meeting every three months) to follow. And if the school wants 10 degrees of flaps set on takeoff, then takeoffs are done with ten degrees of flap. As simple as that. Of course “abnormal” procedures, in this case it would be a flapless takeoff, are taught as well.

Last Edited by what_next at 21 Mar 18:03
EDDS - Stuttgart

I knew you would chime in.

It looks like we won’t agree on that. I do understand that your job is to create future airline pilots. No objections to that. But still, every aircraft and every aircraft class has its own way it has to operated. One can’t use a 150 to simulate the procedures of another aircraft type. A 150 is not an airlines procedures trainer but an aircraft of its own.
If these young people cannot understand this in the course of 200 flying hours (I am sure they can) I don’t have much trust in flying with them.

In fact, I was not referring to single instructors but the ops handbooks of certain FTOs…

Last Edited by boscomantico at 21 Mar 18:09
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

The ATPL schools (I think Peter calls them the “sausage factory”) are a world of its own. I did my PPL/IR at one (what next’s main competitor FTO) and I remember a conversation I had after the IR course with the group of sausage-in-production pilots — I was the only private pilot. They all shared the opinion that one should never fly IFR alone, it’s not safe and also flying in IMC with only one engine is too dangerous.

Those guys will know how to open the procedure manual for Airbus but they will not land it in the Hudson river. Luckily the latter is not required very often so we do just fine with the way these FTOs work.

Maybe the new IR will attract a larger number of private pilots and that will have an impact on the training standards.

PS: At my FTO only one CFI insisted on that C172-takeoff-with-10°-flaps-on-3000m-runway [nonsense|curiosity].

If these young people cannot understand this in the course of 200 flying hours…

Many years ago, I had your kind of optimism. But after instructing for 20 years, I am cured. Obviously, one must not be among the brightest candles on the cake to become an airline pilot any longer. Right now, our FTO is contemplating the purchase of a third Pa44. There’s a very nice one on offer, but it has a Garmin glass cockpit fitted. So probably we won’t get that one for fear that a majority of our students will overwhelmed by the transition from conventional to glass cockpit halfway through their training… (but it is really so: Our two current Pa44 have a slightly different cockpit layout, especially the RPM and Manifold pressure indicators are in different positions. For many students, and by the time they fly multi-engine, they are quite advanced, this is a major problem!)

And BTW: “My” flying school (still) does the takeoffs with piston singles and twins flapless

EDDS - Stuttgart

The more I learn about airline pilots (and all that goes in that system) the less inclined I am to step into a tubeliner.

EDDS, Germany
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