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Lesson 2h - Normal Takeoff

Lesson Objective

The student will learn the procedures and skills necessary for a takeoff on aerotow. This includes the initial rollout to the beginning of the climb-out.

Regulatory Requirement

  • Student Pilot: §61.87(i)(3)
  • Private Pilot Test Candidate: PTS Area of Operation IV(B)


  • Beginning of the takeoff roll
  • Glider airborne, towplane on ground
  • Initial towplane climbout

Video Example

Here is an illustration of a normal takeoff, a high-definition video running 1:26.  No two takeoffs will look exactly alike, but this will give you an idea of the view from the cockpit if you've never seen one: The Takeoff .

Completion Standards

When complete, the student will:

Before the glider takes off:

  • avoid dragging a wingtip on the ground
  • maintain directional yaw control on roll-out
  • prevent the glider from ballooning on takeoff
  • allow the glider to take off on its own

Before the towplane takes off, and after the glider is airborne:

  • maintains proper ground track by crabbing
  • maintain appropriate position above the ground while the towplane is still on the ground

After the towplane is airborne:

  • establish appropriate position on tow once the towplane is airborne.

Other factors to safe take-off

  • explain the relationship between temperature and takeoff performance
  • explain the hazards of ballooning.
  • explain the go/no-go point to continue the aerotow while the towplane is still on the take-off roll
  • explain the hazards of takeoff performance on high density altitude days.

Prerequisite Study


Next Lesson: 2i -- Normal Aerotow
Previous Lesson: 2g -- Visual Signals
Return to Training Syllabus