Airplane Taxi Procedures

Posted by Admin on

As you begin to taxi, move away with only enough power to initiate forward movement, and then retard the throttle to a point that lets you taxi at about a fast walk. I said a fast walk. I have ridden with some pilots who taxi faster than a cheetah can run. And it gets pretty interesting when they come to a corner. Taxi only as fast as you are comfortable with, and never attempt to turn a corner too fast in an aircraft—they can, and will, tip over. Wouldn’t you love to try to explain that at the next company party?

As you taxi, it is of vital importance that you position the controls to minimize the effects of wind as it relates to lift, directional control, and yaw tendency. The idea is to position the ailerons and elevator to generate the least amount of lift under the wings and tail during taxi, especially when the wind is from the rear. You want the wind to hold the wings and tail down rather than create any lifting action that could overturn you during this critical phase. Remember that aircraft are not at home until they become airborne. In fact, most aircraft are rather awkward on the ground.

During the run-up prior to takeoff, you turn your aircraft directly into the wind. This will do two things for you:
1. It will provide maximum cooling for your engine;
2. It will maximize the aerodynamic flow of air over your control surfaces. In fact, if you have a bit of a breeze, when you test your controls for freedom of movement, the aircraft will react just as it would if airborne. Pull back on the yoke and the nose should rise slightly, etc.

Lastly, any run-up should be completed with the nosewheel pointed straight. If you stop during a turn, leaving the nosewheel crooked, the thrust from running up the engine can cause the bearings to get out of round. Then, when you take off or land, the nosewheel can shimmy very badly. If you have flown a plane in which the nosewheel vibrates violently at some point, you can usually attribute the cause to the plane having been run up with the nosewheel in a cocked position.

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