WingsOfun.com BLOG #83: April 18, 2015
“Keeping the fun in flying!"
Pilot Safety Minute #83~ Spiraling Slipstream and P-Factor
Spiraling Slipstream and P-Factor
By TC FREEMAN
the scene: You roll out onto the runway for take-off. Being the
dutiful student you taxi to the literal end of the runway because
your instructor said there are three things worthless to a pilot, “he
runway behind you, altitude above you and fuel in the truck.”
Swinging the aircraft around you begin to smoothly add full power
feeling good about how gracefully you maneuvered from taxi to
Photo: NCDOT Aviation
Upon reaching the full-power setting, or “balls to the wall” as the old timers say, the aircraft proceeds left, away from the runway centerline. Thinking there was perhaps a rouge crosswind you check the windsock out of your peripheral, zero wind. The instructor calmly comments, “might want to kick in a little more right rudder.” Your right leg is telling you that there is already a ton of rudder applied but the aircraft doesn’t seem to be responding. You think about jamming the rudder pedal to the floor but hesitate fearing the aircraft might swing wildly back to the right. Fortunately, the airspeed indicator tells you it is ready for lift-off and the aircraft staggers into the air as you merge closer to the left side of the runway. The instructor says flatly, “We will talk more about that in debrief.”
TC Freemanhas been flying since he was a teenager and is now an aviation speaker and author. Being employed as an Aviation Safety Specialist for state government, he has a passion for spreading the thrill of flying just for the fun of it via the website, www.WingsOfun.com.
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