CONDITIONS: In an OH-58D helicopter with a hover power and before take-off checks complete.
STANDARDS: Appropriate common standards plus the following.
Initiate takeoff from an appropriate hover altitude or from the ground.
Maintain ground track alignment in the takeoff direction with minimum drift.
Maintain the aircraft in trim above 50 feet AGL.
Accelerate to desired airspeed 10 knots.
Maintain desired rate of climb 100 FPM.
Maintain takeoff power until reaching desired airspeed for mode of flight.
Crew actions. The P* will remain focused outside the aircraft during the maneuver. He is responsible for clearing the aircraft and obstacle avoidance. He will announce whether the takeoff is from the ground or from a hover and his intent to abort or alter the takeoff. He will consider snow, sand, and obstacle barrier clearance when he evaluates the power required versus power available.
The P will read the before-takeoff checks and announce when ready for takeoff. He will remain focused primarily outside the aircraft to assist in clearing the aircraft and to provide adequate warning of obstacles. The P will monitor power requirements and advise the P* if power limits are being approached.
Procedures. VMC takeoff from the ground. Select reference points to maintain ground track. With the cyclic in the neutral position, increase the collective until the aircraft becomes "light on the skids." Maintain heading with the pedals. Continue increasing the collective until the aircraft leaves the ground. As the aircraft leaves the ground, apply forward cyclic as required to accelerate through ETL at an altitude to clear terrain and obstacles. As the aircraft reaches ETL, adjust the cyclic to obtain the desired climb attitude (approximately 60 KIAS). Maintain ground track and keep the aircraft aligned with takeoff direction below 50 feet; then place the aircraft in trim above 50 feet AGL. Position the collective to establish the desired rate of climb (approximately 500 FPM).
If more than hover power is used for takeoff, maintain that power setting until approximately 10 knots prior to reaching climb airspeed. Then adjust power as required to establish the desired rate of climb and airspeed. Instruments should be cross‑checked by the P.
VMC takeoff from a hover. Select reference points to maintain ground track. Apply forward cyclic to accelerate the aircraft while maintaining altitude with the collective. Perform the rest of the maneuver the same as a takeoff from the ground.
Closely monitor the pedals if heading hold is used during take off.
NIGHT OR NVG CONSIDERATIONS:
If sufficient illumination or NVG resolution exists to view obstacles, the P* can accomplish the takeoff in the same way as he does a normal VMC takeoff during the day. Visual obstacles, such as shadows, should be treated the same as physical obstacles. If sufficient illumination or NVG resolution does not exist, he should perform an altitude-over-airspeed takeoff to ensure obstacle clearance. The P* may perform the takeoff from a hover or from the ground.
Reduced visual references during the takeoff and throughout the ascent at night may make it difficult to maintain the desired ground track. The crew should know the surface wind direction and velocity. This will assist the P* in establishing the crab angle required to maintain the desired ground track.
The crew must use proper scanning techniques to avoid spatial disorientation.
SNOW/SAND/DUST CONSIDERATIONS: As the aircraft leaves the surface, maintain heading with the pedals and a level attitude with the cyclic. As the aircraft clears the snow/sand/dust cloud and all barriers, accelerate to climb airspeed and trim the aircraft.
In some cases, applying collective to blow away loose snow/sand/dust from around the aircraft is beneficial before performing this maneuver.
Be prepared to transition to instruments if ground reference is lost.
At night, use of the search light may cause spatial disorientation while in blowing snow/sand/dust.
CONFINED AREA CONSIDERATIONS: Before departure, confirm the takeoff plan. Perform a hover power check, if required. Reposition the aircraft, if desired, to afford a shallower climb angle and minimize power requirements. During climb, adjust the cyclic and the collective as required to establish a constant angle to clear obstacles. All crewmembers must be focused primarily outside for obstacle avoidance.
MOUNTAIN/PINNACLE/RIDGELINE CONSIDERATIONS:Analyze winds, obstacles, and density altitude. Perform a hover power check, if required. Determine the best takeoff direction and path for conditions. After clearing any obstacles accelerate to the desired airspeed.
MUD/MUSKEG/TUNDRA CONSIDERATIONS: Perform one of the following takeoff techniques:
From dry muskeg/tundra areas. A vertical takeoff may be best in drier areas where the aircraft has not sunk into the muskeg/tundra or where obstacles prohibit motion. Smoothly increase the collective until the crew confirms that the wheels/skis are free. Adjust controls as necessary to perform a VMC takeoff.
From wet areas. In wet areas where the aircraft is likely to have sunk or is stuck in the mud/muskeg/tundra, the following technique may be best: With the cyclic in the neutral position, smoothly increase the collective. As hover power is approached, place the cyclic slightly forward of the neutral position and slowly move the pedals back and forth. Continue increasing the collective and "swim" the aircraft forward to break the suction of the wheels/skis. When free, adjust the controls as necessary to perform a VMC takeoff.
Before performing operations in a mud/muskeg/tundra environment, it is important to understand dynamic rollover characteristics.