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Grass Strip Operations
 Russell Still, ATP, CFI/CFII, Master CFI


Just about any pilot who hasn't done it wants to: land and takeoff from a grass strip. In this video I'll show you what you need to know about this fun type of flying. There's nothing terribly difficult about it, but you do need to understand the key factors.


One important skill you'll probably use when operating from a grass strip is short-soft technique. Particularly with takeoffs, this is a combination of short field procedures and soft field procedures.

Assuming a relatively firm surface, this graphic shows you how to use short-soft field technique on a grass runway. It starts out as a standard short field set up. Unlike a soft field takeoff, you don't keep moving. Use all available runway and then stop. Hold the brakes and apply full takeoff power. Then, release the brakes and transition into soft field mode.


Remember that even the most finely manicured grass runway is still rougher than pavement. In tricyle gear airplanes, it is important to keep weight off the nose wheel any time the airplane is moving. Even when taxiing. This will minimize the bumps your nose strut must absorb. This issue of holding back on the controls is not just for takeoff. Remember these four factors as mentioned in the video:

  • Airplane Capability
  • Pilot Capability
  • Runway Condition
  • Density Altitude



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