15 Degree Pitch During Takeoff-How Should I Know?

Can someone tell me how can I know if the pitch is 15 degree during takeoff. I know many have said we can know the angle from the lines on the HUD. But I don’t seem to understand correctly. Also, when I engage the autopilot after takeoff, the aircraft pitches down suddenly. How do I avoid this from happening, so as to have a smooth takeoff?


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Usually it’s 12°.
Make sure to rotate smoothly when reaching Vr to avoid a tailstrike.

It’s a bug fixed relatively well on the 737s, 747s, the Embraers and the C750.
It helps engaging the VS after you manually kept the vertical speed constant.

Anyway, it has nothing to do with the takeoff, since the A/P is engaged much later. A smooth takeoff depends only on your manual skills.

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Don’t climb at 15 degrees. Too steep a climb and borderline realistic.

I do 10 usually


It is realistic.
Shortly after takeoff and executing a go around, heavy jetliners maintain 15° pitch until the acceleration height.

Vertical speed would still be about 2.500 ft/min due to the low airspeed.


Thanks for the info. Makes climbing to altitude in a 777 much easier

Remember that 15° pitch is only during the initial climb, once the airspeed increases adjust pitch to maintain max 4.000 ft/min.

During a recent flight on a 737-800, a Westjet pilot I was sitting next to told me we were climbing at 18 degrees during the initial climb.

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Because they produce less drag, better acceleration, better fuel consumption, and produces less noise, both flaps 1 and 5 are used by Airlines.

Flaps 1, 5 and 15 are normal takeoff flaps but 15 is rarely used. Flaps 10 is not a normal flap setting for takeoff. The flaps and takeoff thrust settings are all calculated by the load controllers based on weight, weather, runway length and obstacle clearance. One day you might use flaps 1 and the next on the same runway use flaps 5.

American Airlines and Westjet almost always use flaps 1 for take off.
Continental, United, SWAT, KAL and Alaska pretty much always use flaps 5 for takeoff.

Flaps 25 takeoffs are regularly used in Rio de Janeiro and common for Maui.

Well, if you were wondering, each tic on the hud is 5 degrees. The large tic in the center is 0 degrees which is directly in the middle. Pulling back on the yolk to go up would be + degrees, and pushing down would be - degrees. To attain a 15° assent rate, pull back on the device and align the middle bar with the Third tic going up. This should get you to a 15° climb :)

I wouldn’t be surprised, the 737s have quite a spring to their steps even with a big de-rate. WS typically operates with a more aggressive takeoff profile, especially out of smaller fields.