Why is the flight director set to 9 degrees pitch up, when pressing the takeoff / go-around (TOGA) button? In all the jets I fly, this is the case and I would be curious to know if other jets set their pitch attitude to a different value.


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curious to know if other jets set their pitch attitude to a different value.

747-100/200 aircraft didn't have a TOGA button to press, but at the two 747 carriers I flew for in the 1990s, the flight engineer filled out a data card for takeoff and later for landing that listed the pitch attitude target for takeoff and go-arounds, both for 3-engines and 4-engines. He/she looked up the values in tables in the QRH (Quick Reference Handbook), a copy of which each cockpit crewmember had. The card was placed against the instrument panel such that all three cockpit crew members could see it.

The target attitude depended not only upon the number of operating engines, but also engine type, aircraft weight, flap setting, and OAT. I just looked in my old QRH, and the lowest target I found was 9°, the highest was 19°. As I remember, typical actual operational values ran from 10° to 14°. Values higher than 14° were for very light weights and thus would be rarely used.

The 4-engine target pitch was generally 2° higher than the 3-engine pitch except that at very low weights, the difference was 3°.

Adherence to the target attitude was up to the flying pilot as he/she would be hand flying the airplane without flight director guidance.


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