Gulfstream GVII

Eddie sez:

There is a tendency for some (or most) pilots to rotate this airplane with a bias towards a right bank. Why is that? I think it is because (a) the stick is mounted with a slight tilt inboard, and (b) when most of us swivel our wrists back we tend to rotate toward the palm. The fix seems to pull back slightly as your swivel your wrist. It might not work for you but it seems to work for many.

Everything here is from the references shown below, with a few comments in an alternate color.

Last revision:


AFM Procedure

[AFM, §02-04-20




For static takeoffs, do not delay brake release after engines achieve MTO power.

The FLEX Thrust Mode is annotated by a magenta “FLEX” displayed above the N1 indication on the primary engine display.

  2. EXTERIOR LIGHTS . . . Set
  3. EICAS . . . Check
  4. Departure Runway . . . Pilot and copilot confirm


I think this has more to do with the stall angle of attack while in ground effect than it does with a tail strike. Older Gulfstreams seemed to have achieved their field performance numbers with very aggressive pitch rotation during takeoff. In the G550, for example, the AFM (§5.2) says "After reaching the target rotation speed, a column pull force of approximately 75 pounds should be applied in an aggressive manner (less than 1 second)." This technique cost the crew of G650 N652GD their lives. The G650 manual now says to rotate in "3 to 4 seconds." The GVII uses a technique closer to what I learned in larger airplanes: a gentler rotation.



Ground Setup


Photo: Performance Initialization, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 35
Click photo for a larger image

[G500 Ground and Flight Operations, pp. 34-35]

  • Programming of the FMS is required to take advantage of the features of the Symmetry flight deck that enable low pilot workload during the takeoff and departure phases of flight. This is accomplished using the touch-screen controller (TSC) phase of flight (POF) menus to rapidly access the FMS pages needed to support start-up, taxi and takeoff operations.

  • The Perf Init (short for performance initialization) tab allows the pilot to provide the FMS important preflight information required to compute expected performance and provide Autospeed values in flight. The FMS needs to know takeoff weight and center of gravity (c.g) to compute takeoff and climb performance. Weight at takeoff is computed by inputting the aircraft's operational empty weight, the number of passengers, to include the flight attendant, unless included in the operational weight, and additional cargo. The field is labeled BOW, for Basic Operating Weight, which normally doesn't include some removable items such as life rafts and dishes, but the total operational empty weight, including those items, should be the value used from the aircraft's current weight and balance.

  • The FMS adds the fuel onboard to get the total ramp weight. The pilot should check that the displayed FMS fuel, in the Fuel window, is equal to the gauge fuel. If not, select the Fuel window, then select "clear" and "enter" to reset the FMS fuel value to the value displayed by the gauge. The FMS uses the default taxi fuel value displayed, or the pilot input value, to determine the estimated fuel weight at takeoff and the gross takeoff weight of the aircraft.

  • The zero-fuel weight e.g. should be computed using PlaneBalance to provide the correct e.g. to the FMS, minus fuel. The FCC considers the fuel on board and computes the allowable pitch trim range for takeoff. This is displayed on the 1/6th flight controls display (green band) along with the green triangle signifying the correct digital pitch trim value.

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    Photo: Altitude and speed settings, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 36
    Click photo for a larger image

  • Cruise altitude is required to be entered to compute the Top of Climb (TOC) and flight plan times and fuel estimates. The Perf Init can't be confirmed (lower right button, currently grayed out) until these values-- weight, e.g., pax, cargo and cruise altitude-- are entered. Without a Perf lnit, the FMS can't compute flight plan estimates or takeoff V-Speeds.

  • Transition altitude and level are displayed here as well as the speed limit/altitude defaults for operation below 10,000 feet (250 KCAS). These are default values for operations in the United States and can be adjusted based on local CAA rules. There is another available menu, via the button on the lower left of the Perf Init tab, labeled Dep/APR Speed. This menu allows the pilot to view the default speeds for departure (200 KCAS within 2500 AGL and 4nm of the departure airport) or adjust them, as required (e.g. small radius turn departure requiring slower speeds on climb-out). These defaults or pilot input values only affect the guidance panel speed selections while in Auto-speeds. Manual speeds can still be employed at any time to override these values. The approach and go-around speeds will be discussed in a later section.

  • Also, accessible on the Perf lnit tab are the desired speed/Mach targets for climb, cruise and descent. Multiple default values are selectable by the pilot, as well as the ability to enter manual values. These will be further discussed in sections pertaining to those phases of flight. More information is also available in the Symmetry Flight Deck Pilot's Guide.

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    Photo: V-speeds calculation, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 37
    Click photo for a larger image

  • The Perf Takeoff tab is available to set the parameters to calculate V-Speeds for takeoff (with TOLD Installed), insert the departure runway, select a SID, or input obstacles to determine climb gradient requirements. If TOLD is available, V-Speeds can be calculated to populate the Guidance Panel (GP) speed window for Auto-speed operations. Additionally, takeoff distance required and climb profile data will also be generated.

  • For V-Speeds to automatically compute, and populate (with TOLD installed, the pilot must enter the surface winds and the departure runway. All the other values will automatically populate, with sensed or default values, but can be changed if the pilot desires (OAT, barometer setting, aircraft configuration for takeoff, runway contaminants, etc.) The computed TO Data V-Speeds will also be used to populate the speed bugs on the HUD airspeed indicator, on the PFD airspeed tape and the V-Speed Awareness Band in the HUD.

  • If TOLD data is not enabled or the pilot desires to manually input V-Speed information, the data can be entered under the Manual selection of the V-Speeds section on the TO Data page of the Perf Takeoff tab. This is shown on the next page, and more information is available in the Symmetry Flight Deck Pilot's Guide.

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    Photo: Manual V-speeds entry, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 3
    Click photo for a larger image

  • Manual V-Speed information is entered in the fields displayed in the graphic above (Perf Takeoff tab, V-Speeds, manual button selected). TOLD data values are available in the G-500 performance section of the AFM, based on flaps setting, airport pressure altitude, OAT and takeoff gross weight. The manually entered TO Data V-Speeds are used to populate the speed bugs in the HUD, on the PFD airspeed tape, the V-Speed Awareness Band and enable manual setting the V2 in the GP speed window (lowest value available in manual speed selection).

  • Manual speed bugs will remain on the PFD after takeoff, and V2 and Vse will remain on the HUD airspeed display, after takeoff, when manually entered V-Speeds are selected. These can both be cleared by selecting Auto V-Speeds after takeoff is complete. Manual speeds can also be cleared by selecting one of the V-Speed fields (e.g. Vl) and then selecting clear and then enter. The HUD displayed Vl and VR will automatically disappear on takeoff, 2 knots after passing V1 and VR, respectively. If TOLD is installed, and auto V-Speeds are used, V-Speeds will disappear after the aircraft achieves greater than 1500 feet AGL after takeoff. The V-Speed Awareness band on the HUD will disappear after the aircraft exits the takeoff mode (TO is removed from the vertical mode - right FMA window).



Photo: Normal takeoff, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 34
Click photo for a larger image

[iFlightDECK, p. 10]

  • PM: Set Acceleration Altitude (1,500 feet AAL or higher) on TSC under Flight Guidance.

  • PF: Check that Acceleration Altitude appears as DA on PFD.

  • When takeoff clearance is received and aircraft is aligned with runway centerline, both pilots confirm runway identification markings match runway shown on TSC Flight Plan page then PF holds brakes and sets power to mid-range, engages autothrottles and releases brakes, or releases brakes and promptly sets takeoff power, maintains hand on thrust levers until V1.

  • PF uses rudder pedal steering to maintain runway centerline.

  • At 60 knots with takeoff N1 set, PM: "Power Set" or if N1 doesn't match target N1, "N1 low, increase power." PF: "Check"

  • At 80 knots, PM: "80 knots," PF: "check"

  • At V1, PM: "V1," PF removes hand from power levers.

  • At VR, PM: "Rotate," PF smoothly rotates to initial pitch attitude of 10° in 3-4 seconds, place FPM over flight director.

  • When either pilot sees vertical speed and altimeter tape climbing: "Positive rate," PF: "Gear up," PM moves gear handle up.

  • At 400 feet AAL, PF: "Flaps up," PM: moves flap handle up. PF: calls for appropriate vertical mode, PM sets.

Abort Criteria

The filtered CAS system means you will not get nuisance CAS messages after 80 knots and prior to 400 feet AGL. You will not get a Fire CAS, for example, until 400 feet AGL. You will, however, get an "Engine Fail" just prior to V1. Unlike previous aircraft, in the G500 if you get a double or triple chime during the takeoff roll prior to V1, you can assume it is worthy of an abort.

Takeoff Sequence

[G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 39]


    Photo: Normal exocentric PFD takeoff depiction, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 39
    Click photo for a larger image

  • G-500 takeoffs are normally accomplished using the Auto-Throttles commanded to the takeoff mode ("TO" on the center block of the Flight Mode Annunciator (FMA)), takeoff mode vertical guidance ("TO" on right side of the FMA), and either HDG or LNAV (left side of the FMA) for the lateral guidance mode.

  • The takeoff mode lateral and vertical guidance need to be armed on the FMA by depressing the TO/GA buttons on either side of the throttles. This action will initially put the aircraft into the roll (ROL) lateral guidance mode and put the aircraft into the takeoff vertical guidance mode (TO). Subsequent selection of either HDG or LNAV will update the lateral guidance mode to the respective setting.

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    Photo: Normal egocentric PFD takeoff depiction, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 40
    Click photo for a larger image

  • The Auto-Throttle, or performance, mode is displayed in the center box of the FMA. Generally, the performance mode will auto-arm to the takeoff mode (TO) once the engines are started and a speed target is set. Additional conditions can affect the arming of the Auto-Throttles (see list under the Normal Takeoff Procedure.)

  • The takeoff modes (lateral, performance, vertical) are designed to provide flight director and Auto-Throttle cues that will enable the pilot (or autopilot) to precisely fly a prescribed flight path and speed during the takeoff phase of flight.

  • Depressing the TO/GA buttons to arm the lateral and vertical modes on the FMA also sets the flight path vector and flight director into the takeoff mode. The flight director initially displays a 1° climb and the flight path vector (FPV) is depressed 9°. This setup aids the pilot in rotation and capture of the flight director during takeoff.

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    Photo: Takeoff auto-throttles engaged / airspeed alive, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 41
    Click photo for a larger image

  • In the graphic above, the Auto-Throttles have been engaged using either of the A/T engage/disengage switches on the back of the throttles. The armed TO (white on the left side of the center FMA) moves to the active location (green TO on the right side of the center FMA). All is displayed as active (green) in the upper left-hand corner of the PFD, just below the FMA.

  • Auto-Throttles will engage, if Auto-Throttles are armed (white TO on the left side of the center FMA), when the thrust resolver angles (TRAs) are greater than 19° and the engine N1s are within 10% of each other. The total TRA range for each thrust lever is from 2°-37°. Arming the Auto-Throttles requires initial placement of the thrust levers at a position at least past midrange toward the vertical position.

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    Photo: Takeoff HOLD mode depiction, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 42
    Click photo for a larger image

  • The Auto-Throttle hold mode, indicated by the green "HOLD'' in the center FMA block, indicates Auto-Throttle hold mode is engaged. HOLD appears automatically during takeoff and replaces the green TO mode indication when the Auto-Throttles are engaged and airspeed accelerates above 60 knots. During HOLD mode, the Auto-Throttle drive motors are de-energized and the crew can easily move thrust levers if desired. When takeoffs are executed with manually controlled throttles, HOLD mode won't be invoked since the Auto-Throttles are not engaged.

  • HOLD mode is automatically disengaged at 400 feet AGL. If a new vertical mode has not been selected by 400 feet AGL, the engaged performance mode returns to green TO. Auto-Throttle Hold Mode prevents an unintended thrust reduction command by the Auto-Throttles during the critical phase of takeoff between 60 knots and 400 feet AGL.

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    Photo: HUD takeoff mode, V-speeds, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 43
    Click photo for a larger image

  • The pilot's HUD also mirrors the PFD in the takeoff mode, placing the FPV at -9° and the flight director displayed initially at +1 ° (climb). The use of this feature is the same as on the PFD and is discussed on the following page.

  • The HUD has two additional features not found on the PFD. The first is the presence of the takeoff V-Speeds on the airspeed dial. The airspeed dial is displayed in the upper left portion of the HUD, with a digital airspeed value displayed in the center. The airspeed dial has 10 equal segments marked around the circumference. The 12 o'clock position is O knots, with each subsequent tic mark an additional 10 knots. After one rotation of the indicator needle, the airspeed will be at 100 knots. Each complete subsequent rotation adds another 100 knots.

  • The takeoff V-Speeds, V1, VR, V2 are displayed along the periphery of the circle at their respective locations, including wrap-around. For example, the V1 label on the airspeed dial above, between the first and second tic marks, corresponds to a value of 113 knots (with one wrap-around of the airspeed needle to arrive at that value). VR is displayed on the second tic mark and corresponds to a value of 120 knots. V2 is just shy of the fourth tic mark (with one wrap-around) and is equal to 138 knots. The current displayed airspeed is at the fourth tic mark and equal to 40 KCAS, which is also displayed digitally in the center of the airspeed dial. A digital representation of V2 (138 knots) is displayed at 12 o'clock above the airspeed dial.

  • The other feature on the HUD is the V-Speed Awareness Band, which displays V1, VR and V2 on a staple appearing just below the depressed FPV. This is a conformal display that moves upward as the aircraft accelerates and indicates the labeled V-Speed as the tic on the staple intersects the left wing of the FPV. This is useful in cueing the pilot on when to begin rotation.

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    Photo: Aircraft at rotation speed, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 44
    Click photo for a larger image

  • V-Speeds are displayed in this view, along the inside axis of the airspeed tape. These V1, VR and V2 bugs are a function on the TOLD generated Auto-speeds or pilot entered manual V-Speeds.

  • The FPV is re-purposed during the takeoff roll to provide a rotation anticipation cue. This is accomplished by temporarily re-purposing the FPV to display pitch (vice flight path) during the takeoff roll and rotation. The FPV is depressed 8° from the pitch reference (boresight), yielding a 10° difference between it and the initial FD cue. The depressed FPV and the boresight symbol (normal pitch reference) move in concert during rotation, until weight-off-wheels, when the FPV begins to accurately represent the aircraft velocity vector. This use of the FPV as a pitch reference during rotation makes capturing the flight director much easier, avoiding overshoots. Using the boresight to capture the initial pitch target of 10° is more challenging, since the 10° pitch line is of the above top of the PFD display at the beginning of rotation. Also using the boresight to set the initial target takes the pilot's eyes off the flight director, making capture more difficult.

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    Photo: Rotation complete, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 45
    Click photo for a larger image

  • This image shows the rotation complete and the pilot tracking the flight director with the FPV. The rotation is specified at a rate to place the pitch boresight on the 10° pitch reference in 4 seconds. This is best accomplished using the depressed FPV and effecting the rotation to place the FPV on the flight director in 4 seconds (a net 10° pitch change). This rotation rate provides for a smooth rotation and capture of the flight director, and the 10° pitch reference. It avoids excessive pitch rate which would be undesirable in an engine failure after V1 takeoff.

  • Notice that with all engines operating the aircraft is already past V2 prior to weight-off-wheels and accelerating rapidly. Also, notice the appearance of the red band of the LSA system (top of band denotes NAOA of 0.97, PLI intercept and stick shaker) due to the rapid increase in NAOA during the rotation. Pilot has direct control over the elevator when on the ground, once above 10 feet AGL, the aircraft transitions to the NzU control law and AoA limiting protection is provided.

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    Photo: Takeoff Flight Director guidance, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 46
    Click photo for a larger image

  • The flight director will command up to 12° flight path angle (maximum) to maintain V2. With all engines operating (AEO), a 12° flight path angle will normally be the initial commanded angle. Aircraft pitch will be higher (16-17 degrees), depending on the rate of acceleration. Under normal conditions the aircraft will continue to accelerate above V2, while at the 12° flight path angle commanded by the flight director. The rate of acceleration is very manageable, and minimizes the impact of a very steep deck angle that would occur while attempting to maintain V2.

  • Under one engine inoperative (OEI) conditions, or performance limited takeoffs (high/hot/heavyweight), the flight director will adjust the flight path angle target down from 12° to maintain a minimum airspeed of V2. The flight director will also lower the flight path angle when the speed target changes and there is insufficient acceleration.

  • The HUD displayed V-Speed awareness band can assist the pilot in maintaining V2 to V2+ 10, during OEI operations. By placing the flight path vector inside the V-Speed "staple", the aircraft flight path angle will be at the right value to hold V2 to V2+10. The flight director will command no lower than 0° flight path angle during AEO and OEI operations, while attempting to maintain V2.

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    Photo: Takeoff new vertical mode, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 46
    Click photo for a larger image

  • After a positive rate of climb is established in either the AEO or OEI case, the PF commands gear retraction. Flaps are retracted, for the AEO case, when above 400 feet AGL. Movement of the flaps to the up position will release the GP speed window from maintaining V2 to V2+10, when using Auto-speeds, to the airspeed value set in the Departure section of the Dep/APR Speeds page - normally 200 KCAS within 2500 feet and 4 nm of the airport. Even though the flaps are retracted, the aircraft will remain in the TO vertical mode (12° FPA) until a vertical mode change occurs.

  • After takeoff, the pilots will select a new vertical mode, such as flight level change (FLCH). Selection of a new vertical mode will change the flight director from the 12° flight path angle (TO mode, AEO) command to a flight director cue scheduled to maintain the speed indicated by the GP speed window. This mode change will also change the FADEC control of the engine thrust value from TOGA thrust to CLIMB thrust.

  • The takeoff (TO) mode was designed to minimize the workload on the pilot during departure. The rate of climb and rate of acceleration are manageable and don't require rapid changes to the speed or vertical modes of the flight director to achieve acceptable results.

  • If the pilot stays in TO mode after takeoff, the aircraft will continue to accelerate at a comfortable rate, regardless of the speed displayed in the speed window on the GP, with the thrust setting at TOGA. The flight director will remain in TO mode, and the flight path will continue at 12° flight path angle, until a vertical mode change is commanded by the pilot (FLCH, VNAV, FPA or VS) or ASEL capture of the altitude set in the GP pre-selector occurs (automatic change of vertical mode).

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    Photo: Autothrottle auto-engage inhibit, G500 Ground and Flight Operations, p. 48
    Click photo for a larger image

  • If Auto-Throttles are not desired during normal flight operations, the pilot should select the AT Auto-Engage inhibit button, shown above on the Systems menu/AT Control Tab. Selecting inhibit turns the button green and prevents the Auto-Throttles from auto-engaging during vertical mode changes (e.g. Auto-Throttles would normally come on after a manual throttle takeoff when the flight guidance enters ASEL (vertical mode change) of if the pilot selected FLCH after takeoff. Inhibiting the auto-engage feature still allows the Auto-Throttles to auto-engage for speed protection triggers.

FMS Speed Target Mode Changes in and out of Takeoff, Departure, and Engine Out Modes

[G500 Ground and Flight Operations, pp. 49 - 51]

  1. The FMS Speed Target Mode (Auto-speeds) will go to the takeoff speed mode when both of the following conditions are satisfied:

    1. The takeoff flight director mode (TO in the vertical FMA) is set via selection of the TO/GA switches on the throttles.

    2. Manual V-Speeds have been loaded in ➔ Perf Takeoff, TO Data, Manual V-Speeds windows, or wind and runway information have been entered to enable TOLD based calculation of Auto V-Speeds.

  2. The takeoff speed targets will be:

    1. Manually entered V2 for manual V-Speeds, once the pilot selects MAN Speed on the GP and dials the speed select knob down until it stops at V2.

    2. The Auto V-Speed calculated V2, if TOLD is loaded and the pilot inputs the remaining items (wind, runway, etc.) required to calculate Auto V-Speeds.

      1. As the aircraft accelerates through V2, the speed target will increase to match the aircraft speed up to V2+10. With both engines operating the speed target will finally latch at V2+10.

      2. At 1500 feet above airport elevation, the Auto V-Speeds are removed and the speed target will update to the departure speed (200 KCAS) and/or climb speed (initially 250 KCAS).

      3. If an engine fails prior to V2, the speed target will latch at V2 (Engine Out Takeoff speed target).

      4. If an engine fails between V2 to V2+10, then the speed target will latch at the speed in the window when the engine failure occurs (Engine Out Takeoff speed target).

      5. If an engine fails after V2+10, then the speed target will latch at V2+10 (Engine Out Takeoff speed target).


    In either manual or auto V-Speeds, the aircraft won't always honor the speed target while it's in the TO vertical mode. It will fly at a maximum of a 12° flight path angle and accelerate, or fly a lower angle, if required, to maintain a minimum speed of the current speed target.

  3. The takeoff speed targets remain active (Auto-speeds) until either:

    1. The TO flight director (vertical FMA) is exited via vertical mode change, to include ASEL, FLCH, VS/FPA, etc, and the departure volume speed becomes the new target.

    2. Flap lever is moved to retract the flaps, and the departure volume speed becomes the new target.

    3. The aircraft reaches 1500 feet above airport elevation, the V-Speeds clear and the departure volume speed (200 KCAS) becomes the new speed target.

  4. The takeoff speed targets remain active (MAN speed) until either:

    1. The MAN speed button is pushed and Auto-speeds populate the window. In this case the possible options (without TOLD) are the departure speed (200 KCAS within 4nm and below 2500 feet AGL), flap limit speed (if the flaps are still down), or the climb speed (250 KCAS below 10,000 feet).

    2. Pushing the TO/GA buttons on the throttles will put the FMS Speed window into Auto-speeds.


    If the vertical mode is changed and the takeoff V2 speed is still the speed target (MAN speed), the aircraft will attempt to hold the target speed in the new climb mode.

  5. Once in the departure mode, the departure speed target remains active until:

    1. The aircraft exits the departure volume (2500 feet above airport elevation or 4nm from the airport). Climb speeds will then become the speed target.

  6. The Engine Out takeoff speed target will remain active until either:

    1. The aircraft reaches 1500 feet, with Auto-speeds, V-Speeds are removed and the aircraft enters EO departure -which is the departure volume speed (e.g. 200 KCAS).

    2. The pilot pushes the MAN speed button and Auto-speeds populate the window. In this case the possible options (without TOLD) are the departure speed (200 KCAS within 4nm and below 2500 feet AGL), flap limit speed (if the flaps are still down), or the climb speed (250 KCAS below 10,000 feet).

    3. The engine failure no longer exists below 1500 feet (auto-relight).

Gulfstream GVII-G500 Airplane Flight Manual, Revision 4, August 29, 2019

Gulfstream GVII-G500 Ground and Flight Operations, undated, release as part of GAC-AC-GVII-G500-OM-002, February 20, 2019

Gulfstream GVII-G500 Production Aircraft Systems, Revision 1, Oct 1, 2018

Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck for the G500 Aircraft Pilot's Guide, Honeywell Pub. No. D201110000019--003a, October 29/18