A nonlinear closed-loop load relief scheme is proposed to reduce the aerodynamic load during the ascent phase of a launch vehicle. The proposed controller is designed based on a back-stepping and sliding-mode control scheme with aerodynamic angle feedback. A hybrid load-relief strategy using the load relief scheme around the period of the maximum dynamic pressure and the traditional minimum-drift scheme during the other period is proposed. An aerodynamic angle estimator is also developed using a Kalman filter for the feedback of the load relief control. Numerical simulation is conducted to demonstrate the performance of the proposed strategy as well as the potential benefits.