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Instrument Flying Handbook
Airplane Basic Flight Maneuvers Using Analog Instrumentation
Straight Climbs and Descents

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Instrument Flying


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Human Factors
Chapter 2. Aerodynamic Factors
Chapter 3. Flight Instruments
Chapter 4. Section I
Airplane Attitude Instrument
Using Analog Instrumentation
Chapter 4. Section II
Airplane Attitude Instrument
Using an Electronic Flight

Chapter 5. Section I
Airplane Basic
Flight Maneuvers
Using Analog Instrumentation
Chapter 5. Section II
Airplane Basic
Flight Maneuvers
Using an Electronic Flight

Chapter 6. Helicopter
Attitude Instrument Flying

Chapter 7. Navigation Systems
Chapter 8. The National
Airspace System

Chapter 9. The Air Traffic
Control System

Chapter 10. IFR Flight
Chapter 11. Emergency

Pitch and power corrections must be promptly and closely
coordinated. For example, if the vertical speed is correct, but
the airspeed is low, add power. As the power is increased,
the miniature aircraft must be lowered slightly to maintain
constant vertical speed. if the vertical speed is high and the
airspeed is low, lower the miniature aircraft slightly and note
the increase in airspeed to determine whether or not a power
change is also necessary. [Figure 5-28] Familiarity with the
approximate power settings helps to keep pitch and power
corrections at a minimum.

Leveling Off
To level off from a climb and maintain an altitude, ii is
necessary to start the level off before reaching the desired
altitude. The amount of lead vanes with rate of climb and
pilot technique. If the airplane is climbing at 1,000 fpm, it will
continue to climb at a decreasing rate throughout the transition
to level flight. An effective practice is to lead the altitude by
10 percent of the vertical speed shown (500 fpm/ 50-foot lead,
1,000 fpm/ 100-foot lead).

To level off at cruising airspeed, apply smooth, steady
forward-elevator pressure toward level flight attitude for the
speed desired. As the attitude indicator shows the pitch change,
(lie vertical speed needle will move slowly toward zero, the
altimeter needle will move more slowly, and the airspeed will
show acceleration, [Figure 5-29] When the altimeter, attitude

indicator, and VSI show level flight, constant changes in
pitch and torque control will have to be made as the airspeed
increases. As the airspeed approaches cruising speed, reduce
power to the cruise setting. The amount of lead depends upon
the rate of acceleration of the airplane.

To level off at climbing airspeed, lower the nose to the pitch
attitude appropriate to that airspeed in level flight. Power
is simultaneously reduced to the setting for that airspeed
as the pitch attitude is lowered, if power reduction is at a
rate proportionate to the pitch change, airspeed will remain

A descent can be made at a variety of airspeeds and attitudes
by reducing power, adding drag, and lowering the nose
to a predetermined attitude. The airspeed will eventually
stabilize at a constant value. Meanwhile, the only flight
instrument providing a positive attitude reference, is the
attitude indicator. Without the attitude indicator (such as
during a partial panel descent), the ASI, the altimeter, and
the VSI will show varying rates of change until the airplane
decelerates to a constant airspeed at a constant attitude.
During the transition, changes in control pressure and trim,
as well as cross-check and interpretation, must he accurate
to maintain positive control.

Airspeed Low and Vertical Speed High-Reduce Pitch.
Figure 5-28. Airspeed Low and Vertical Speed High-Reduce Pitch.