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Instrument Flying Handbook
Airplane Basic Flight Maneuvers Using an Electronic Flight Display
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

Constant Rate Climbs
Constant rate climbs are very similar to the constant airspeed
climbs in the way the entry is made. As power is added,
smoothly apply elevator pressure to raise the yellow chevron
to the desired pitch attitude that equates to tile desired vertical
speed rate. The primary instrument for pitch during the initial
portion of the maneuver is the ASI until the vertical speed
rate stabilizes and then the VSI tape becomes primary. The
ASI then becomes the primary instrument for power. If any
deviation from the desired vertical speed is noted, small
pitch changes will be required in order to achieve the desired
vertical speed. [Figure 5-65]

When making changes to compensate for deviations in
performance, pitch, and power, pilot inputs need to be
coordinated to maintain a stable flight attitude. For instance,
if the vertical speed is lower than desired hut the airspeed is
correct, an increase in pitch will momentarily increase the
vertical speed. However, the increased drag will quickly
start to degrade the airspeed if no increase in power is made.
A change to any one variable will mandate a coordinated
change in the other.

Conversely, if the airspeed is low and the pitch is high, a
reduction in the pitch attitude alone may solve the problem.
Lower the nose of the aircraft very slightly to see if a power
reduction is necessary. Being familiar with the pitch and
power settings for the aircraft aids in achieving precise
attitude instrument flying.

Leveling Off
Leveling off from a climb requires a reduction in the pitch
prior to reaching the desired altitude. If no change in pitch
is made until reaching the desired altitude, the momentum
of the aircraft causes the aircraft to continue past the desired
altitude throughout the transition to a level pitch attitude. The
amount of lead to be applied depends on the vertical speed
rate. A higher vertical speed requires a larger lead for level
off. A good rule of thumb to utilize is to lead the level off
by 10 percent of the vertical speed rate (1,000 fpm รท 10 =
100 feet lead).

To level off at the desired altitude, refer to the attitude display
and apply smooth forward elevator pressure toward the desired
level pitch attitude while monitoring the VSI and altimeter
tapes. The rates should start to slow and airspeed should
begin to increase. Maintain the climb power setting until the
airspeed approaches the desired cruise airspeed. Continue to
monitor the altimeter to maintain the desired altitude as the
airspeed increases, Prior to reaching the cruise airspeed, the
power must he reduced to avoid overshooting the desired
speed. The amount of lead-time that is required depends on
the speed at which the aircraft accelerates. Utilization of the
airspeed trend indicator can assist by showing how quickly
the aircraft will arrive at the desired speed.

Constant Rate Climb.
Figure 5-65. Constant Rate Climb.