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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

To level off at climbing air speed, lower the nose to the
appropriate pitch attitude for level flight with a simultaneous
reduction in power to a setting that will maintain the desired
speed. With a coordinated reduction in pitch and power there
should be no change iii the airspeed.

Descending flight can be accomplished at various airspeeds
and pitch attitudes by reducing power, lowering the nose to
a pitch attitude lower than the level flight attitude, or adding
drag. Once any of these changes have been made, the airspeed
will eventually stabilize. During this transitional phase, the
only instrument that will display an accurate indication of
pitch is the attitude indicator. Without the use of the attitude
indicator (such as in. partial panel flight), the ASI tape, the VSI
tape, and the altimeter tape will show changing values until
the aircraft stabilizes at a constant airspeed and constant rate
of descent. The altimeter tape continues to show a descent
Hold pitch constant and allow the aircraft to stabilize. During
any change in attitude or airspeed, continuous application of
trim is required to eliminate any control pressures that need
to be applied to the control yoke. An increase in the scan rate
during the transition is important since changes are being
made to the aircraft flight path and speed. [Figure 5-66]

Descents can be accomplished with a constant rate, constant
airspeed or a combination. The following method can
accomplish any of these with or without an attitude indicator.
Reduce the power to allow the aircraft to decelerate to the
desired airspeed while maintaining straight-and-level flight.
As the aircraft approaches the desired airspeed, reduce the
power to a predetermined value. The airspeed continues to
decrease below the desired airspeed unless a simultaneous
reduction in pitch is performed. The primary instrument
for pitch is the ASI tape. If any deviation from the desired
speed is noted, make small pitch corrections by referencing
the attitude indicator and validate the changes made with the
airspeed tape. Utilize the airspeed trend indicator to judge if
the airspeed will he increasing and at what rate. Remember
to trim off any control pressures.

The entry procedure for a constant rate descent is the same
except the primary instrument for pitch is the VSI tape.
The primary instrument for power will be the ASI. When
performing a constant rate descent while maintaining
a specific airspeed, coordinated use of pitch and power
will he required. Any change in pitch directly affects the
airspeed. Conversely, any change in airspeed will have a
direct impact on vertical speed as long as the pitch is being
held constant.

reduction of power and descending increase in power and the initiation of leveling off
Figure 5-66. The top image illustrates a reduction of power and descending at 500 fpm to an altitude of 5,000 feet. The bottom image illustrates an increase in power and the initiation of leveling off.