Constant Airspeed Climbs and Descents
To initiate a climb from a cruise airspeed lower than desired climb airspeed, advance power to MRT while
trimming the nose down as required to maintain level flight. When the airspeed approaches a 5-kt lead
point, smoothly raise the nose to maintain climb airspeed (250 KIAS less than 10,000 ft MSL, 300 KIAS/
0.72 IMN above). You are actually accomplishing two separate maneuvers in this instance: a level speed
change followed by a constant airspeed climb. Your scan needs to change with the maneuver being
performed. Be sure that your scan includes the ADI display for pitch, bank, and heading control. Use the
ADI display VSI and altitude trend wiper blade for pitch performance during the acceleration to desired
airspeed. During the climb, be sure that you scan the ADI display for pitch and bank control and the ADI
display airspeed trend wiper blade for airspeed performance.
CONSTANT AIRSPEED DESCENT
The constant airspeed descent mirrors the constant airspeed climb, with the power being reduced, instead
of advanced, and pitch decreased as required to maintain cruise airspeed. As with constant airspeed
climbs, you will maintain airspeed by adjusting pitch, and you should hold a constant heading throughout
the maneuver. Use the same scan as for the climb.
When beginning this maneuver from cruise airspeed, reduce power to idle and smoothly establish a
nosedown attitude of 3-6 degrees to maintain 250 KIAS. As in a constant airspeed climb, control airspeed
by making small pitch changes. Use a lead point of 10 percent of the VSI for exiting the maneuver; when
you reach the lead point, increase power to the cruise setting and establish a pitch attitude that results in
level flight. Retrim the aircraft at the end of the maneuver.
Constant airspeed descentnormal cruise entry and exit:
Throttle: Reduce to idle
Pitch: 3-6 degrees nosedown to maintain 250 KIAS
Level off: Lead by 10 percent of VSI
Throttle: Increase to cruise power (approximately 1,200 pph at 15,000 ft MSL)
Pitch: Level flight attitude
Trim: Adjust for level flight
If you are at an airspeed of less than 250 KIAS, begin the constant airspeed descent by smoothly
decreasing the nose attitude 3-6 degrees nose-low, allowing the airspeed to approach 250 KIAS (5-kt
lead) and then reducing the power to idle and continuing the descent in the normal manner.
CONSTANT RATE CLIMBS AND DESCENTS
Serving as the foundation of the more complex S-pattern maneuvers, constant rate climbs and descents
are somewhat more difficult than the constant airspeed climbs and descents because you must maintain a
given airspeed, heading, and a specific rate of climb or descent.
In constant rate climbs and descents, control the rate of climb with power while simultaneously
maintaining airspeed by adjusting nose attitude. A common mistake in these maneuvers is to attempt to
control airspeed with power and climb rate with pitch. Also, pitch and power are interrelated and an
adjustment to either one will affect the other, so you will have to coordinate an adjustment to one with an
adjustment to the other. For example, if you advance power to increase your climb rate without
simultaneously increasing pitch enough, your climb rate will increase and your airspeed will tend to
Your primary scan for these maneuvers must include the ADI display for pitch, bank, heading control,
climb or descent rate, and airspeed. VSI indications are instantaneous so avoid making abrupt
corrections or you will find yourself chasing it.