Constant Airspeed Climbs and Descents
OPTIMUM AOA DESCENT
Once established in level flight with desired configuration at optimum AOA, extend speed brakes to begin
descent. Apply forward stick pressure and/or trim to counter nose pitch and influence the nose down
toward desired VSI. Initially, this will cause a fast indication. As stick pressure subsides, retrim noseup
for optimum AOA and readjust power to maintain desired VSI. Coordinated power and attitude
adjustments will be required throughout the descent. Use a technique of anticipating power corrections to
bracket the AOA to optimum.
When the AOA and VSI values are moving in opposite directions, more abrupt and larger power
corrections are necessary. For example, trade increasing descent rate (VSI caret moving down) and
decreasing AOA by adjusting the nose up. Lead the counter correction by reducing the power when the
AOA is breaking before it decreases through optimum to fast. All pitot static instruments have a certain
lag time. You must anticipate the recorrection before the slow becomes a fast. Add power back on to
maintain optimum and fine tune as necessary. The goal here is to lead power and coordinated attitude
adjustments so that the corrections are on before the AOA reaches its peak or valley. This technique
should continually decrease the amplitude of VSI and AOA fluctuation.
When descent rate is decreasing and AOA decreasing, make a large power reduction along with forward
stick pressure to influence the nose and descent rate back down. Add power before AOA peaks at
optimum. Reduce power and apply coordinated back stick to stabilize at optimum AOA.
When AOA and VSI values are moving in the same direction, energy can be traded with nose movement
and a coordinated power adjustment as necessary. For example, trade increasing descent rate (VSI caret
moving down) and decreasing AOA by adjusting the nose up. As descent rate decreases and AOA slows
to optimum, adjust power as necessary to maintain desired VSI. Make this trade-off in a timely, controlled
manner and avoid abrupt nose movements that rapidly change VSI.
MISSED APPROACH CLIMB OUT AND LEVEL OFF
Simultaneously advance throttle to MRT, retract speed brakes and rotate at optimum AOA, to
approximately 10-12 degrees noseup. Maintain this ADI display attitude through the transition. Rate of
climb should increase toward 2,000 fpm. With positive rates on the VSI and altitude display, call for the
gear (minimum of 100 ft AGL). Backstick force will be required to maintain attitude and climb as the gear
comes up. At a minimum of 300 ft AGL, with 125 KIAS minimum indicated, the flaps may be called for
and moved from FULL to 1/2. With 140 KIAS minimum, the flaps may be called for and raised from FULL
or 1/2 to UP (do not raise flaps in a turn). Again, backstick will be required to maintain attitude and
prevent rapid acceleration through 200 KIAS. Report aircraft clean before 200 KIAS. As aircraft
accelerates toward climb airspeed (200 KIAS GCA box, 250 KIAS otherwise), increase backstick to
maintain this airspeed.
Once established in a clean MRT climbout (a 200 KIAS MRT clean climbout will stabilize at approximately
4,000 fpm and 20 degrees nose up; a 250 KIAS MRT clean climbout will stabilize at approximately 6,000
plus fpm and 18 degrees noseup), lead level off by 1,000 ft, smoothly reducing power for desired airspeed
and allowing the nose to drop.
NOTE: Extending boards without adding power will give approximately 500 fpm descent at optimum AOA.
The most important element in performing a missed approach is to arrest your rate of descent and initiate
a climb as soon as possible. The procedure for executing a missed approach is as follows:
Throttle: MRT if required
Speed brakes: Retract
Pitch: Maintain optimum AOA and rotate to approximately 10 to 12 degrees noseup (do not
exceed optimum AOA)