decrease in the wing's lift. The weight of the airplane now exceeds the force of lift so the
resulting flight path is downward, with the force of gravity providing the "a" portion of the
forward thrust. In effect, the airplane is actually going "downhill."
As in entering a climb, the forces acting on an airplane again go through definite changes when
transitioning from level cruising flight to a descent. When forward pressure is applied to the
elevator control or the airplane's pitch attitude is allowed to lower, the wing's angle of attack is
decreased, the lift is reduced, and the flight path starts downward. The initial reduction of the
lift, which starts the airplane downward, is momentary. When the flight path stabilizes, the angle
of attack and lift stabilize.
THE P.A.T. PRINCIPLE
For corrections and to execute many maneuvers you must:
Adjust the nose attitude
Retrim for the new attitude
The mechanics of the transitions will be performed in a specific sequence:
Although power and attitude change are almost simultaneous, lead with PCL movement. For
example, consider the transition to an enroute descent. Reduce power from normal cruise to the
descent power setting, scanning the nose attitude. As the power is retarded, lower the nose
towards a descending attitude. Finally, trim the aircraft.
The power may not be exactly the descent power setting, since it
was initially reduced using peripheral vision. Power is then reset
to exactly the descent power setting after completing P.A.T.
Remember - Power, Attitude, Trim; reset Power, reset Attitude,
FUNDAMENTAL FLIGHT CONCEPTS