Exercises 7 and 8 – Climbing and Descending

This exercise you may have had the student conduct the take-off and fly you to the practice area. You may begin to ask questions about the area you are flying over if it is familiar to the student.



  • If necessary conduct cockpit checks. Conduct a lookout.
  • AAPT – Attitude, Airspeed, Power and Trim
    • Try not to add power until you have reached your desired airspeed range
  • Control Yaw and Trim
  • Point out where the horizon is relative to the nose. The attitude of the airplane determines the airspeed in most climbs.
  • Lower the nose every 500ft to lookout for traffic, 200-300 ft in haze

Level Off

  • Begin levelling off at 10% of VSI
  • AAPT – Allow airspeed to increase before reducing power to cruise setting

Student Practice

Aircraft Specific Speeds

  • Each airspeed such as Vy and Vx can generally be associated with an attitude. Link these airspeeds with specific attitudes of the aircraft. For example, at Vy in a C172, the horizon may be flush with the nose cowling or dash
  • Normal Climb
  • Enroute Climb – Higher power setting than cruise, cruise airspeed or slightly below. Used on XC.
  • Best Angle of Climb
  • Best Rate of Climb

Student Practice after each demo


  • Show student the effect of flap on a climb. If the aircraft has a carb heat, you may show them this effect as well.

Go Around – to be taught following descents

  • From a normal simulated landing approach at altitude, have the student do a go around
  • Be sure to control yaw. When in doubt the power can be added to full and nose pitched up, most light trainers will climb even at 30 flap (not always true).


Power off Descent

  • Perform necessary cockpit checks and lookout. Do NOT enrichen mixture to full rich all the time, absolutely unnecessary. Primacy – teach it right the first time!
  • PAAT – Power, Attitude, Airspeed, Trim
    • Allow speed to bleed off before allowing the nose to drop and descend.
  • Engine warm every 500ft
  • Discuss judging glide distance, over and undershooting things. Can also discuss how airspeed effects range and VSI.


  • Begin levelling off at 10% VSI
  • PAAT – Make sure student doesn’t always go full power, allow speed to build

Student Practice 


  • After practice and at altitude, show the effect of flaps on descents. Do not neglect engine warms.
  • Show what happens when you try and retract flaps all the way all at once, emphasize it is to be done in stages

Student Practice 



  • Normally, 5 knots is 100 RPM which is the same as 100 ft/min on VSI.
  • Demonstrate what power does to descents
  • Make up scenarios to give to student
  • Have the student practice what is normally done during a normal stabilized approach

Practice the go-around if possible.

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