Climb and Cruise
So you have made it off the ground and past those trees, power lines, lions, tigers and bears (on my) - the following procedures will help you make those houses, cars and people below you look even smaller.
OBJECTIVE: To develop the pilot's skill and knowledge on conducting a "cruise climb" and to level the aircraft off for cruise flight
THINGS TO REMEMBER
After Departure Climb Procedures
- Having just departed an airport, you should already be most likely climbing at Vy.
- At about 1,000 AGL (or as required for terrain) slowly pitch the nose forward enough to accelerate to the recommended climb speed as published in the POH while keeping full power (control airspeed with elevator control/pitch). Remember to use rudder as appropriate to counter the aircrafts left turning tendencies while at high power/pitch settings.
- Use trim as needed to help relieve flight control pressure
- Complete the "climb" checklist as appropriate
Changing Cruise Altitude Climb Procedures
- From a level flight state, begin the climb by adding full power. Remember to use rudder as required (high power +pitch = more rudder input)
- Pitch the nose up to the desired attitude by using elevator control. Remember, since power is "fixed" to the climb setting of full power, speed will be controlled by pitch
To Level-off (Cruise)
- Begin to level off at 10% of your vertical speed rate (example: VSI=500fpm, so 10% of 500 is 50. Begin leveling off 50ft before reaching your target altitude)
- Once in a straight and level flight condition, reduce your power to your desired cruise setting
- Trim away any residual control pressure. DO NOT use trim to fly the plane- use it to reduce control pressure!
- Maintain heading by looking outside and selecting a visual point in the horizon
- Complete your "Cruise" checklist
Notes for Students:
- These procedures are for climbs conducted past 1000ft AGL (departure phase) and are generally used for climbing in a manner commonly known as a "cruise climb"
- Keep in mind that you should not fixate on the airspeed indicator but should rather be looking outside and reference the pitch attitude to maintain airspeed with the natural horizon. The actual sight picture will vary depending on the aircraft type, seat position and a number of other factors.