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A fundamental maneuver whereby the airplane changes attitude from level to a climb attitude.


To develop the fundamental techniques required for increasing altitude.


·         Clear the area

·         Choose forced landing area (always be aware of options)

·         Select outside references

·         Configure aircraft: pitch 5-10º above horizon then power as necessary to maintain achieve either a normal or cruise climb (C172RG: 25” Hg, 2500 RPM, 90 KIAS), best angle of climb (VX) (C172RG: 25” Hg, 2700 RPM,  67 KIAS) or best rate of climb (VY) (C172RG: 25” Hg, 2500 RPM, 84 KIAS).

o        For turning climbs, bank at approx. 30º for new heading

·         Anticipate left-turning tendencies with sufficient rudder pressure

·         Use outside references to maintain climb

·         Trim to maintain climb

·         Anticipate altitude (approx. 10% of climb rate), pitch for level flight, adjust power and trim as necessary

o        For turning climbs, anticipate heading (approx. 50% of bank angle)

·         Maintain ball centered

·         Look for traffic

Common Errors

·         Attempting to establish climb pitch attitude by referencing the airspeed indicator, resulting in “chasing” the airspeed

·         Applying elevator pressure too aggressively, resulting in an excessive climb angle

·         Applying elevator pressure too aggressively during level-off resulting in negative “G” forces

·         Inadequate or inappropriate rudder pressure during climbing turns

·         Allowing the airplane to yaw in straight climbs, usually due to inadequate right rudder pressure

·         Fixation on the nose during straight climbs, resulting in climbing with one wing low

·         Failure to initiate a climbing turn properly with use of rudder and elevators, resulting in little turn, but rather a climb with one wing low

·         Improper coordination resulting in a slip which counteracts the effect of the climb, resulting in little or no altitude gain

·         Inability to keep pitch and bank attitude constant during climbing turns

·         Attempting to exceed the airplane’s climb capability


FAA-H-8083-3A Airplane Flying Handbook p. 3-13

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