Climbing and Descending Turns


To further develop coordination of the flight controls; simulate the maneuvers required during climbs and descents in the traffic pattern.


Use VFR scan to perform simultaneous changes in altitude and heading while maintaining a constant airspeed.

Instructional aids and pre-requisites

  • The student should be comfortable with the manuevers in Lessons FC-4 through FC-7


  • From straight and level flight at 60 kias, clear the area
  • Initiate a climb by increasing collective and simultaneously entering a 15-20° bank
  • When approaching assigned altitude and heading, initiate return to straight and level flight by lowering collective, adjusting attitude, and rolling out of turn
  • Repeat exercise for descents

Common errors

  • Not clearing the area
  • Loss of attitude reference/pitch incursions
    • Initiate components of maneuver sequentially instead of simultaneously
    • Maintain VFR scan
  • Overshooting heading or altitude because of distraction or interrupting scan
    • Draw student attention to deviations
    • Talk through VFR scan during maneuver

Completion standards

  • Simultaneously enter a climbing or descending turn
  • Verbalize clearing procedure prior to entering turn
  • Airspeed within ±10 kias  at completion of turn
  • Altitude within ±100΄ at completion of turn
  • Heading withing ±10° of assigned
  • Aircraft in trim

Teaching considerations

  • Not specified

Additional practice

  • Not specified

Additional resources

  • Not specified

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