A Lesson on Vertical Speed


Hey guys! I’d like to offer some wisdom today. Today’s point is about vertical speed. A lot of people base their climb off of vertical speed instead of using pitch to maintain airspeed.

Vertical speed, for the most part, is just a cool bit of information to know. It’s not used for how you climb, and it’s not what you focus on. Instead, use a fixed power setting and make slight changes in pitch (your angle up and down) to maintain a certain airspeed.

Keep this in mind: When you pitch the nose down, airspeed increases. When you pitch the nose up, airspeed decreases. Use this to adjust your airspeed as you climb.

Remember: For the most part, vertical speed is just cool to know. It’s just how quickly you’re climbing or descending. It is good, however, to base your descent on a specific VS.

Also see the tutorial below from Tyler (IFATC Supervisor and real life pilot and air traffic controller)

After takeoff, you can increase pitch at a rate of three degrees per second. Maintain ten to fifteen degrees of positive (up) pitch and make slight adjustments to increase or maintain airspeed.

Once you’ve reached the lower end cruising altitudes, you can adjust vertical speed to between 1,000 and 2,500 feet per minute (fpm) or so.

This concludes today’s lesson. I hope it helped somebody. I thought I’d share it because I see a lot of people basing their climb off of their vertical speed. Instead, use a fixed power setting and make adjustments in your pitch angle to adjust your airspeed. Don’t worry too much about your vertical speed until you get much higher.

Thank you, and I’ll see you in the skies!


@anon38496261 Alright next flight I stick to this it’s a habit I need to change. Thanks for sharing.

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Glad I could help! :)

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Yes, a lot of people set their autopilot immediately to just hold a VS right after takeoff. Make sure to use your pitch for airspeed :)

Also, here’s a little saying:

Pitch for airspeed, power for altitude.

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Just wondering. How do you check your pitch?

Pitch is your angle up or down. On an instrument, this can look different for each aircraft.

Here’s the attitude indicator of a Cessna 172. The orange part represents the ground; the blue represents the sky. Usually, there are lines up and down which indicate increments of pitch angles. There are also some that indicate bank (turn), but that’s a different lesson.

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Handy, but I don’t really see why this would be needed.

Infinite Flight themselves made that video for a reason.

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Thankyou Alaska

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I felt this necessary for these reasons:

1). Tiny bump to their tutorial
2). I have an elaborate explanation and I can expand on it more if needed.

Thanks for the feedback though! Glad you liked it.

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Any time! Let me know if you have any more questions :)

Just the pictures?

What? This doesn’t make any sense.

If this is going to be some sort of instructional topic, it needs to make the slightest amount of sense with accuracy. Otherwise there’s no point…

Thanks for the feedback. What is inaccurate about the quoted text or the topic?

Obviously, don’t climb at some crazy VS, but maintain 10-15 degrees of pitch with your climb power setting.

“It is good to bad your descent on a specific VS.” Re-read your sentence.

Right, thanks for catching that. I’ll fix it.

I’ve fixed it in the original post. Does it look better?

I suppose so… but I personally don’t see the point about this topic. You made a topic about a topic that was already made. The math doesn’t add up.

May I ask which one this is? If it’s the climb tutorial, I used that to aid my description of how to use pitch to climb. As far as I understand, it’s not wrong to use videos to aid the discussion or the lesson.

Yes. You summarized his video. People can freely watch the video to gain their own understanding.

The IF video is so right but ironic. They do manually what an Airbus does automatically.

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