Rant: power for altitude, pitch for airspeed

The reason I want to rant this is because both in IF and in real life it never works on me. When I flew at ERAU, I was taught by this and when I was asked to pitch down during landing, it ruins my glidepath forcing a go around. But now in a different flight school and in IF, when I am slow, I just shovel in the throttle and it worked. When I am high, just pitch down and spool down and it works too. Is this what you guys experience in IF and real life?

Well it seems to are interpreting this saying incorrectly. As you know, I attend ERAU as well, and I have only heard this saying when you are behind the power curve. For example, with slow flight or short field landing. Can you describe to me what was going on when you were told to pitch down during your approach? I have done a lot of landings in getting my private, so I may be able to help.

So I was on glide path but slow, I was asked to pitch down, and it forced a go around. Also landing put me behind the thrust curve anyway. So same thing.

Ok, what I believe your instructor wanted you to do was lower your nose to regain the airspeed, but also add power to maintain your glidepath. Doing one without the other will negatively impact your approach. This is my experience, and I hope it helps.

Imagine you’re at 5000 feet and you want to begin descending while keeping a constant speed.

The most “intuitive” thing to do to descend would be do simply push your yoke forward - but this will cause your plane to speed up! You’d then lower your throttle in response to your speed becoming too fast. This means you’re reacting to changes instead of yourself controlling the plane.

If you instead draw back the throttle slightly in order to descend and then push your yoke forward to maintain your speed, you’ll be the one in control and you’ll be keeping your constant speed a lot easier.

Hope this makes sense. It’s counterintuitive but once you get it, it really does make for smoother flying.


Yeah, I kind of figured this out like I said, but thanks for sharing everyone’s experience. Maybe my instructor at ERAU just didn’t explain things correctly.

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