# How to maintain straight and level flight after a climb?

I'm new to flying and I have this question.

Suppose I'm ascending to 2000 ft. at 67 kts and 2450 RPM. When I reach 2000 ft. maybe the plane wants to keep going up, even after I lower the RPM TO 2200, for example.

How do I make the plane flight straight and level at 2000 ft? With the trim and keeping 2200 RPM, or lowering the RPM to, for example, 2100?

Attitude + Power = Performance Performance is your airspeed, climb/descend rate, and rate of turn. Attitude is pitch, bank, and yaw. Power is RPM, if you have fixed pitch prop.

So how do you transition from climb to level flight? When you reach 2000ft, or maybe 1950, push forward on the yoke or control stick to about level pitch, check the altimeter to make sure you're at 2000ft, not climbing or descending. Your airspeed will start going up. Maintain forward pressure, it is going to increase as the speed increases (you can put some trim in to help). Once you reach the desired airspeed, reduce throttle to keep the airspeed constant. Then use trim to take out the pressure on the yoke.

Now this will give you a workout, because if you don't know exact RPM that you need to maintain desired speed, you will be chasing it and working the yoke to keep constant altitude. So I would lower the nose after the climb, let it accelerate, then lower RPM to 2200 and keep the plane in level flight with the yoke and trim. After a few minutes when everything is stabilized, I would note the airspeed. Then I would reduce RPM to 2100, retrim nose up to keep level, wait a few more minutes and note the airspeed for 2100 RPM. And so forth. You can build a table of RPM and airspeed. Then, next time you fly, you will just set the correct RPM for desired airspeed.

• I like this, but would say to adjust the trim as needed while accelerating, and not wait until you reach your desired airspeed to adjust it. Oct 22, 2018 at 19:44

It all depends...

There will be some minimum power required to maintain level flight at any given altitude. If you're applying more power than that then you can trim for level flight at any power setting. More power means faster flight, higher fuel consumption and less range, while less power will save fuel and take longer. It's really your call, but I'm sure your flying school will opt for economy every time!

You may also find that some light aircraft have prohibited ranges for RPM. Some Robin aircraft, for example, prohibit continuous operation in a band just above 2000rpm (don't remember the exact details) so you'd have to trim at a power setting below or above that band.

• More power means faster flight, higher fuel flow rate, but not necessarily less range. There is optimal speed which gives longest range and deviating from it in either direction reduces the range. Sep 30, 2015 at 9:44

Leveling out and accelerating to cruise speed is something done after every take off and will become routine. The best way to experience it is to take a lesson!

One way to make it easier is to "round off" to your desired altitude starting from 500 feet below. You are climbing at 67 knots, certainly do not want to yank back power with your nose in the air. So you start working the elevator and pitch control (yoke or stick) together. This will become much easier with time.

Start by easing yoke forward. Speed will increase. Ease off throttle. Reach altitude and hold with yoke. (I flew a 172 so it's yoke). Speed will increase. Ease off throttle. After practice you will hear and see good cruise rpms, at first keep working at it.

It is worse to miss altitude than to be off on speed by 5 knots. Try to hold altitude, and work for desired speed with small throttle and pitch changes.

(Don't forget to continue scanning around you as well!)

Once at altitude and speed, set trim for cruise and lean mixture if needed. Enjoy your flight.

You need to reduce power or lower the nose.

Most likely you will want to travel faster than 67kts so you will need to lower the nose and allow the airplane to accelerate. As it accelerates, you will need to trim the airplane.

Proper trim technique requires you set the pitch and power for phase of flight and hold that with yoke pressure. You will then trim off that pressure with the trim wheel.