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I was practicing teaching how do demonstrate slow flight in a Cessna 172RG as an instructor, and I have always just assumed that you would extend the gear for the maneuver, but when I looked at the Practical Test Standards (PTS), it doesn't specify up or down, just selected landing gear...configurations.

Does this mean that one should be able to demonstrate slow flight both ways, with the gear extended and with the gear retracted?

XI. Slow Flight, Stalls, and Spins ...

Task A: Maneuvering During Slow Flight (ASEL and ASES) ...

c. Performance of the maneuver with selected landing gear and flap configurations in straight-and-level flight and level turns.

Reference: FAA-S-8081-6D

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  • $\begingroup$ "Does this mean that one should be able to demonstrate slow flight both ways" Hum... depends on how often you expect your trainees to land without gear extended, don't you think? $\endgroup$ – Timothy Truckle Mar 14 '18 at 8:27
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Slow flight in training and testing has been the subject of much discussion and reevaluation in recent years. The philosophy of how to train and demonstrate slow flight has changed a bit from years ago.

In specific answer to your question regarding whether or not the landing gear should be extended or not, here is an excerpt from FAA H-8083-3B [2016], page 4-4: Airplane Flying Handbook

(emphasis mine)

Slow flight is typically performed and evaluated in the landing configuration. Therefore, both the landing gear and the flaps should be extended to the landing position. It is recommended the prescribed before-landing checks be completed to configure the airplane. The extension of gear and flaps typically occurs once cruise power has been reduced and at appropriate airspeeds to ensure limitations for extending those devices are not exceeded. Practicing this maneuver in other configurations, such as a clean or takeoff configuration, is also good training and may be evaluated on the practical test.

Here is the current flight test guidance for a Commercial Pilot applicant: "Airman Certification Standards" (ACS). Under Area of Operation VII., "Slow Flight and Stalls," Skills: CA.VII.A.S4: - Commercial Pilot - Airplane, Airman Certification Standards - June 2017

(emphasis mine)

Accomplish coordinated straight and level flight, turns, climbs, and descents with landing gear and flap configurations specified by the evaluator without a stall warning (e.g., aircraft buffet, stall horn, etc.).

Also, here is an FAA SAFO (Safety Alert for Operations) entitled "Maneuvering During Slow Flight in an Airplane" (8/30/2016): SAFO 16010

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  • $\begingroup$ This is great! Thanks! Of course the AFH has the answer! I will practice with the gear both ways. Thanks for the link to the SAFO as well. $\endgroup$ – Canuk Mar 14 '18 at 23:33

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