Since it's helpful to have specifics, lets use a 1978 Cessna 172RG as the reference (it's what I'm most interested in knowing about anyway).

Is there resources that would have the following information (for example, I know you would enter each maneuver differently).

Maneuver: Rectangular Course
MP: 15"
RPM: 2200
Gear: Down
Airspeed: 108 Knots

I'm looking for a reference for all private and commercial flight training maneuvers that would have specifics on how to enter the maneuver that would allow the maneuver to be completed without excess airspeed (or not enough). I'm not looking for how to complete the maneuver (the AFH has this information), but how to enter the manuever. Does this exist as a general reference, or is it so specific to each airplane that it couldn't exist in a general form?


2 Answers 2


My CFI initial students fill out worksheets for each maneuver. They find the numbers that work, and demo the maneuver with those numbers.

My primary students get a similar worksheet, where I have "grayed in" sample numbers. I demo with these suggested numbers and as the student practices, they are free to change the numbers. For more advanced primary students, sometimes I will give them suggested numbers which are off, and let them change the numbers to what they find works for them.

Some maneuvers are highly dependent on load / DENALT and will have varying numbers. I encourage students to adapt the suggestions to something that works for them. It helps them understand the performance of the plane, and of themselves.

So to answer your question, there may be a CFI out there who has a little notebook which he may share with you. Probably 25 years ago there was a series of books, which one could buy with V speeds and maneuvers for various planes. But I have not seen those in a couple of decades.

Finally, there are all kinds of variants. As an example, I had a CFI applicant once, who right after takeoff reduced the throttle, and flew around the pattern at final approach speed. Good thing were were at an rural uncontrolled field! Eventually I convinced him to fly differently for his CFI initial. But his worksheets would often be quite different than mine. It took him a while to get chandelles down.

So if you are a student, I would suggest that you work out your estimate of those numbers, and ask the CFI you are working with. You could even ask him to assist you in finding the correct numbers for your plane (with both of you in it).

Finally, the actual selection of configurations and numbers is colored by the flying style of you, your instructor, or whoever one is trying to emulate. What is right or wrong is to a large degree subjective. Most DPEs will let the applicant select the speed they perform a maneuver at, as long as they do it safely, and consistently. In other words, while I might think my answer is the right one, there are many others which will work.


The exact settings will vary for each type--and sometimes even within a type. That's one of the reasons pilots need to "transition" to new types: learning the critical speeds and configuration details for standard maneuvers, what sort of control inputs are needed to execute and recover properly, etc.


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