Exercise 8.2 – Descending In Different Configurations


This lesson covered power descents in different configurations, with and without flaps.


Local VFR Flight | Fairoaks (EGTF) to Fairoaks (EGTF) | QNH 994 hPa | 07/02/2016 10:00 | Piper PA28-161 | G-BTNH


The previous day the Heathrow METAR was showing 24knts gusting 42! I woke up on Sunday fully expecting the lesson to be cancelled due to high winds, but the weather had calmed down it went ahead.

Heathrow METAR
Heathrow METAR

Farnborough METAR
Farnborough METAR

Our take-off clearance was given with instant winds of 220° at 15knts. The TAF for Farnborough agreed with this adding that it was gusting 25knts.


Sadly I took the wrong power lead with me for the camera so I didn’t capture any video, which was a shame at we went up to 4400ft over Bognor Regis and the view of the coast would have been amazing. On the plus side I did test a strategic purchase on the way back and no video of that is a good thing! I did manage to test my audio recording configuration which worked very well. It needs a small adjustment before my next lesson and I’ll put up a separate post on that soon.


This lesson was to demonstrate the techniques used when coming in to land. It’s a counter-intuitive mix of pitch and throttle where pitch adjusts your airspeed and throttle adjusts your rate of decent. This is because pitch has a much faster effect on the aircraft speed. Pitch is used to maintain the approach speed of 65knts (nose down for faster, nose up for slower) and the throttle is used to adjust your altitude. It was a great experience to get up to 4400ft and the air was a lot smoother up there! We then descended from overhead Bognor Regis to the disused airfield on Thorney Island, this gave us ample height to experience the different descent rates in various configurations all in one decent.



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