Tips for commercial maneuvers


I’m working on my commercial license and I’ve noticed that CFIs tend to be well prepped for this in Cessnas but some of the maneuvers in a high-performance with a quick roll handling and higher sink rate has found us hunting around for how to set a maneuver up (initial MP and KIAS, pitch and roll angles) where to the sight line for ground references should be on the win for turns, etc. We’ve got some good data for chandelles, lazy 8’s, and power-off 180’s. Some descent process on 8’s on pylons but not settled yet.

I was wondering if anyone with an SR-22 can make some recommendations for performing the steep spiral? Eg. Start the spiral when the ground reference is at this point on the wing, use this KIAS in the descent (presumably throttle is idle), give at least X altitude for three full turns, etc.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.


Hi Tim,

The answer you need is inside the Cirrus iFOM. It can be purchased for $49.99 on the iBooks store. It has all sorts of maneuvers in the book. It will be a great tool to have. I personally have not taught a steep spiral for commercial training in a SR-22.


It is described in iFOM somewhat. Make sure you know what your DPE expects, the ACS says “maintain the specified airspeed”, so they can specify different airspeeds (or none). The key is to focus on pitch and not on airspeed when going down. Power idle, 45° bank, pitch down 2.5° 5° and see what speed you get and keep it. Then try with -5°.

Good news is that it is either steep turns or steep spiral and in the last dozen commercials I did, none included steep spiral.


I agree that you should download the iFOM. It will give you all the settings for the commercial maneuvers. For steep spirals: power to idle, trim for glide (trim all the way back will result in best glide) and key is to adjust the bank angle to compensate for wind and keep the reference point below you. I don’t think I actually had to do them on my check ride. If you look at page A-20 of the ACS you only have to do steep turns OR steep spirals and chandelles OR lazy eights. I was prepared to do all of the maneuvers but my DPE let me choose between spirals or steep turns. I think steep turns are slightly easier than spirals so I did those.


Somewhere, I got the impression that steep spirals should be done at Vg. Maybe that’s not true. When I do steep spirals, somewhere around Vg, I lose about 3,500 feet for three complete revolutions. Pattern altitude around here is about 1600 feet, so I start at 5,500 so as to be able to complete the maneuver with a power off landing.

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The steep spiral maneuver must end at least 1,500 agl so I would suggest a comfortable cushion. No rules on how high you need to start it.

Since public humiliation is a core competency of mine, let me just add that the way I nailed 8s on pylons was to imagine I had a machine gun mounted at my wing tip perpendicular to the wing and I was trying to destroy the pylon.

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I hope you don’t mind if I try the same!

I’m also working on this and would like to know on the steep spiral, how are you completing this without massive cooling on the engine? Is there a trick to keep temps up?

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Agree that downloading and reviewing iFOM is the way to start.

Correcting for wind drift for me was the hardest part was of this Maneuver.

There’s really no way to avoid cooling, but to avoid the fouling associated with the cooler combustion temps it’s recommended to advance the throttle after every turn. This also gives you an opportunity to correct for the elevation during the previous turn during your check ride.


What percentage throttle should we advance? Is it wide open or 75 or something while doing this and for how long? I have the ifom, but it’s not clear

I don’t believe the ACS specifies Vg but it does specify not to exceed Va and whatever airspeed is established must be maintained.

Thank you all for the comments. I’ll give an updated iFOM a look. The version I have in iBooks lacked specificity in lots of ways and read more like a rehash of the AFH’s description of the maneuver.

That’s kinda of Old Wives Tale. You are not going to fix anything by advancing throttle for few seconds after every turn on a fuel injected engine. All that does is to make the maneuver more difficult. I never do it.


Found the reference - Vg is recommended in the Cirrus iFOM.

I got my commercial few mts ago in my NA G5 22.

For steep spirals, start in on the downwind…that will be your steepest bank…pitch for best glide speed. Burp the engine every turn. The idea is to simulate engine failure over landing area. Three turns takes few thousand feet AGL. My instructor/examiner had me do steep spiral following Chandelles…gain altitude, lose altitude.

I found that lazy eights worked best using power setting ~35-40%…its a constant power maneuver. That setting allows you to be near stall speed at top of the climb and not to be screaming at the bottom of the dive. Pick a straight highway or power line to assist in the maneuver.

I really enjoyed getting my commercial rating.

Good luck!