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Private Pilot Flash Cards C-172

Pilot anchoring plane with cord

These Cessna 172 private pilot flash cards are intended as a resource for instructors and student pilots.

Before we get started with Private Pilot Flashcards, I wanted to discuss the purpose of this article. It is my aim to provide a resource to instructors and students who could use some help memorizing the steps and considerations of performing the various maneuvers that must be demonstrated on a check ride. This can be shared, printed, copied, (and it is encouraged that you do so), whatever you need.

If an instructor has a suggestion on something missing in the Private Pilot Flashcards or a revision that would be helpful to the goal of making this article a more useful resource to students and instructors, then please comment below and I’ll review and edit the information into the article.

Thanks, and enjoy!

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Minimum Controllable Airspeed

-1500 feet above ground level (AGL)
-Strait and level flight
-Select a heading
-Carb heat on
-1500 rpm
-Air speed in white arch
-10 degrees of flaps
-Slow to stall buzzer (control speed with pitch, altitude with power)
-Maintain altitude
-Maintain coordination
-Shallow banked turns to avoid excessive load factor
-Lead roll out turns by ½ bank angle


-Carb heat in
-Full power
-Maintain altitude, selected heading
-Flaps up and maintain airspeed above 60 with pitch
-Check heading and altitude

Power Off Stall (simulates stalling when landing)

-1500 feet above ground level (AGL)
-Strait and level flight
-Select a heading
-Carb heat on
-1500 rpm
-Air speed in white arch
-10 degrees of flaps (below 85 KIAS)
-Slow the airplane down while maintaining altitude and heading
-Flaps 20 degrees below 75 KIAS
-Flaps 30 degrees below 65 KIAS
-Flaps 40 degrees below 55 KIAS
-Power to idle, continue to slow to buzzer, yoke back (maintain altitude and heading)


-Swoop to level flight
-Carb heat in
-Full power
-Flaps up incrementally above 50 KIAS, positive VSI
-Check heading and altitude

Power On Stall

-1500 feet above ground level (AGL)
-Strait and level flight
-Select a heading
-1500 rpm
-Slow to 55 KIAS, no flaps (maintain altitude and heading)
-Full power (carb heat in), 2 count
-Pitch up 20 degrees
**Add up to 10 degrees of bank if demonstrating a turning power on stall**
-Slow to stall buzzer (maintain coordination)
-At buzzer pull yoke full back


-Let nose gently fall to horizon
-Use rudder (feet) to level wings if needed
-No secondary stall
-Check heading and altitude

Steep Turns

-1500 feet above ground level (AGL)
-Strait and level flight at or below Va – 97 KIAS
-Select a heading
-45 degrees of bank (maintain altitude)
-Use horizon line to maintain bank, cross check instruments
**if decent – relax bank angle, add back pressure, re-establish bank
**if climb – reduce power, increase bank
-Lead roll out by ½ bank angle, 360 degree turn (primarily use outside reference)
-Slight forward pressure at level to prevent balloon
-Check heading and altitude

Go Around

-Execute when landing not 100% or when told
-Carb Heat in
-Full Power
-Level flight (stop decent)
-Flaps up incrementally, maintain above 60 KIAS
**Any speed above 60 KIAS should be traded for altitude until at desired altitude

Forward Slip to Landing

-Carb heat on
-Power idle
-Bank into wind
-Full opposite rudder
-Forward pressure on yoke to maintain airspeed 60 KIAS or greater
-Use aileron to control ground track, pitch to control airspeed
-When desired altitude is lost gently release rudder and bank (maintain airspeed)
-Land as normal, remembering you are landing without flaps (higher groundspeed)

Crosswind Take Off and Landing

-15 knot crosswind component MAX
-Maintain 65 KIAS final, and max flaps 20 degrees
-Ailerons control ground track
-Rudder points nose down the runway
-When on ground increase aileron input to full into the wind
-When on ground steer with feet!

S-Turns (across a road)

**Maintain situational awareness: altitude and speed within: +/- 100 feet and altitude 10 knot KIAS

-1000 feet AGL, clear area
-Establish the airplane on a downwind heading (tailwind) and note the heading
-Select a road or prominent straight line that runs crosswind
-As the airplane crosses the reference line, enter a steep bank (right or left)
– Gradually reduce bank angle as necessary to establish a perfect half circle
**You want to time the turn so that as the roll out is completed, the airplane is crossing the road perpendicular to it
-The airplane is on the upwind side of the maneuver; a SHALLOW bank should be started in the opposite direction to begin the second half of the “S”
-Gradually increased bank as necessary

Short Field Take Off

**Use all available runway

-10 degrees of flaps
-Line up on centerline
-Hold brakes
-Full power
-Check engine
-Release brakes
-Climb out at 58 KIAS until 50’ AGL
-Vx- 60 KIAS
-Flaps Up incrementally

Short Field Landing

**Goal – land on a specific spot on the runway, and stop as quickly as possible.

-Normal approach to landing
-Get into ground effect before your landing point
-Float in ground effect, hold airplane off ground until all energy is out (nose high altitude)
-Ideally the airplane stops flying right above your landing point
-If short, add a little power, then cut power above point to land
-If long, go around
-Upon touchdown, flaps up and stiff braking (without skidding tires)

Soft Field Take Off

**Goal – get off soft ground as soon as possible and accelerate in ground effect

-10 degrees flaps, roll onto runway with no brakes, no stopping, yoke back
-Full power, back pressure on yoke
-Wheelie down runway, DON’T DRAG THE TAIL
-When plane leaves ground, relax back pressure to stay in ground effect (15 feet off runway)
-Accelerate to 60 in ground effect
-Rotate out of ground effect
-Flaps up incrementally

Soft Field Landing

**Goal – gently set the airplane onto a soft runway, protect nose gear

-Normal approach to landing
-When a few feet above the runway, add approximately 150 rpm to ease contact with earth
-Land nose high
-Power to idle
-Hold back pressure to keep nose off the ground as long as possible

Engine Failure in Flight

-FLY THE PLANE, Vg- 65 KIAS, Trim, you get 1 mile glide for every 1000’ of altitude
-Find a place to land, start heading for it
-Sacred 7: primer in, master on, ignition both, throttle quadrant OUT MIDDLE IN, fuel selector both
-Hit starter if prop is not windmilling, if no start continue
-Fly to center of landing zone if possible, circle down
-Your goal is to be 1000’ AGL downwind abeam your landing point
-Radio calls, transponder 7700
-Secure cabin:
-Passenger seats back
-Seat belts on
-Protection in front of faces
-Doors open
-Mixture off
-Fuel off
-Ignition off
-Set up for best soft field landing (nose high)
-Full flaps when landing is assured
-Master off
-Land and exit

PARE (spin recovery)

P- Power off
A- Ailerons Neutral
R- Rudder opposite of spin to break spin, then neutral
E- Elevator forward to get airspeed/break stall, then swoop to level flight

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Thank you, and we hope you found these Cessna 172 Private Pilot Flash Cards useful.  Let us know if there is anything we can add to improve this resource.  And please, DO share this with anyone you know who is training for their Private Pilot license.

Other Resources:

Dean Aviation – //flymiami.com/documents/maneuvers/c172.pdf

AOPA: //flighttraining.aopa.org/students/maneuvers.html

I am a pilot, videographer, avid outdoorsman, and aircraft owner. I currently have the honor of owning a variety of aircraft from a J3 Cub to a Cessna 210. I was given the aviation bug by Jim Hoddenbach and we started this blog together to share our experiences in aviation with like-minded pilots.