Power Management

  • One of the most challenging parts of learning to fly a complex GA aircraft like this is determining the correct power settings to use to maximize engine and aircraft performance at different altitudes, and under different weather conditions. To do this, you can either pull out the POH and study the charts every time you start a flight, or if you just want to change cruising altitude... or you can rely on "rules of thumb" and typical settings you have read about or been advised to use by other pilots. Unfortunately, the POH and engine documentation is incomplete and can be very confusing to use, and there is no shortage of opinions and sometimes conflicting advice on this subject. For example, the POH doesn't cover the correct power settings for cruising at 15,000 ft., or for taking off and landing at an airport like KLXV with a field elevation of 9,900 ft.

    So to make flying this aircraft a little easier, I have put together this simple guideline that will allow you to easily determine the best power settings to use for any altitude or weather conditions...

    PA28R-201 Power Settings Guideline

    • Takeoff / Climb
      ⦁ Throttle: FULL
      ⦁ Prop: Max RPM (2700)
      ⦁ Mixture: Peak Fuel Flow or FULL Rich

    • Cruise
      ⦁ Throttle: 65% - 75% Power (Fuel Flow) or FULL
      ⦁ Prop: Peak Fuel Flow
      ⦁ Mixture: Peak EGT

    • Descent / Approach
      ⦁ Throttle: As Required
      ⦁ Prop: 2500 RPM
      ⦁ Mixture: Peak EGT

    • Landing
      ⦁ Throttle: As Required
      ⦁ Prop: Max RPM
      ⦁ Mixture: Peak Fuel Flow or FULL Rich