Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aerospace, Physics, and Space Sciences

First Advisor

Ralph D. Kimberlin

Second Advisor

David C. Fleming

Third Advisor

Luis Daniel Otero


This thesis details the test methods, data reduction methods, and flight data analysis conducted in the climb performance evaluation of the PA-28-180 “Piper Arrow.” The main objective of this thesis was to quantitatively compare the climb performance requirements detailed in the former regulation, CAR 3.85a to the current regulation, 14 CFR 23.2120, utilizing Saw-Tooth steady climb method conducted at various airspeeds. The report also evaluates the Level Acceleration method at reciprocating headings, and qualitatively assesses the usefulness of testing multiple headings on a general aviation aircraft at multiple altitudes. The Saw-Tooth Climb and Level Acceleration flights were conducted on January 10th, 2023 out of Saginaw County H.W. Browne Airport (KHYX) in Saginaw, Michigan. The Piper Arrow was not equipped with any specialized flight test instrumentation. The data was recorded from the Garmin G5 PFD/HSI dual avionics suite and the mechanical gauges on the standard instrumentation panel. The data analysis was completed in accordance with the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) [4] and the reduction methods detailed in FTE 5701 Airplane Performance Flight Testing Laboratory Manual [3]. The flight analysis concluded the PA-28-180 (N3911T) met the climb performance minimum requirements of CAR 3.85a at 75 kts, 80 kts, 85 kts, and 90 kts; however, the 14 CFR 23.2120 requirements were only satisfied at 80 kts. The Level Acceleration data analyzed at 3,500 ft, 4,500 ft, and 5,500 ft showed minimal variability between the 20- degree heading and 200-degree heading accelerations.