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Climbing to cruise altitude


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I have been very impressed with the authentic modeling of the CRJ and I have a question to ask 

When I initially climb from takeoff I engage speed mode to climb to say FL 120.

After leveling off the autopilot switches to ALT ,I adjust thrust setting out of climb detent to prevent overspeed all ok.

I then get clearance to FL 200.

So here is my question. Should I be able to set my altitude to 20000 feet increase thrust back to climb detent. Adjust the speed respectively and select speed mode to resume the climb. Because it will not do this for me so I use vertical speed mode for further flight level changes.

Does anyone know if this is normal .

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