While the AFM/POH may appear similar for the same make and model of aircraft, each manual is unique and contains specific information about a particular aircraft, such as the equipment installed and weight and balance information. Manufacturers are required to include the serial number and registration on the title page to identify the aircraft to which the manual belongs. If a manual does not indicate a specific aircraft registration and serial number, it is limited to general study purposes only.
Most manufacturers include a table of contents, which identifies the order of the entire manual by section number and title. Usually, each section also contains a table of contents for that section. Page numbers reflect the section and page within that section (1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 3-1, etc.). If the manual is published in loose-leaf form, each section is usually marked with a divider tab indicating the section number or title, or both. The Emergency Procedures section may have a red tab for quick identification and reference.
General (Section 1)
The General section provides the basic descriptive information on the airframe and powerplant(s). Some manuals include a three-dimensional drawing of the aircraft that provides dimensions of various components. Included are such items as wingspan, maximum height, overall length, wheelbase length, main landing gear track width, diameter of the rotor system, maximum propeller diameter, propeller ground clearance, minimum turning radius, and wing area. This section serves as a quick reference and helps a pilot become familiar with the aircraft.
The last segment of the General section contains definitions, abbreviations, explanations of symbology, and some of the terminology used in the POH. At the option of the manufacturer, metric and other conversion tables may also be included.