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Straight and Level Flight – Common Errors – Heading

in Airplane Basic Flight Maneuvers - Electronic Flight Display

Heading errors usually result from but are not limited to the following errors:

1. Failure to cross-check the heading indicator, especially during changes in power or pitch attitude.

2. Misinterpretation of changes in heading, with resulting corrections in the wrong direction.

3. Failure to note and remember a preselected heading.

4. Failure to observe the rate of heading change and its relation to bank attitude.

5. Overcontrolling in response to heading changes, especially during changes in power settings.

6. Anticipating heading changes with premature application of rudder pressure.

7. Failure to correct small heading deviations. Unless zero error in heading is the goal, a pilot will tolerate larger and larger deviations. Correction of a 1 degree error takes far less time and concentration than correction of a 20° error.

8. Correcting with improper bank attitude. If correcting a 10° heading error with a 20° bank correction, the aircraft will roll past the desired heading before the bank is established, requiring another correction in the opposite direction. Do not multiply existing errors with errors in corrective technique.

9. Failure to note the cause of a previous heading error and thus repeating the same error. For example, the airplane is out of trim with a left wing low tendency. Repeated corrections for a slight left turn are made, yet trim is ignored.


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