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Turns – Unusual Attitude Recovery Protection (Part Two)

by Flight Learnings

in Airplane Basic Flight Maneuvers - Electronic Flight Display

For nose-low unusual attitudes, the chevrons are displayed when the pitch exceeds 15° nose-down. If the pitch continues to decrease, the unusual attitude recovery protection declutters the screen at 20° nose-down. The decluttered information reappears when the pitch increases above 15°.

Additionally, there are bank limits that trigger the unusual attitude protection. If the aircraft’s bank increases beyond 60°, a continuation of the roll index occurs to indicate the shortest direction to roll the wings back to level. At 65°, the PFD de-clutters. All information reappears when the bank decreases below 60°.

In Figure 7-71, the aircraft has rolled past 60°. Observe the white line that continues from the end of the bank index. This line appears to indicate the shortest distance back to wings level.

Figure 7-71. Aircraft rolled past 60°.

Figure 7-71. Aircraft rolled past 60°.

When experiencing a failure of the AHRS unit, all unusual attitude protection is lost. The failure of the AHRS results in the loss of all heading and attitude indications on the PFD. In addition, all modes of the autopilot, except for roll and altitude hold, are lost.

The following picture series represents how important this technology is in increasing situational awareness, and how critical it is in improving safety.

Figure 7-72 shows the unusual attitude protection with valid AHRS and air data computer (ADC) inputs. The bright red chevrons pointing down to the horizon indicate a nose-high unusual attitude that can be easily recognized and corrected.

Figure 7-72. Unusual attitude protection with valid AHRS.

Figure 7-72. Unusual attitude protection with valid AHRS.

NOTE: The red chevrons point back to the level pitch attitude. The trend indicators show where the airspeed and altitude will be in 6 seconds. The trend indicator on the heading indicator shows which direction the aircraft is turning. The slip/skid indicator clearly shows if the aircraft is coordinated. This information helps the pilot determine which type of unusual attitude the aircraft has taken.

Now look at Figure 7-73. The display shows the same airspeed as the picture above; however, the AHRS unit has failed. The altimeter and the VSI tape are the only clear indications that the aircraft is in a nose-high attitude. The one key instrument that is no longer present is the slip/skid indicator. There is not a standby turn coordinator installed in the aircraft for the pilot to reference.

Figure 7-73. AHRS unit failed.

Figure 7-73. AHRS unit failed.

The magnetic compass indicates a heading is being maintained; however, it is not as useful as a turn coordinator or slip/skid indicator.

Figure 7-74 depicts an AHRS and ADC failure. In this failure scenario, there are no indications of the aircraft’s attitude. The manufacturer recommends turning on the autopilot, which is simply a wing leveler.

Figure 7-74. AHRS ADC failure.

Figure 7-74. AHRS ADC failure.

With a failure of the primary instrumentation on the PFD, the only references available are the standby instruments. The standby instrumentation consists of an analog ASI, attitude indicator, altimeter, and magnetic compass. There is no standby turn coordinator installed.

In extreme nose-high or nose-low pitch attitudes, as well as high bank angles, the analog attitude indicator has the potential to tumble, rendering it unusable.

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