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Attitude Instrument Flying – Analog Instruments

The second fundamental skill, instrument interpretation, requires more thorough study and analysis. It begins by understanding each instrument’s construction and operating principles. Then, this knowledge must be applied to the performance of the aircraft being flown, the particular maneuvers to be executed, the cross-check and control techniques applicable to that aircraft, and the flight conditions.

For example, a pilot uses full power in a small airplane for a 5-minute climb from near sea level, and the attitude indicator shows the miniature aircraft two bar widths (twice the thickness of the miniature aircraft wings) above the artificial horizon. [Figure 4-20] The airplane is climbing at 500 fpm as shown on the VSI, and at airspeed of 90 knots, as shown on the airspeed indicator. With the power available in this particular airplane and the attitude selected by the pilot, the performance is shown on the instruments. Now, set up the identical picture on the attitude indicator in a jet airplane. With the same airplane attitude as shown in the first example, the VSI in the jet reads 2,000 fpm and the airspeed indicator reads 300 knots.

Figure 4-20. Power and Attitude Equal Performance.

Figure 4-20. Power and Attitude Equal Performance.

As the performance capabilities of the aircraft are learned, a pilot interprets the instrument indications appropriately in terms of the attitude of the aircraft. If the pitch attitude is to be determined, the airspeed indicator, altimeter, VSI, and attitude indicator provide the necessary information. If the bank attitude is to be determined, the heading indicator, turn coordinator, and attitude indicator must be interpreted. For each maneuver, learn what performance to expect and the combination of instruments to be interpreted in order to control aircraft attitude during the maneuver. It is the two fundamental flight skills, instrument cross-check and instrument interpretation, that provide the smooth and seamless control necessary for basic instrument flight as discussed at the beginning of the category.

Instrument Cross-Check

The first fundamental skill is cross-checking (also called “scanning” or “instrument coverage”). Cross-checking is the continuous and logical observation of instruments for attitude and performance information. In attitude instrument flying, the pilot maintains an attitude by reference to instruments, producing the desired result in performance. Observing and interpreting two or more instruments to determine attitude […]

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Attitude Instrument Flying Using the Primary and Supporting Method – (Part Two)

Bank Control Bank control is controlling the angle made by the wing and the horizon. After interpreting the bank attitude from the appropriate instruments, exert the necessary pressures to move the ailerons and roll the aircraft about the longitudinal axis. As illustrated in Figure 4-11, these instruments include: Attitude Indicator As previously discussed, the attitude […]

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Attitude Instrument Flying Using the Primary and Supporting Method – (Part One) Pitch Control

Pitch control is controlling the rotation of the aircraft about the lateral axis by movement of the elevators. After interpreting the pitch attitude from the proper flight instruments, exert control pressures to effect the desired pitch attitude with reference to the horizon. These instruments include the attitude indicator, altimeter, VSI, and airspeed indicator. [Figure 4-4] […]

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Attitude Instrument Flying Using the Control and Performance Method

Aircraft performance is achieved by controlling the aircraft attitude and power. Aircraft attitude is the relationship of both the aircraft’s pitch and roll axes in relation to the Earth’s horizon. An aircraft is fl own in instrument flight by controlling the attitude and power, as necessary, to produce both controlled and stabilized flight without reference […]

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