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Helicopter Attitude Instrument Flying

Advances in technology have brought about changes in the instrumentation found in all types of aircraft, including helicopters. Electronic displays commonly referred to as “glass cockpits” are becoming more common. Primary flight displays (PFDs) and multi-function displays (MFDs) are changing not only what information is available to a pilot but also how that information is displayed.

Illustrations of technological advancements in instrumentation are described as follows. In Figure 6-17, a typical PFD depicts an aircraft flying straight-and-level at 3,000 feet and 100 knots. Figure 6-18 illustrates a nose-low pitch attitude in a right turn. MFDs can be configured to provide navigation information such as the moving map in Figure 6-19 or information pertaining to aircraft systems as in Figure 6-20.

Figure 6-17. PFD Indications During Straight-and-Level Flight.

Figure 6-17. PFD Indications During Straight-and-Level Flight. 

Figure 6-18. PFD Indications During a Nose-Low Pitch Attitude in a Right Turn.

Figure 6-18. PFD Indications During a Nose-Low Pitch Attitude in a Right Turn. [click image to enlarge]

Figure 6-19. MFD Display of a Moving Map.

Figure 6-19. MFD Display of a Moving Map.

Figure 6-20. MFD Display of Aircraft Systems.

Figure 6-20. MFD Display of Aircraft Systems.

 

Instrument Takeoff

The procedures and techniques described here should be modified as necessary to conform to those set forth in the operating instructions for the particular helicopter being flown. During training, instrument takeoffs should not be attempted except when receiving instruction from an appropriately certificated, proficient flight instructor pilot. Adjust the miniature aircraft in the attitude indicator, […]

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Emergencies

Emergencies during instrument flight are handled similarly to those occurring during VFR flight. A thorough knowledge of the helicopter and its systems, as well as good aeronautical knowledge and judgment, is the best preparation for emergency situations. Safe operations begin with preflight planning and a thorough preflight inspection. Plan a route of flight to include […]

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Unusual Attitudes

Any maneuver not required for normal helicopter instrument flight is an unusual attitude and may be caused by any one or combination of factors such as turbulence, disorientation, instrument failure, confusion, preoccupation with flight deck duties, carelessness in cross-checking, errors in instrument interpretation, or lack of proficiency in aircraft control. Due to the instability characteristics […]

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Turns (Part Two)

Change of Airspeed in Turns Changing airspeed in turns is an effective maneuver for increasing proficiency in all three basic instrument skills. Since the maneuver involves simultaneous changes in all components of control, proper execution requires a rapid cross-check and interpretation, as well as smooth control. Proficiency in the maneuver also contributes to confidence in […]

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Turns (Part One)

Turns made by reference to the flight instruments should be made at a precise rate. Turns described in this chapter are those not exceeding a standard rate of 3° per second as indicated on the turn-and-slip indicator. True airspeed determines the angle of bank necessary to maintain a standard rate turn. A rule of thumb […]

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Straight Descents (Constant Airspeed and Constant Rate)

A descent may be performed at any normal airspeed the helicopter can attain, but the airspeed must be determined prior to entry. The technique is determined by the type of descent, a constant airspeed or a constant rate. Entry If airspeed is higher than descending airspeed, and a constant airspeed descent is desired, reduce power […]

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Straight Climbs (Constant Airspeed and Constant Rate)

For any power setting and load condition, there is only one airspeed that gives the most efficient rate of climb. To determine this, consult the climb data for the type of helicopter being fl own. The technique varies according to the airspeed on entry and whether a constant airspeed or constant rate climb is made. […]

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Straight-and-Level Flight (Part Two)

Bank Control The bank attitude of a helicopter is the angular relation of its lateral axis to the natural horizon. To maintain a straight course in visual flight, keep the lateral axis of the helicopter level with the natural horizon. Assuming the helicopter is in coordinated flight, any deviation from a laterally level attitude produces […]

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