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Instrument Rating

Magnetism (Part Two)

Flight Instruments

Dip Errors The lines of magnetic flux are considered to leave the Earth at the magnetic north pole and enter at the magnetic South Pole. At both locations the lines are perpendicular to the Earth’s surface. At the magnetic equator, which is halfway between the poles, the lines are parallel with the surface. The magnets […]

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Magnetism (Part One)

Flight Instruments

The Earth is a huge magnet, spinning in space, surrounded by a magnetic field made up of invisible lines of flux. These lines leave the surface at the magnetic north pole and reenter at the magnetic South Pole. Lines of magnetic flux have two important characteristics: any magnet that is free to rotate will align […]

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Dynamic Pressure Type Instruments

Flight Instruments

Airspeed Indicator (ASI) An ASI is a differential pressure gauge that measures the dynamic pressure of the air through which the aircraft is flying. Dynamic pressure is the difference in the ambient static air pressure and the total, or ram, pressure caused by the motion of the aircraft through the air. These two pressures are […]

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Pitot/Static Instruments (Part Two)

Flight Instruments

Nonstandard Pressure on an Altimeter Maintaining a current altimeter setting is critical because the atmosphere pressure is not constant. That is, in one location the pressure might be higher than the pressure just a short distance away. Take an aircraft whose altimeter setting is set to 29.92″ of local pressure. As the aircraft moves to […]

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Pitot/Static Instruments (Part One)

Flight Instruments

Sensitive Altimeter A sensitive altimeter is an aneroid barometer that measures the absolute pressure of the ambient air and displays it in terms of feet or meters above a selected pressure level. Principle of Operation The sensitive element in a sensitive altimeter is a stack of evacuated, corrugated bronze aneroid capsules. [Figure 3-3] The air […]

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Pitot/Static Systems

Flight Instruments

Pitot pressure, or impact air pressure, is sensed through an open-end tube pointed directly into the relative wind flowing around the aircraft. The pitot tube connects to pressure operated flight instruments such as the ASI. Static Pressure Other instruments depend upon accurate sampling of the ambient still air atmospheric pressure to determine the height and […]

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Situational Awareness

Emergency Operations

Situational awareness (SA) is not simply a mental picture of aircraft location; rather, it is an overall assessment of each element of the environment and how it affects a flight. On one end of the SA spectrum is a pilot who is knowledgeable of every aspect of the flight; consequently, this pilot’s decision-making is proactive. […]

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GPS Nearest Airport Function

Emergency Operations

Procedures for accessing the nearest airport information vary by the type of display installed in an aircraft. Pilots can obtain information relative to the nearest airport by using the PFD, MFD, or the nearest function on the GPS receiver. The following examples are based on a popular system. Pilots should become familiar with the operational […]

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Communication/Navigation System Malfunction

Emergency Operations

Avionics equipment has become very reliable, and the likelihood of a complete communications failure is remote. However, each IFR flight should be planned and executed in anticipation of a two-way radio failure. At any given point during a flight, the pilot must know exactly what route to fly, what altitude to fly, and when to […]

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