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Instrument Flying Handbook

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Instrument Flying


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Human Factors
Chapter 2. Aerodynamic Factors
Chapter 3. Flight Instruments
Chapter 4. Section I
Airplane Attitude Instrument
Using Analog Instrumentation
Chapter 4. Section II
Airplane Attitude Instrument
Using an Electronic Flight

Chapter 5. Section I
Airplane Basic
Flight Maneuvers
Using Analog Instrumentation
Chapter 5. Section II
Airplane Basic
Flight Maneuvers
Using an Electronic Flight

Chapter 6. Helicopter
Attitude Instrument Flying

Chapter 7. Navigation Systems
Chapter 8. The National
Airspace System

Chapter 9. The Air Traffic
Control System

Chapter 10. IFR Flight
Chapter 11. Emergency


Is an Instrument Rating Necessary?
The answer to this question depends entirely upon individual
needs. Pilots may not need an instrument: rating if they fly in
familiar uncongested areas, stay continually alert to weather
developments, and accept an alternative to their original plan.
However, some cross-country destinations may take a pilot
to unfamiliar airports and/or through high activity areas in
marginal visual or instrument meteorological conditions
(IMC). Under these conditions, an instrument rating may
he an alternative to rerouting, rescheduling, or canceling
a flight. Many accidents are the result of pilots who lack
the necessary skills or equipment to fly in marginal visual
meteorological conditions (VMC) or IMC and attempt flight
without outside references.

Pilots originally flew aircraft strictly by sight, sound, and
feel while comparing the aircraft's attitude to the natural
horizon, As aircraft performance increased, pilots required
more inflight information to enhance the safe operation of
their aircraft, This information has ranged from a string tied
to a wing strut, to development of sophisticated electronic
flight information systems (FF15) and flight management
systems (FMS). Interpretation of the instruments and aircraft
control have advanced from the "one, two, three" or "needle,
hail, and airspeed" system to the use of "altitude instrument
flying" techniques.

Navigation began by using ground references with dead
reckoning and has led to the development of electronic
navigation systems. These include the automatic direction
finder (ADF), very-high frequency omnidirectional range
(VOR), distance measuring equipment (DME), tactical air
navigation (TACAN), long range navigation (LORAN),
global positioning system (OPS), instrument landing system
(ILS), microwave landing system (MLS), and inertial
navigation system (INS).

Perhaps you want an instrument rating for the same basic
reason you learned to fly in the first place—because you like
flying. Maintaining and extending your proficiency, once you
have the rating, means less reliance on chance and more on
skill and knowledge. Earn the rating—not because you might
need it sometime, but because it represents achievement and
provides training you will use continually and build upon
as long as you fly. But most importantly it means greater
safety in flying.

Instrument Rating Requirements
A private or commercial pilot must have an instrument
rating and meet the appropriate currency requirements if
that pilot operates an aircraft using an instrument flight
rules (IFR) flight plan in conditions less than the minimums
prescribed for visual flight rules (VFR), or in any flight in
Class A airspace.

You will need to carefully review the aeronautical knowledge
and experience requirements for the instrument rating as
outlined in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations
(14 CFR) part 61. After completing ~he Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) Knowledge Test issued for the
instrument rating, and all the experience requirements have
been satisfied, you are eligible to take the practical test, The
regulations specify minimum total and pilot-in-command
time requirements. This minimum applies to all applicants
regardless of ability or previous aviation experience.

Training for the Instrument Rating
A person who wishes to add the instrument rating to his or
her pilot certificate must first make commitments of time,
money, and quality of training. There are many combinations
of training methods available. independent studies may be
adequate preparation to past the required FAA Knowledge
Test for the instrument rating. Occasional periods of ground
and flight instruction may provide the skills necessary to
pass the required test, Or, individuals may choose a training
facility that provides comprehensive aviation education and
the training necessary to ensure the pilot will pass all the
required tests and operate safely in the National Airspace
System (NAS), The aeronautical knowledge may be
administered by educational institutions, aviation-oriented
schools, correspondence courses, and appropriately rated
instructors. Each person must decide for themselves which
training program best meets his or her needs and at the same
time maintain a high quality of training. Interested persons
should make inquiries regarding the available training at
nearby airports, training facilities, in aviation publications,
and through the FAA Flight Standards District Office