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Instrument Flying Handbook
Emergency Operations
Situational Awareness

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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

The page group of nearest airports has been selected.
Figure 11-15. The page group of nearest airports has been selected.

During a typical IFR flight, a pilot operates at varying levels
of SA. For example, a pilot may be cruising to his or her
destination with a high level of SA when ATC issues an
unexpected standard terminal arrival route (STAR). Since the
pilot was not expecting the STAR and is not familiar with it,
SA is lowered. However, after becoming familiar with the
STAR and resuming normal navigation, the pilot returns to
a higher level of SA.

Factors that reduce SA include: distractions, unusual or
unexpected events, complacency, high workload, unfamiliar
situations, and inoperative equipment. In some situations, a
loss of SA may be beyond a pilot's control. For example, a
pneumatic system failure and associated loss of the attitude
and heading indicators could cause a pilot to find his or her
aircraft in an unusual attitude. In this situation, established
procedures must be used to regain SA.

Pilots should be alert to a loss of SA anytime they are in a
reactive mindset. To regain SA, reassess the situation and
seek additional information from other sources, such as the
navigation instruments or ATC.

Traffic Avoidance
Electronic flight displays have the capability of displaying
transponder-equipped aircraft on the MFD as well as the
inset map on the PFD. However, due to the limitations of the
systems, not all traffic are displayed. Some TIS units display
only eight intruding targets within the service volume. The
normal service volume has altitude limitations of 3,500 feet
below the aircraft to 3,500 feet above the aircraft. The lateral
limitation is 7 NM. [Figure 11-17] Pilots unfamiliar with the
limitations of the system may rely on the aural warnings to
alert them to approaching traffic.

In addition to an outside visual scan of traffic, a pilot should
incorporate any Traffic Information electronically displayed
such as TIS. This innovation in traffic alerting reinforces and
adds synergy to the ability to see and avoid. However, it is
an aid and not a replacement for the responsibilities of the
pilot. Systems such as TIS provide a visual representation
of nearby traffic and displays a symbol on the moving map
display with relative information about altitude, vertical
trends, and direction of flight. [Figure 11-18]