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Instrument Flying Handbook
Emergency Operations
Aircraft System Malfunctions

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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

Aircraft System Malfunctions

Preventing aircraft system malfunctions that might lead
to an in-flight emergency begins with a thorough preflight
inspection. In addition to those items normally checked
prior to a visual flight rules (VFR) flight, pilots intending to
fly under instrument flight rules (IFR) should pay particular
attention to the alternator belt, antennas, static wicks, anti-
icing/deicing equipment, pitot tube, and static ports.

During taxi, verify the operation and accuracy of all fight
instruments. In addition, during the run-up, verify that the
operation of the pneumatic system(s) is within acceptable
parameters. It is critical that all systems are determined to be
operational before departing into IFR conditions.

Electronic Flight Display Malfunction
When a pilot becomes familiar and comfortable with the
new electronic displays, he or she also tends to become more
reliant on the system. The system then becomes a primary
source of navigation and data acquisition instead of the
supplementary source of data as initially intended.

Complete reliance on the moving map for navigation becomes
a problem during a failure of one, more, or all of the flight
display screens. Under these conditions, the systems revert to
a composite mode (called reversionary), which eliminates the

moving map display and combines the PFD with the engine
indicating system. [Figure 11-3] If a pilot has relied on the
display for navigation information and situational awareness,
he or she lacks any concept of critical data such as the aircraft's
position, the nearest airport, or proximity to other aircraft.

The electronic flight display is a supplementary source of
navigation data and does not replace en route charts. To
maintain situational awareness, a pilot most follow the flight
on the en route chart while monitoring the PFD. It is important
for the pilot to know the location of the closest airport as
well as surrounding traffic relative to the location of his or
her aircraft. This information becomes critical should the
electronic flight display fail.

For the pilot who utilizes the electronic database as a
substitute for the Airport Facilities Directory, screen failure
or loss of electrical power can mean the pilot is no longer
able to access airport information. Once the pilot loses the
ability to call up airport information, aeronautical decision-
making is compromised.

G1000 PFD Displays in normal mode.
Figure 11-3. G1000 PFD display in normal mode and in the reversionary mode activated upon system failure.