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Instrument Flying Handbook
Airplane Attitude Instrument Flying
Fundamental Skills

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Instrument Flying
Handbook

Preface

Table of Contents

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

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

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
Operations

Omission of an instrument from a cross-cheek is another
likely fault. It may be caused by failure to anticipate
significant instrument indications following attitude
changes. For example, in a roll-out from a 180° steep turn,
straight-and-level flight is established with reference only
to the attitude indicator, and the pilot neglects to check the
heading indicator for constant heading information. Because
of precession error, the attitude indicator temporarily shows
a slight error, correctable by quick reference to the other
flight instruments.

Emphasis on a single instrument, instead of on the combination
of instruments necessary for attitude information, is an
understandable fault during the initial stages of training. It
is a natural tendency to rely on the instrument that is most
readily understood, even when it provides erroneous or
inadequate information. Reliance on a single instrument is
poor technique. For example, a pilot can maintain reasonably
close altitude control with the attitude indicator, but cannot
hold altitude with precision without including the altimeter
in the cross-cheek.

Instrument Interpretation
The second fundamental skill, instrument interpretation. requires
more thorough study and analysis. It begins by understanding
each instrument's construction and operating principles. Then,
this knowledge must he applied to the performance of the
aircraft being flown, the particular maneuvers to be executed,
the cross-cheek and control techniques applicable to that
aircraft, and the flight conditions.

For example, a pilot uses full power in a small airplane for a
5-minute climb from near sea level, and the attitude indicator
shows the miniature aircraft two bar widths (twice the
thickness of the miniature aircraft wings) above the artificial.
horizon. [Figure 4-20] The airplane is climbing at 500 fpm
as shown on the VSI, and at airspeed of 90 knots, as shown
on the airspeed indicator. With the power available in this
particular airplane and the attitude selected by the pilot, the
performance is shown on the instruments. Now, set up the
identical picture on the attitude indicator in a jet airplane.
With the same airplane attitude as shown in the first example,
the VSI in the jet reads 2000 fpm and the airspeed indicator
reads 250 knots.

Power and Attitude Equal Performance.
Figure 4-20. Power and Attitude Equal Performance.