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Instrument Flying Handbook
Using an Electronic Flight Display
Learning Methods

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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

Until recently, most general aviation aircraft were equipped
with individual instruments utilized collectively to safely
maneuver the aircraft by instrument reference alone. With
the release of the electronic flight display system, the
conventional instruments have been replaced by multiple
liquid crystal display (LCD) screens. The first screen is
installed in front of the left seat pilot position and is referred
to as the primary flight display (PFD). [Figure 4-21] The
second screen is positioned in approximately the center of
the instrument panel and is referred to as the multi-function
display (MFD). [Figure 4-22] The pilot can use the MED
to display navigation information (moving maps), aircraft
systems information (engine monitoring), or should the need
arise, a PPD. [Figure 4-23] With just these two screens,
aircraft designers have been able to de-clutter instrument
panels while increasing safety. This has been accomplished
through the utilization of solid-state instruments, which have
a failure rate far lower than those of conventional analog

However, in the event of electrical failure, the pilot still
has emergency instruments as a backup. These instruments
either do not require electrical power, or as in the case
of many attitude indicators, they are battery equipped.
[Figure 4-24]

Pilots flying under visual flight rules (VFR) maneuver their
aircraft by reference to the natural horizon, utilizing specific

reference points on the aircraft. In order to operate the aircraft
in other than VER weather, with no visual reference to the
natural horizon, pilots need to develop additional skills.
These skills come from the ability to maneuver the aircraft by
reference to flight instruments alone. These flight instruments
replicate all the same key elements that a VER pilot utilizes
during a normal flight. The natural horizon is replicated on
the attitude indicator by the artificial horizon.

Understanding how each flight instrument operates and
what role it plays in controlling the attitude of the aircraft
is fundamental in learning attitude instrument flying. When
the pilot understands how all the instruments are used in
establishing and maintaining a desired aircraft attitude, the
pilot is better prepared to control the aircraft should one
or more key instruments fail or if the pilot should enter
instrument flight conditions.

Learning Methods

There are two basic methods utilized for learning attitude
instrument flying. They are "control and performance" and
"primary and supporting." These methods rely on the same
flight instruments and require the pilot to make the same
adjustments to the flight and power controls to control aircraft
attitude. The main difference between the two methods is the
importance that is placed on the attitude indicator and the
interpretation of the other flight instruments.

Primary Flight Display (PFD) and Analog Counterparts
Figure 4-21. Primary Flight Display (PFD) and Analog Counterparts.