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Instrument Flying Handbook
Using an Electronic Flight Display
Common Errors

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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

Common Errors

Fixation or staring at one instrument, is a common error
observed in pilots first learning to utilize trend indicators.
The pilot may initially fixate on the trend indicator and make
adjustments with reference to that alone. Trend indicators are
not the only tools to aid the pilot in maintaining the desired
power or attitude: they should be used in conjunction with the
primary and supporting instruments in order to better manage
the flight. With the introduction of airspeed tapes, the pilot
can monitor airspeed to within one knot. Fixation can lead
to attempting to keep the airspeed to an unnecessarily tight
tolerance. There is no need to hold airspeed to within one
knot; the Instrument Rating Practical Test Standards (PTS)
allows greater latitude.

Another common error associated with attitude instrument
flying is omission of an instrument from the cross-check. Due
to the high reliability of the PFD and associated components,
pilots tend to omit the stand-by instruments as well as the
magnetic compass from their scans. An additional reason
for the omission is the position of the stand-by instruments.
Pilots should continue to monitor the stand-by instruments
in order to detect failures within those systems. One of the
most commonly omitted instruments from the scan is the
slip/skid indicator.

In initial training, placing emphasis on a single instrument
is very common and can become a habit if not corrected.
When the importance of a single instrument is elevated above
another, the pilot begins to rely solely on that instrument
for guidance. When rolling out of a 180° turn, the attitude
indicator, heading indicator, slip/skid indicator, and altimeter
need to be referenced. If a pilot omits the slip/skid indicator,
coordination is sacrificed.