| Home | Privacy | Contact |

Instrument Flying Handbook
Airplane Basic Flight Maneuvers Using Analog Instrumentation
Straight-and-Level Flight

| First | Previous | Next | Last |

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

Airspeed Indicator (ASI)
The ASI presents an in direct indication of the pitch attitude.
In non-turbulent conditions with a constant power setting and
pitch attitude, airspeed remains constant. [Figure5-13] As the
pitch attitude lowers, airspeed increases, and the nose should
be raised. [Figure. 5-14] As the pitch attitude rises, airspeed
decreases, and the nose should be lowered. [Figure 5-15] A
rapid change in airspeed indicates a large pitch change, and
a slow change of airspeed indicates a small pitch change.

Constant Power Plus Constant Pitch Equals Constant Speed.
Figure 5-13. Constant Power Plus Constant Pitch Equals Constant Speed.

Constant Power Plus Decreased Pitch Equals Increased Speed.
Figure 5-14. Constant Power Plus Decreased Pitch Equals Increased Speed.

Constant Power Plus Increased Pitch Equals Decreased Airspeed.

Pitch control in level flight is a question of cross-check and
interpretation of the instrument panel for the instrument
information that enables a pilot to visualize and control pitch
attitude. Regardless of individual differences in cross-check
technique, all pilots should use the instruments that give the
best information for controlling the airplane in any given
maneuver. Pilots should also check the other instruments
to aid in maintaining the primary instruments at the desired

As noted previously the primary instrument is the one
that gives the most pertinent information for a particular
maneuver. It is usually the one that should he held at a
constant indication. Which instrument is primary for pitch
control in level flight, for example? This question should
be considered in the context of specific airplane, weather
conditions, pilot experience, operational conditions, and other
factors. Attitude changes must be detected and interpreted
instantly for immediate control action in high-performance
airplanes. On the other hand, a reasonably proficient
instrument pilot in a slower airplane may rely more on the
altimeter for primary pitch information, especially if it is
determined that too much reliance on the attitude indicator
fails to provide the necessary precise attitude information.
Whether the pilot decides to regard the altimeter or the
attitude indicator as primary depends on which approach will
best help control the attitude. In this handbook, the altimeter
is normally considered as the primary pitch instrument during
level flight.

Bank Control
The bank attitude of an airplane is the angle between the
airplane's wings and the natural horizon. To maintain a
straight-and-level flight path, the wings of the airplane are
kept level with the horizon (assuming the airplane is in
coordinated flight). The instruments used for bank control
are the attitude indicator, the heading indicator, and the
turn coordinator. Figure 5-16 illustrates coordinated flight.
The aircraft is banked left with the attitude indicator and
turn coordinator indicating the bank. The heading indicator
indicates a left turn by apparent clockwise rotation of the
compass card behind the airplane silhouette.

Attitude Indicator
The attitude the indicator shows any change in bank attitude
directly and instantly and is, therefore, a direct indicator. On
the standard attitude indicator, the angle of bank is shown
pictorially by the relationship of the miniature aircraft to (lie
artificial horizon hat, and by the alignment of the pointer with
the banking scale at the top of the instrument. On the face of
the standard three-inch instrument, small angles of bank can
be difficult to detect by reference to the miniature aircraft,
especially if leaning to one side or changing a seating position
slightly. The position of the scale pointer is a good check
against the apparent miniature aircraft position. Disregarding
precession error, small deviations from straight coordinated
flight can be readily detected on the scale pointer. The
banking index maybe graduated as shown in Figure 5-17,
or it may be graduated in 30° increments.