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Instrument Flying Handbook
Helicopter Attitude Instrument Flying
Straight-and-Level Flight

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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

flight instruments for pitch control
Figure 6-2. The flight instruments for pitch control are the airspeed indicator, attitude indictor, altimeter, and vertical speed indicator.

Attitude Indicator
The attitude indicator gives a direct indication of the pitch
attitude of the helicopter. In visual flight, attain the desired
pitch attitude by using the cyclic to raise and lower the nose
of the helicopter in relation to the natural horizon. During
instrument flight, follow exactly the same procedure in
raising or lowering the miniature aircraft in relation to the
horizon bar.

There is some delay between control application and resultant
instrument change. This is the normal control lag in the
helicopter and should not be confused with instrument lag.
The attitude indicator may show small misrepresentations
of pitch attitude during maneuvers involving acceleration,
deceleration, or turns. This precession error can be detected
quickly by cross-checking the other pitch instruments.

If the miniature aircraft is properly adjusted on the ground, it
may not require readjustment in flight. If the miniature aircraft
is not on the horizon bar after level off at normal cruising
airspeed, adjust it as necessary while maintaining level flight
with the other pitch instruments. Once the miniature aircraft
has been adjusted in level flight at normal cruising airspeed,
leave it unchanged so it gives an accurate picture of pitch
attitude at all times.

When making initial pitch attitude corrections to maintain
altitude, the changes of attitude should be small and smoothly
applied. The initial movement of the horizon bar should not
exceed one bar width high or low. [Figure 6-3] If a further
adjustment is required, an additional correction of one-half bar
normally corrects any deviation from the desired altitude. This
one-and-one-half bar correction is normally the maximum
pitch attitude correction from level flight attitude.

After making the correction, cross-cheek the other pitch
instruments to determine whether the pitch attitude change
is sufficient. If additional correction is needed to return to

altitude, or the airspeed varies more than 10 knots from
that desired, adjust the power.

Altimeter
The altimeter gives an indirect indication of the pitch
attitude of the helicopter in straight-and-level flight. Since
the altitude should remain constant in level flight, deviation
from the desired altitude indicates a need for a change in
pitch attitude and power as necessary. When losing altitude,
raise the pitch attitude and adjust power as necessary. When
gaining altitude, lower the pitch attitude and adjust power'
as necessary. Indications for power changes are explained
in the next paragraph.

The initial pitch correction at normal cruise is one bar width or less.
Figure 6-3. The initial pitch correction at normal cruise is one bar width or less.

 
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