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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Aeronautical Decision-Making

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




Examples of different platforms.
Figure 17-21. Examples of different platforms. Top to bottom are the Beechcraft Baron G58, Cirrus SR22, and Cirrus Entega.

Managing Aircraft Automation
Before any pilot can master aircraft automation, he or she
must first know how to fly the aircraft. Maneuvers training
remains an important component of flight training because
almost 40 percent of all GA accidents take place in the
landing phase, one realm of flight that still does not involve
programming a computer to execute. Another 15 percent of
all GA accidents occurs during takeoff and initial climb.

An advanced avionics safety issue identified by the FAA
concerns pilots who apparently develop an unwarranted overreliance in their avionics and the aircraft, believing that the
equipment will compensate for pilot shortcomings. Related

pilots at a rate higher than that of GA as a whole. The review
of advanced avionics accidents cited in this study shows the
majority are not caused by something directly related to the
aircraft, but by the pilot's lack of experience and a chain of
poor decisions. One consistent theme in many of the fatal
accidents is continued VFR flight into IMC.

Thus, pilot skills for normal and emergency operations hinge
not only on mechanical manipulation of the stick and rudder,
but also include the mental mastery of the EFD. Three key
flight management skills are needed to .y the advanced
avionics safely: information, automation, and risk.

Information Management
For the newly transitioning pilot, the PFD, MFD, and GPS/
VHF navigator screens seem to offer too much information
presented in colorful menus and submenus. In fact, the pilot
may be drowning in information but unable to find a specific
piece of information. It might be helpful to remember these
systems are similar to computers which store some folders
on a desktop and some within a hierarchy.

The first critical information management skill for flying with
advanced avionics is to understand the system at a conceptual
level. Remembering how the system is organized helps the
pilot manage the available information. It is important to
understanding that learning knob-and-dial procedures is not
enough. Learning more about how advanced avionics systems
work leads to better memory for procedures and allows pilots
to solve problems they have not seen before.

There are also limits to understanding. It is generally
impossible to understand all of the behaviors of a complex
avionics system. Knowing to expect surprises, and to
continually learn new things is more effective than attempting
to memorize mechanical manipulation of the knobs.
Simulation software and books on the specific system used
are of great value.

The second critical information management skill is stop,
look, and read. Pilots new to advanced avionics often become
fixated on the knobs and try to memorize each and every
sequence of button pushes, pulls, and turns. A far better
strategy for accessing and managing the information available
in advanced avionics computers is to stop, look, and read.
Reading before pushing, pulling, or twisting can often save
a pilot some trouble.