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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




Planform. The shape or form of a wing as viewed from
above. It may be long and tapered, short and rectangular, or
various other shapes.

Pneumatic. Operation by the use of compressed air.
POH/AFM. See Pilot's Operating Handbook/Airplane
Flight Manual.

Point-in-space approach. A type of helicopter instrument
approach procedure to a missed approach point more than
2,600 feet from an associated helicopter landing area.
Poor judgment chain. A series of mistakes that may lead
to an accident or incident. Two basic principles generally
associated with the creation of a poor judgment chain are:
(1) one bad decision often leads to another; and (2) as a
string of bad decisions grows, it reduces the number of
subsequent alternatives for continued safe flight. ADM is
intended to break the poor judgment chain before it can
cause an accident or incident.

Position error. Error in the indication of the altimeter, ASI,
and VSI caused by the air at the static system entrance not
being absolutely still.

Position report. A report over a known location as
transmitted by an aircraft to ATC.

Positive static stability. The initial tendency to return to a
state of equilibrium when disturbed from that state.

Power. Implies work rate or units of work per unit of time,
and as such, it is a function of the speed at which the force is
developed. The term "power required" is generally associated
with reciprocating engines.

Powerplant. A complete engine and propeller combination
with accessories.

Precession. The characteristic of a gyroscope that causes an
applied force to be felt, not at the point of application, but
90° from that point in the direction of rotation.

Precipitation. Any or all forms of water particles (rain,
sleet, hail, or snow) that fall from the atmosphere and reach
the surface.

Precipitation static (P-static). A form of radio interference
caused by rain, snow, or dust particles hitting the antenna and
inducing a small radio-frequency voltage into it.

Precision approach. A standard instrument approach
procedure in which both vertical and horizontal guidance
is provided.

Precision approach path indicator (PAPI). A system of
lights similar to the VASI, but consisting of one row of lights
in two- or four-light systems. A pilot on the correct glideslope
will see two white lights and two red lights. See VASI.

Precision approach radar (PAR). A type of radar used
at an airport to guide an aircraft through the final stages of
landing, providing horizontal and vertical guidance. The
radar operator directs the pilot to change heading or adjust
the descent rate to keep the aircraft on a path that allows it
to touch down at the correct spot on the runway.

Precision runway monitor (PRM). System allows
simultaneous, independent instrument flight rules (IFR)
approaches at airports with closely spaced parallel runways.

Preferred IFR routes. Routes established in the major
terminal and en route environments to increase system
efficiency and capacity. IFR clearances are issued based on
these routes, listed in the A/FD except when severe weather
avoidance procedures or other factors dictate otherwise.

Preignition. Ignition occurring in the cylinder before the
time of normal ignition. Preignition is often caused by a
local hot spot in the combustion chamber igniting the fuelair

Pressure altitude. Altitude above the standard 29.92 "Hg

Pressure demand oxygen system. A demand oxygen system
that supplies 100 percent oxygen at sufficient pressure above
the altitude where normal breathing is adequate. Also referred
to as a pressure breathing system.

Prevailing visibility. The greatest horizontal visibility
equaled or exceeded throughout at least half the horizon
circle (which is not necessarily continuous).

Preventive maintenance. Simple or minor preservative
operations and the replacement of small standard parts
not involving complex assembly operation as listed in 14
CFR part 43, appendix A. Certificated pilots may perform
preventive maintenance on any aircraft that is owned or
operated by them provided that the aircraft is not used in air
carrier service.