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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




VDP. See visual descent point.

Vector. A force vector is a graphic representation of a force
and shows both the magnitude and direction of the force.

Vectoring. Navigational guidance by assigning headings.

Velocity. The speed or rate of movement in a certain

Venturi tube. A specially shaped tube attached to the outside
of an aircraft to produce suction to allow proper operation
of gyro instruments.

Vertical axis. An imaginary line passing vertically through
the center of gravity of an aircraft. The vertical axis is called
the z-axis or the yaw axis.

Vertical card compass. A magnetic compass that consists of
an azimuth on a vertical card, resembling a heading indicator
with a .xed miniature airplane to accurately present the
heading of the aircraft. The design uses eddy current damping
to minimize lead and lag during turns.

Vertical speed indicator (VSI). A rate-of-pressure change
instrument that gives an indication of any deviation from a
constant pressure level.

Vertical stability. Stability about an aircraft's vertical axis.
Also called yawing or directional stability.

Very-high frequency (VHF). A band of radio frequencies
falling between 30 and 300 MHz.

Very-high frequency omnidirectional range (VOR).
Electronic navigation equipment in which the flight deck
instrument identifies the radial or line from the VOR station,
measured in degrees clockwise from magnetic north, along
which the aircraft is located.

Vestibule. The central cavity of the bony labyrinth of the ear,
or the parts of the membranous labyrinth that it contains.

VFE. The maximum speed with the flaps extended. The upper
limit of the white arc.

VFR. See visual flight rules.

VFR on top. ATC authorization for an IFR aircraft to operate
in VFR conditions at any appropriate VFR altitude.

VFR over the top. A VFR operation in which an aircraft
operates in VFR conditions on top of an undercast.

VFR terminal area chart. At a scale of 1:250,000, a chart
that depicts Class B airspace, which provides for the control
or segregation of all the aircraft within the Class B airspace.
The chart depicts topographic information and aeronautical
information including visual and radio aids to navigation,
airports, controlled airspace, restricted areas, obstructions,
and related data.

V-G diagram. A chart that relates velocity to load factor. It
is valid only for a specific weight, configuration and altitude
and shows the maximum amount of positive or negative lift
the airplane is capable of generating at a given speed. Also
shows the safe load factor limits and the load factor that the
aircraft can sustain at various speeds.

Victor airways. Airways based on a centerline that extends
from one VOR or VORTAC navigation aid or intersection,
to another navigation aid (or through several navigation aids
or intersections); used to establish a known route for en route
procedures between terminal areas.

Visual approach slope indicator (VASI). A visual aid of
lights arranged to provide descent guidance information
during the approach to the runway. A pilot on the correct
glideslope will see red lights over white lights.

Visual descent point (VDP). A defined point on the final
approach course of a nonprecision straight-in approach
procedure from which normal descent from the MDA to the
runway touchdown point may be commenced, provided the
runway environment is clearly visible to the pilot.

Visual flight rules (VFR). Flight rules adopted by the
FAA governing aircraft flight using visual references. VFR
operations specify the amount of ceiling and the visibility the
pilot must have in order to operate according to these rules.
When the weather conditions are such that the pilot can not
operate according to VFR, he or she must use instrument
flight rules (IFR).

Visual meteorological conditions (VMC). Meteorological
conditions expressed in terms of visibility, distance from
cloud, and ceiling meeting or exceeding the minimums
specified for VFR.

VLE. Landing gear extended speed. The maximum speed at
which an airplane can be safely .own with the landing gear