FAA-H-8083-3A
AIRPLANE FLYINGHANDBOOK2004U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATIONFEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATIONFlight Standards ServiceFront M...
iiFront Matter.qxd 5/7/04 10:45 AM Page ii
iiiPREFACEThe Airplane Flying Handbook is designed as a technical manual to introduce basic pilot skills and knowledge tha...
ivFront Matter.qxd 5/7/04 10:45 AM Page iv
vChapter 1—Introduction to Flight TrainingPurpose of Flight Training.............................1-1Role of the FAA .........
viTakeoff Roll............................................5-10Lift-Off ......................................................
viiTakeoff, Climb, and Cruise ....................11-4Blade Angle Control...............................11-5Governing Rang...
viiiFuel Heaters............................................15-3Setting Power..........................................15-...
PURPOSE OF FLIGHT TRAININGThe overall purpose of primary and intermediate flighttraining, as outlined in this handbook, is...
1-2Within the FAA, the Flight Standards Service sets theaviation standards for airmen and aircraft operations inthe United...
1-3ROLE OF THE FLIGHT INSTRUCTORThe flight instructor is the cornerstone of aviationsafety. The FAA has adopted an operati...
1-4approved by the FAA. The TCO must contain studentenrollment prerequisites, detailed description of eachlesson including...
1-5flight rules (IFR) or visual flight rules (VFR). Pilotsshould also keep in mind their responsibility for con-tinuously ...
1-6other aircraft and ground vehicles on the airportmovement area. Many flight training activities areconducted at non-tow...
1-7again saying, “You have the flight controls.” Part ofthe procedure should be a visual check to ensure thatthe other per...
1-8Ch 01.qxd 5/6/04 11:25 AM Page 1-8
2-1VISUAL INSPECTIONThe accomplishment of a safe flight begins with a care-ful visual inspection of the airplane. The purp...
2-2The determination of whether the airplane is in a con-dition for safe flight is made by a preflight inspectionof the ai...
2-3also be inspected. The holes should be round and notoval. The pin and seat rail grips should also be checkedfor wear an...
2-4the glass face may be a sign that the seal has beenbreached, allowing moisture and dirt to be sucked intothe instrument...
2-5FUEL AND OILParticular attention should be paid to the fuel quantity,type and grade, and quality. [Figure 2-7] Many fue...
2-6signs of vent tubing damage, as well as vent blockage.A functional check of the fuel vent system can be donesimply by o...
2-7COCKPIT MANAGEMENTAfter entering the airplane, the pilot should first ensurethat all necessary equipment, documents, ch...
2-8When activating the starter, one hand should be kepton the throttle. This allows prompt response if theengine falters d...
2-9are less likely to be misunderstood than SWITCH ONand SWITCH OFF.When removing the wheel chocks after the enginestarts,...
2-10moving forward slowly, then retarding the throttle andsimultaneously applying pressure smoothly to bothbrakes does thi...
2-11the weathervaning tendency is less than intailwheel-type airplanes because the main wheels arelocated farther aft, and...
2-12ENGINE SHUTDOWNFinally, the pilot should always use the procedures inthe manufacturer’s checklist for shutting down th...
3-1THE FOUR FUNDAMENTALSThere are four fundamental basic flight maneuversupon which all flying tasks are based: straight-a...
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FAA Airplane Flying Handbook

  1. 1. FAA-H-8083-3A
  2. 2. AIRPLANE FLYINGHANDBOOK2004U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATIONFEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATIONFlight Standards ServiceFront Matter.qxd 5/7/04 10:45 AM Page i
  3. 3. iiFront Matter.qxd 5/7/04 10:45 AM Page ii
  4. 4. iiiPREFACEThe Airplane Flying Handbook is designed as a technical manual to introduce basic pilot skills and knowledge thatare essential for piloting airplanes. It provides information on transition to other airplanes and the operation ofvarious airplane systems. It is developed by the Flight Standards Service, Airman Testing Standards Branch, incooperation with various aviation educators and industry.This handbook is developed to assist student pilots learning to fly airplanes. It is also beneficial to pilots who wishto improve their flying proficiency and aeronautical knowledge, those pilots preparing for additional certificates orratings, and flight instructors engaged in the instruction of both student and certificated pilots. It introduces the futurepilot to the realm of flight and provides information and guidance in the performance of procedures and maneuversrequired for pilot certification. Topics such as navigation and communication, meteorology, use of flight informationpublications, regulations, and aeronautical decision making are available in other Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) publications.This handbook conforms to pilot training and certification concepts established by the FAA. There are different waysof teaching, as well as performing flight procedures and maneuvers, and many variations in the explanations ofaerodynamic theories and principles. This handbook adopts a selective method and concept of flying airplanes. Thediscussion and explanations reflect the most commonly used practices and principles. Occasionally the word “must”or similar language is used where the desired action is deemed critical. The use of such language is not intended toadd to, interpret, or relieve a duty imposed by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR).It is essential for persons using this handbook to also become familiar with and apply the pertinent parts of 14 CFRand the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). The AIM is available online at http://www.faa.gov/atpubs.Performance standards for demonstrating competence required for pilot certification are prescribed in the appropri-ate airplane practical test standard.The current Flight Standards Service airman training and testing material and subject matter knowledge codes for allairman certificates and ratings can be obtained from the Flight Standards Service Web site at http://av-info.faa.gov.The FAA greatly acknowledges the valuable assistance provided by many individuals and organizations throughoutthe aviation community whose expertise contributed to the preparation of this handbook.This handbook supersedes FAA-H-8083-3, Airplane Flying Handbook, dated 1999. This handbook also supersedesAC 61-9B, Pilot Transition Courses for Complex Single-Engine and Light Twin-Engine Airplanes, dated 1974; andrelated portions of AC 61-10A, Private and Commercial Pilots Refresher Courses, dated 1972. This revision expandsall technical subject areas from the previous edition, FAA-H-8083-3. It also incorporates new areas of safety con-cerns and technical information not previously covered. The chapters covering transition to seaplanes and skiplaneshave been removed. They will be incorporated into a new handbook (under development), FAA-H-8083-23,Seaplane, Skiplane and Float/Ski Equipped Helicopter Operations Handbook.This handbook is available for download from the Flight Standards Service Web site at http://av-info.faa.gov. Thisweb site also provides information about availablity of printed copies.This handbook is published by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, AirmanTesting Standards Branch, AFS-630, P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Comments regarding this hand-book should be sent in e-mail form to AFS630comments@faa.gov.AC 00-2, Advisory Circular Checklist, transmits the current status of FAA advisory circulars andother flight information publications. This checklist is available via the Internet athttp://www.faa.gov/aba/html_policies/ac00_2.html.Front Matter.qxd 5/7/04 10:45 AM Page iii
  5. 5. ivFront Matter.qxd 5/7/04 10:45 AM Page iv
  6. 6. vChapter 1—Introduction to Flight TrainingPurpose of Flight Training.............................1-1Role of the FAA ............................................1-1Role of the Pilot Examiner............................1-2Role of the Flight Instructor..........................1-3Sources of Flight Training.............................1-3Practical Test Standards.................................1-4Flight Safety Practices...................................1-4Collision Avoidance..................................1-4Runway Incursion Avoidance...................1-5Stall Awareness.........................................1-6Use of Checklists......................................1-6Positive Transfer of Controls....................1-6Chapter 2—Ground OperationsVisual Inspection ...........................................2-1Inside the Cockpit.....................................2-2Outer Wing Surfacesand Tail Section .......................................2-4Fuel and Oil..............................................2-5Landing Gear, Tires, and Brakes..............2-6Engine and Propeller ................................2-6Cockpit Management.....................................2-7Ground Operations ........................................2-7Engine Starting..............................................2-7Hand Propping...............................................2-8Taxiing...........................................................2-9Before Takeoff Check..................................2-11After Landing ..............................................2-11Clear of Runway..........................................2-11Parking.........................................................2-11Engine Shutdown.........................................2-12Postflight......................................................2-12Securing and Servicing................................2-12Chapter 3—Basic Flight ManeuversThe Four Fundamentals.................................3-1Effects and Use of the Controls ....................3-1Feel of the Airplane.......................................3-2Attitude Flying...............................................3-2Integrated Flight Instruction..........................3-3Straight-and-Level Flight ..............................3-4Trim Control..................................................3-6Level Turns....................................................3-7Climbs and Climbing Turns ........................3-13Normal Climb.........................................3-13Best Rate of Climb.................................3-13Best Angle of Climb...............................3-13Descents and Descending Turns..................3-15Partial Power Descent ............................3-16Descent at MinimumSafe Airspeed.........................................3-16Glides......................................................3-16Pitch and Power...........................................3-19Chapter 4—Slow Flight, Stalls, and SpinsIntroduction ...................................................4-1Slow Flight ....................................................4-1Flight at Less thanCruise Airspeeds......................................4-1Flight at MinimumControllable Airspeed..............................4-1Stalls ..............................................................4-3Recognition of Stalls ................................4-3Fundamentals of Stall Recovery ..............4-4Use of Ailerons/Rudderin Stall Recovery .....................................4-5Stall Characteristics..................................4-6Approaches to Stalls (Imminent Stalls)—Power-On or Power-Off ......................4-6Full Stalls Power-Off................................4-7Full Stalls Power-On ................................4-8Secondary Stall.........................................4-9Accelerated Stalls.....................................4-9Cross-Control Stall.................................4-10Elevator Trim Stall .................................4-11Spins ............................................................4-12Spin Procedures......................................4-13Entry Phase.........................................4-13Incipient Phase....................................4-13Developed Phase ................................4-14Recovery Phase ..................................4-14Intentional Spins..........................................4-15Weight and Balance Requirements.........4-16Chapter 5—Takeoff and Departure ClimbsGeneral...........................................................5-1Terms and Definitions ...................................5-1Prior to Takeoff..............................................5-2Normal Takeoff..............................................5-2Takeoff Roll..............................................5-2Lift-Off .....................................................5-3Initial Climb..............................................5-4Crosswind Takeoff.........................................5-5Takeoff Roll..............................................5-5Lift-Off .....................................................5-6Initial Climb..............................................5-6Ground Effect on Takeoff..............................5-7Short-Field Takeoff and MaximumPerformance Climb.......................................5-8Takeoff Roll..............................................5-9Lift-Off .....................................................5-9Initial Climb..............................................5-9Soft/Rough-Field Takeoff and Climb..........5-10CONTENTSFront Matter.qxd 5/7/04 10:45 AM Page v
  7. 7. viTakeoff Roll............................................5-10Lift-Off ...................................................5-10Initial Climb............................................5-10Rejected Takeoff/Engine Failure .................5-11Noise Abatement..........................................5-11Chapter 6—Ground Reference ManeuversPurpose and Scope.........................................6-1Maneuvering By Referenceto Ground Objects ........................................6-1Drift and Ground Track Control....................6-2Rectangular Course .......................................6-4S-Turns Across a Road..................................6-6Turns Around a Point ....................................6-7Elementary Eights .........................................6-9Eights Along a Road.................................6-9Eights Across a Road..............................6-11Eights Around Pylons.............................6-11Eights-On-Pylons (Pylon Eights)...........6-12Chapter 7—Airport Traffic PatternsAirport Traffic Patterns and Operations........7-1Standard Airport Traffic Patterns ..................7-1Chapter 8—Approaches and LandingsNormal Approach and Landing.....................8-1Base Leg...................................................8-1Final Approach .........................................8-2Use of Flaps..............................................8-3Estimating Height and Movement............8-4Roundout (Flare) ......................................8-5Touchdown ...............................................8-6After-Landing Roll ...................................8-7Stabilized Approach Concept...................8-7Intentional Slips...........................................8-10Go-Arounds (Rejected Landings)................8-11Power......................................................8-11Attitude...................................................8-12Configuration..........................................8-12Ground Effect ..............................................8-13Crosswind Approach and Landing ..............8-13Crosswind Final Approach.....................8-13Crosswind Roundout (Flare) ..................8-15Crosswind Touchdown ...........................8-15Crosswind After-Landing Roll ...............8-15Maximum SafeCrosswind Velocities .............................8-16Turbulent Air Approach and Landing .........8-17Short-Field Approach and Landing.............8-17Soft-Field Approach and Landing...............8-19Power-Off Accuracy Approaches................8-2190° Power-Off Approach........................8-21180° Power-Off Approach......................8-23360° Power-Off Approach......................8-24Emergency Approaches andLandings (Simulated) .................................8-25Faulty Approaches and Landings ................8-27Low Final Approach...............................8-27High Final Approach ..............................8-27Slow Final Approach..............................8-28Use of Power ..........................................8-28High Roundout .......................................8-28Late or Rapid Roundout.........................8-29Floating During Roundout......................8-29Ballooning During Roundout.................8-30Bouncing During Touchdown ................8-30Porpoising...............................................8-31Wheelbarrowing .....................................8-32Hard Landing..........................................8-32Touchdown in a Drift or Crab................8-32Ground Loop ..........................................8-33Wing Rising After Touchdown...............8-33Hydroplaning...............................................8-34Dynamic Hydroplaning ..........................8-34Reverted Rubber Hydroplaning..............8-34Viscous Hydroplaning ............................8-34Chapter 9—Performance ManeuversPerformance Maneuvers................................9-1Steep Turns...............................................9-1Steep Spiral...............................................9-3Chandelle..................................................9-4Lazy Eight ................................................9-6Chapter 10—Night OperationsNight Vision.................................................10-1Night Illusions .............................................10-2Pilot Equipment...........................................10-3Airplane Equipment and Lighting...............10-3Airport and Navigation Lighting Aids ........10-4Preparation and Preflight.............................10-4Starting, Taxiing, and Runup.......................10-5Takeoff and Climb.......................................10-5Orientation and Navigation .........................10-6Approaches and Landings ...........................10-6Night Emergencies ......................................10-8Chapter 11—Transition to ComplexAirplanesHigh Performanceand Complex Airplanes ..............................11-1Wing Flaps...................................................11-1Function of Flaps....................................11-1Flap Effectiveness...................................11-2Operational Procedures...........................11-2Controllable-Pitch Propeller........................11-3Constant-Speed Propeller .......................11-4Front Matter.qxd 5/7/04 10:45 AM Page vi
  8. 8. viiTakeoff, Climb, and Cruise ....................11-4Blade Angle Control...............................11-5Governing Range....................................11-5Constant-Speed Propeller Operation ......11-5Turbocharging..............................................11-7Ground Boosting vs.Altitude Turbocharging..........................11-7Operating Characteristics .......................11-8Heat Management...................................11-8Turbocharger Failure ..............................11-9Overboost Condition...........................11-9Low Manifold Pressure ......................11-9Retractable Landing Gear............................11-9Landing Gear Systems............................11-9Controls and Position Indicators ..........11-10Landing Gear Safety Devices...............11-10Emergency GearExtension Systems...............................11-10Operational Procedures.........................11-12Preflight ............................................11-12Takeoff and Climb............................11-13Approach and Landing .....................11-13Transition Training ....................................11-14Chapter 12—Transition to MultiengineAirplanesMultiengine Flight.......................................12-1General.........................................................12-1Terms and Definitions .................................12-1Operation of Systems ..................................12-3Propellers................................................12-3Propeller Synchronization ......................12-5Fuel Crossfeed........................................12-5Combustion Heater.................................12-6Flight Director / Autopilot......................12-6Yaw Damper...........................................12-6Alternator / Generator ............................12-7Nose Baggage Compartment..................12-7Anti-Icing / Deicing................................12-7Performance and Limitations ......................12-8Weight and Balance...................................12-10Ground Operation......................................12-12Normal and CrosswindTakeoff and Climb....................................12-12Level Off and Cruise.................................12-14Normal Approach and Landing.................12-14Crosswind Approach and Landing ............12-16Short-Field Takeoff and Climb..................12-16Short-Field Approachand Landing..............................................12-17Go-Around.................................................12-17Rejected Takeoff........................................12-18Engine Failure After Lift-Off ....................12-18Engine Failure During Flight ....................12-21Engine Inoperative Approachand Landing..............................................12-22Engine Inoperative Flight Principles.........12-23Slow Flight ................................................12-25Stalls ..........................................................12-25Power-Off Stalls(Approach and Landing) .....................12-26Power-On Stalls(Takeoff and Departure) ......................12-26Spin Awareness.....................................12-26Engine Inoperative—Loss ofDirectional Control Demonstration..........12-27Multiengine Training Considerations........12-31Chapter 13—Transition to TailwheelAirplanesTailwheel Airplanes.....................................13-1Landing Gear...............................................13-1Taxiing.........................................................13-1Normal Takeoff Roll....................................13-2Takeoff.........................................................13-3Crosswind Takeoff.......................................13-3Short-Field Takeoff......................................13-3Soft-Field Takeoff........................................13-4Touchdown ..................................................13-4After-Landing Roll ......................................13-4Crosswind Landing......................................13-5Crosswind After-Landing Roll ....................13-5Wheel Landing ............................................13-6Short-Field Landing.....................................13-6Soft-Field Landing.......................................13-6Ground Loop ...............................................13-6Chapter 14—Transition to TurbopropellerPowered AirplanesGeneral.........................................................14-1The Gas Turbine Engine..............................14-1Turboprop Engines ......................................14-2Turboprop Engine Types .............................14-3Fixed Shaft..............................................14-3Split-Shaft / Free Turbine Engine ..........14-5Reverse Thrust andBeta Range Operations...............................14-7Turboprop AirplaneElectrical Systems ......................................14-8Operational Considerations .......................14-10Training Considerations ............................14-12Chapter 15—Transition to Jet PoweredAirplanesGeneral.........................................................15-1Jet Engine Basics.........................................15-1Operating the Jet Engine .............................15-2Jet Engine Ignition..................................15-3Continuous Ignition................................15-3Front Matter.qxd 5/7/04 10:45 AM Page vii
  9. 9. viiiFuel Heaters............................................15-3Setting Power..........................................15-4Thrust to Thrust Lever Relationship ......15-4Variation of Thrust with RPM................15-4Slow Acceleration of the Jet Engine ......15-4Jet Engine Efficiency...................................15-5Absence of Propeller Effect ........................15-5Absence of Propeller Slipstream.................15-5Absence of Propeller Drag ..........................15-6Speed Margins.............................................15-6Recovery from Overspeed Conditions ........15-8Mach Buffet Boundaries..............................15-8Low Speed Flight ......................................15-10Stalls ..........................................................15-10Drag Devices .............................................15-13Thrust Reversers........................................15-14Pilot Sensations in Jet Flying ....................15-15Jet Airplane Takeoff and Climb.................15-16V-Speeds...............................................15-16Pre-Takeoff Procedures ........................15-16Takeoff Roll..........................................15-17Rotation and Lift-Off............................15-18Initial Climb..........................................15-18Jet Airplane Approach and Landing..........15-19Landing Requirements..........................15-19Landing Speeds ....................................15-19Significant Differences.........................15-20The Stabilized Approach ......................15-21Approach Speed....................................15-21Glidepath Control.................................15-22The Flare...............................................15-22Touchdown and Rollout .......................15-24Chapter 16—Emergency ProceduresEmergency Situations..................................16-1Emergency Landings...................................16-1Types of Emergency Landings...............16-1Psychological Hazards............................16-1Basic Safety Concepts.................................16-2General....................................................16-2Attitude and Sink Rate Control..............16-3Terrain Selection.....................................16-3Airplane Configuration...........................16-3Approach ................................................16-4Terrain Types ...............................................16-4Confined Areas.......................................16-4Trees (Forest)..........................................16-4Water (Ditching) and Snow....................16-4Engine Failure After Takeoff(Single-Engine)...........................................16-5Emergency Descents ...................................16-6In-Flight Fire ...............................................16-7Engine Fire .............................................16-7Electrical Fires........................................16-7Cabin Fire...............................................16-8Flight Control Malfunction / Failure...........16-8Total Flap Failure ...................................16-8Asymmetric (Split) Flap.........................16-8Loss of Elevator Control ........................16-9Landing Gear Malfunction..........................16-9Systems Malfunctions ...............................16-10Electrical System..................................16-10Pitot-Static System ...............................16-11Abnormal EngineInstrument Indications ..............................16-11Door Opening In Flight.............................16-12Inadvertent VFR Flight Into IMC .............16-12General..................................................16-12Recognition...........................................16-14Maintaining Airplane Control ..............16-14Attitude Control....................................16-14Turns.....................................................16-15Climbs...................................................16-15Descents................................................16-16Combined Maneuvers...........................16-16Transition to Visual Flight....................16-16Glossary .......................................................G-1Index..............................................................I-1Front Matter.qxd 5/7/04 10:45 AM Page viii
  10. 10. PURPOSE OF FLIGHT TRAININGThe overall purpose of primary and intermediate flighttraining, as outlined in this handbook, is the acquisitionand honing of basic airmanship skills. Airmanshipcan be defined as:• A sound acquaintance with the principles offlight,• The ability to operate an airplane with compe-tence and precision both on the ground and in theair, and• The exercise of sound judgment that results inoptimal operational safety and efficiency.Learning to fly an airplane has often been likened tolearning to drive an automobile. This analogy ismisleading. Since an airplane operates in a differentenvironment, three dimensional, it requires a type ofmotor skill development that is more sensitive to thissituation such as:• Coordination—The ability to use the hands andfeet together subconsciously and in the properrelationship to produce desired results in the air-plane.• Timing—The application of muscular coordina-tion at the proper instant to make flight, and allmaneuvers incident thereto, a constant smoothprocess.• Control touch—The ability to sense the actionof the airplane and its probable actions in theimmediate future, with regard to attitude andspeed variations, by the sensing and evaluation ofvarying pressures and resistance of the controlsurfaces transmitted through the cockpit flightcontrols.• Speed sense—The ability to sense instantly andreact to any reasonable variation of airspeed.An airman becomes one with the airplane rather thana machine operator. An accomplished airmandemonstrates the ability to assess a situation quicklyand accurately and deduce the correct procedure tobe followed under the circumstance; to analyzeaccurately the probable results of a given set of cir-cumstances or of a proposed procedure; to exercisecare and due regard for safety; to gauge accuratelythe performance of the airplane; and to recognizepersonal limitations and limitations of the airplaneand avoid approaching the critical points of each.The development of airmanship skills requires effortand dedication on the part of both the student pilotand the flight instructor, beginning with the very firsttraining flight where proper habit formation beginswith the student being introduced to good operatingpractices.Every airplane has its own particular flight characteris-tics. The purpose of primary and intermediate flighttraining, however, is not to learn how to fly a particularmake and model airplane. The underlying purpose offlight training is to develop skills and safe habits thatare transferable to any airplane. Basic airmanship skillsserve as a firm foundation for this. The pilot who hasacquired necessary airmanship skills during training,and demonstrates these skills by flying training-typeairplanes with precision and safe flying habits, will beable to easily transition to more complex and higherperformance airplanes. It should also be rememberedthat the goal of flight training is a safe and competentpilot, and that passing required practical tests for pilotcertification is only incidental to this goal.ROLE OF THE FAAThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is empow-ered by the U.S. Congress to promote aviation safetyby prescribing safety standards for civil aviation. Thisis accomplished through the Code of FederalRegulations (CFRs) formerly referred to as FederalAviation Regulations (FARs).Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR)part 61 pertains to the certification of pilots, flightinstructors, and ground instructors. 14 CFR part 61 pre-scribes the eligibility, aeronautical knowledge, flightproficiency, and training and testing requirements foreach type of pilot certificate issued.14 CFR part 67 prescribes the medical standards andcertification procedures for issuing medical certificatesfor airmen and for remaining eligible for a medicalcertificate.14 CFR part 91 contains general operating and flightrules. The section is broad in scope and providesgeneral guidance in the areas of general flight rules,visual flight rules (VFR), instrument flight rules(IFR), aircraft maintenance, and preventive mainte-nance and alterations.1-1Ch 01.qxd 5/6/04 11:25 AM Page 1-1
  11. 11. 1-2Within the FAA, the Flight Standards Service sets theaviation standards for airmen and aircraft operations inthe United States and for American airmen and aircraftaround the world. The FAA Flight Standards Service isheadquartered in Washington, D.C., and is broadlyorganized into divisions based on work function (AirTransportation, Aircraft Maintenance, TechnicalPrograms, a Regulatory Support Division based inOklahoma City, OK, and a General Aviation andCommercial Division). Regional Flight Standards divi-sion managers, one at each of the FAA’s nine regionaloffices, coordinate Flight Standards activities withintheir respective regions.The interface between the FAA Flight StandardsService and the aviation community/general publicis the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).[Figure 1-1] The approximately 90 FSDOs arestrategically located across the United States, eachoffice having jurisdiction over a specific geographicarea. The individual FSDO is responsible for all airactivity occurring within its geographic boundaries.In addition to accident investigation and theenforcement of aviation regulations, the individualFSDO is responsible for the certification and sur-veillance of air carriers, air operators, flightschools/training centers, and airmen including pilotsand flight instructors.Each FSDO is staffed by aviation safety inspectorswhose specialties include operations, maintenance,and avionics. General aviation operations inspec-tors are highly qualified and experienced aviators.Once accepted for the position, an inspector mustsatisfactorily complete a course of indoctrinationtraining conducted at the FAA Academy, whichincludes airman evaluation and pilot testing tech-niques and procedures. Thereafter, the inspector mustcomplete recurrent training on a regular basis. Amongother duties, the FSDO inspector is responsible foradministering FAA practical tests for pilot and flightinstructor certificates and associated ratings. All ques-tions concerning pilot certification (and/or requests forother aviation information or services) should be directedto the FSDO having jurisdiction in the particular geo-graphic area. FSDO telephone numbers are listed in theblue pages of the telephone directory under United StatesGovernment offices, Department of Transportation,Federal Aviation Administration.ROLE OF THE PILOT EXAMINERPilot and flight instructor certificates are issued bythe FAA upon satisfactory completion of requiredknowledge and practical tests. The administrationof these tests is an FAA responsibility normallycarried out at the FSDO level by FSDO inspectors.The FAA, however, being a U.S. governmentagency, has limited resources and must prioritizeits responsibilities. The agency’s highest priorityis the surveillance of certificated air carriers, withthe certification of airmen (including pilots andflight instructors) having a lower priority.In order to satisfy the public need for pilot testing andcertification services, the FAAdelegates certain of theseresponsibilities, as the need arises, to private individu-als who are not FAA employees. A designated pilotexaminer (DPE) is a private citizen who is designatedas a representative of the FAAAdministrator to performspecific (but limited) pilot certification tasks on behalfof the FAA, and may charge a reasonable fee for doingso. Generally, a DPE’s authority is limited to acceptingapplications and conducting practical tests leading tothe issuance of specific pilot certificates and/or ratings.A DPE operates under the direct supervision of theFSDO that holds the examiner’s designation file. AFSDO inspector is assigned to monitor the DPE’s certi-fication activities. Normally, the DPE is authorized toconduct these activities only within the designatingFSDO’s jurisdictional area.The FAA selects only highly qualified individuals tobe designated pilot examiners. These individuals musthave good industry reputations for professionalism,high integrity, a demonstrated willingness to serve thepublic, and adhere to FAA policies and procedures incertification matters. A designated pilot examiner isexpected to administer practical tests with the samedegree of professionalism, using the same methods,procedures, and standards as an FAA aviation safetyinspector. It should be remembered, however, that aDPE is not an FAA aviation safety inspector. A DPEcannot initiate enforcement action, investigate acci-dents, or perform surveillance activities on behalf ofthe FAA. However, the majority of FAA practical testsat the recreational, private, and commercial pilot levelare administered by FAA designated pilot examiners.Figure 1-1. FAA FSDO.Ch 01.qxd 5/6/04 11:25 AM Page 1-2
  12. 12. 1-3ROLE OF THE FLIGHT INSTRUCTORThe flight instructor is the cornerstone of aviationsafety. The FAA has adopted an operational trainingconcept that places the full responsibility for studenttraining on the authorized flight instructor. In this role,the instructor assumes the total responsibility for train-ing the student pilot in all the knowledge areas andskills necessary to operate safely and competently as acertificated pilot in the National Airspace System. Thistraining will include airmanship skills, pilot judgmentand decision making, and accepted good operatingpractices.An FAA certificated flight instructor has to meetbroad flying experience requirements, pass rigidknowledge and practical tests, and demonstrate theability to apply recommended teaching techniquesbefore being certificated. In addition, the flightinstructor’s certificate must be renewed every 24months by showing continued success in trainingpilots, or by satisfactorily completing a flight instruc-tor’s refresher course or a practical test designed toupgrade aeronautical knowledge, pilot proficiency,and teaching techniques.A pilot training program is dependent on the quality ofthe ground and flight instruction the student pilotreceives. A good flight instructor will have a thoroughunderstanding of the learning process, knowledge ofthe fundamentals of teaching, and the ability to com-municate effectively with the student pilot.A good flight instructor will use a syllabus and insiston correct techniques and procedures from thebeginning of training so that the student will developproper habit patterns. The syllabus should embodythe “building block” method of instruction, in whichthe student progresses from the known to theunknown. The course of instruction should be laidout so that each new maneuver embodies the principlesinvolved in the performance of those previouslyundertaken. Consequently, through each new subjectintroduced, the student not only learns a new princi-ple or technique, but broadens his/her application ofthose previously learned and has his/her deficienciesin the previous maneuvers emphasized and madeobvious.The flying habits of the flight instructor, both duringflight instruction and as observed by students whenconducting other pilot operations, have a vital effecton safety. Students consider their flight instructor to bea paragon of flying proficiency whose flying habitsthey, consciously or unconsciously, attempt to imitate.For this reason, a good flight instructor will meticu-lously observe the safety practices taught the students.Additionally, a good flight instructor will carefullyobserve all regulations and recognized safety practicesduring all flight operations.Generally, the student pilot who enrolls in a pilot trainingprogram is prepared to commit considerable time,effort, and expense in pursuit of a pilot certificate. Thestudent may tend to judge the effectiveness of the flightinstructor, and the overall success of the pilot trainingprogram, solely in terms of being able to pass therequisite FAA practical test. A good flight instructor,however, will be able to communicate to the studentthat evaluation through practical tests is a mere sam-pling of pilot ability that is compressed into a shortperiod of time. The flight instructor’s role, however, isto train the “total” pilot.SOURCES OF FLIGHT TRAININGThe major sources of flight training in the United Statesinclude FAA-approved pilot schools and training cen-ters, non-certificated (14 CFR part 61) flying schools,and independent flight instructors. FAA “approved”schools are those flight schools certificated by the FAAas pilot schools under 14 CFR part 141. [Figure 1-2]Application for certification is voluntary, and the schoolmust meet stringent requirements for personnel, equip-ment, maintenance, and facilities. The school mustoperate in accordance with an established curriculum,which includes a training course outline (TCO)Figure 1-2. FAA-approved pilot school certificate.Ch 01.qxd 5/6/04 11:25 AM Page 1-3
  13. 13. 1-4approved by the FAA. The TCO must contain studentenrollment prerequisites, detailed description of eachlesson including standards and objectives, expectedaccomplishments and standards for each stage of train-ing, and a description of the checks and tests used tomeasure a student’s accomplishments. FAA-approvedpilot school certificates must be renewed every 2 years.Renewal is contingent upon proof of continued highquality instruction and a minimum level of instructionalactivity. Training at an FAA certificated pilot school isstructured. Because of this structured environment, theCFRs allow graduates of these pilot schools to meet thecertification experience requirements of 14 CFR part61 with less flight time. Many FAA certificated pilotschools have designated pilot examiners (DPEs) ontheir staff to administer FAA practical tests. Someschools have been granted examining authority by theFAA. A school with examining authority for a particu-lar course or courses has the authority to recommend itsgraduates for pilot certificates or ratings without furthertesting by the FAA. A list of FAA certificated pilotschools and their training courses can be found inAdvisory Circular (AC) 140-2, FAA Certificated PilotSchool Directory.FAA-approved training centers are certificated under14 CFR part 142. Training centers, like certificatedpilot schools, operate in a structured environment withapproved courses and curricula, and stringent standardsfor personnel, equipment, facilities, operating proce-dures and record keeping. Training centers certificatedunder 14 CFR part 142, however, specialize in the useof flight simulation (flight simulators and flight train-ing devices) in their training courses.The overwhelming majority of flying schools in theUnited States are not certificated by the FAA. Theseschools operate under the provisions of 14 CFR part61. Many of these non-certificated flying schools offerexcellent training, and meet or exceed the standardsrequired of FAA-approved pilot schools. Flightinstructors employed by non-certificated flyingschools, as well as independent flight instructors, mustmeet the same basic 14 CFR part 61 flight instructorrequirements for certification and renewal as thoseflight instructors employed by FAA certificated pilotschools. In the end, any training program is dependentupon the quality of the ground and flight instruction astudent pilot receives.PRACTICAL TEST STANDARDSPractical tests for FAA pilot certificates and associatedratings are administered by FAA inspectors and desig-nated pilot examiners in accordance with FAA-developedpractical test standards (PTS). [Figure 1-3] 14 CFRpart 61 specifies the areas of operation in whichknowledge and skill must be demonstrated by theapplicant. The CFRs provide the flexibility to permitthe FAA to publish practical test standards containingthe areas of operation and specific tasks in whichcompetence must be demonstrated. The FAA requiresthat all practical tests be conducted in accordance withthe appropriate practical test standards and the policiesset forth in the Introduction section of the practical teststandard book.It must be emphasized that the practical test standardsbook is a testing document rather than a teaching doc-ument. An appropriately rated flight instructor isresponsible for training a pilot applicant to acceptablestandards in all subject matter areas, procedures, andmaneuvers included in the tasks within each area ofoperation in the appropriate practical test standard.The pilot applicant should be familiar with this bookand refer to the standards it contains during training.However, the practical test standard book is notintended to be used as a training syllabus. It containsthe standards to which maneuvers/procedures on FAApractical tests must be performed and the FAA policiesgoverning the administration of practical tests.Descriptions of tasks, and information on how toperform maneuvers and procedures are contained inreference and teaching documents such as thishandbook. A list of reference documents is containedin the Introduction section of each practical test stan-dard book.Practical test standards may be downloaded from theRegulatory Support Division’s, AFS-600, Web site athttp://afs600.faa.gov. Printed copies of practical teststandards can be purchased from the Superintendentof Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,Washington, DC 20402. The official online bookstoreWeb site for the U.S. Government Printing Office iswww.access.gpo.gov.FLIGHT SAFETY PRACTICESIn the interest of safety and good habit pattern forma-tion, there are certain basic flight safety practices andprocedures that must be emphasized by the flightinstructor, and adhered to by both instructor and student,beginning with the very first dual instruction flight.These include, but are not limited to, collisionavoidance procedures including proper scanningtechniques and clearing procedures, runway incursionavoidance, stall awareness, positive transfer ofcontrols, and cockpit workload management.COLLISION AVOIDANCEAll pilots must be alert to the potential for midaircollision and near midair collisions. The general operat-ing and flight rules in 14 CFR part 91 set forth theconcept of “See and Avoid.” This concept requiresthat vigilance shall be maintained at all times, byeach person operating an aircraft regardless ofwhether the operation is conducted under instrumentCh 01.qxd 5/6/04 11:25 AM Page 1-4
  14. 14. 1-5flight rules (IFR) or visual flight rules (VFR). Pilotsshould also keep in mind their responsibility for con-tinuously maintaining a vigilant lookout regardless ofthe type of aircraft being flown and the purpose of theflight. Most midair collision accidents and reportednear midair collision incidents occur in good VFRweather conditions and during the hours of daylight.Most of these accident/incidents occur within 5 milesof an airport and/or near navigation aids.The “See and Avoid” concept relies on knowledgeof the limitations of the human eye, and the use ofproper visual scanning techniques to help compen-sate for these limitations. The importance of, andthe proper techniques for, visual scanning shouldbe taught to a student pilot at the very beginning offlight training. The competent flight instructorshould be familiar with the visual scanning andcollision avoidance information contained inAdvisory Circular (AC) 90-48, Pilots’ Role inCollision Avoidance, and the AeronauticalInformation Manual (AIM).There are many different types of clearing procedures.Most are centered around the use of clearing turns. Theessential idea of the clearing turn is to be certain thatthe next maneuver is not going to proceed into anotherairplane’s flightpath. Some pilot training programshave hard and fast rules, such as requiring two 90°turns in opposite directions before executing anytraining maneuver. Other types of clearing proceduresmay be developed by individual flight instructors.Whatever the preferred method, the flight instructorshould teach the beginning student an effective clear-ing procedure and insist on its use. The student pilotshould execute the appropriate clearing procedurebefore all turns and before executing any trainingmaneuver. Proper clearing procedures, combinedwith proper visual scanning techniques, are the mosteffective strategy for collision avoidance.RUNWAY INCURSION AVOIDANCEA runway incursion is any occurrence at an airportinvolving an aircraft, vehicle, person, or object on theground that creates a collision hazard or results in aloss of separation with an aircraft taking off, landing,or intending to land. The three major areas contribut-ing to runway incursions are:• Communications,• Airport knowledge, and• Cockpit procedures for maintaining orientation.Taxi operations require constant vigilance by the entireflight crew, not just the pilot taxiing the airplane. Thisis especially true during flight training operations.Both the student pilot and the flight instructor need tobe continually aware of the movement and location ofFigure 1-3. PTS books.Ch 01.qxd 5/6/04 11:25 AM Page 1-5
  15. 15. 1-6other aircraft and ground vehicles on the airportmovement area. Many flight training activities areconducted at non-tower controlled airports. Theabsence of an operating airport control tower creates aneed for increased vigilance on the part of pilots oper-ating at those airports.Planning, clear communications, and enhancedsituational awareness during airport surfaceoperations will reduce the potential for surface inci-dents. Safe aircraft operations can be accomplishedand incidents eliminated if the pilot is properly trainedearly on and, throughout his/her flying career,accomplishes standard taxi operating procedures andpractices. This requires the development of theformalized teaching of safe operating practices duringtaxi operations. The flight instructor is the key to thisteaching. The flight instructor should instill in thestudent an awareness of the potential for runwayincursion, and should emphasize the runwayincursion avoidance procedures contained inAdvisory Circular (AC) 91-73, Part 91 Pilot andFlightcrew Procedures During Taxi Operations andPart 135 Single-Pilot Operations.STALL AWARENESS14 CFR part 61 requires that a student pilot receive andlog flight training in stalls and stall recoveries prior tosolo flight. During this training, the flight instructorshould emphasize that the direct cause of every stall isan excessive angle of attack. The student pilot shouldfully understand that there are any number of flightmaneuvers which may produce an increase in thewing’s angle of attack, but the stall does not occur untilthe angle of attack becomes excessive. This “critical”angle of attack varies from 16 to 20° depending on theairplane design.The flight instructor must emphasize that low speed isnot necessary to produce a stall. The wing can bebrought to an excessive angle of attack at any speed.High pitch attitude is not an absolute indication ofproximity to a stall. Some airplanes are capable of ver-tical flight with a corresponding low angle of attack.Most airplanes are quite capable of stalling at a level ornear level pitch attitude.The key to stall awareness is the pilot’s ability tovisualize the wing’s angle of attack in any particularcircumstance, and thereby be able to estimate his/hermargin of safety above stall. This is a learned skillthat must be acquired early in flight training andcarried through the pilot’s entire flying career. Thepilot must understand and appreciate factors such asairspeed, pitch attitude, load factor, relative wind,power setting, and aircraft configuration in order todevelop a reasonably accurate mental picture of thewing’s angle of attack at any particular time. It isessential to flight safety that a pilot take into consid-eration this visualization of the wing’s angle ofattack prior to entering any flight maneuver.USE OF CHECKLISTSChecklists have been the foundation of pilot standard-ization and cockpit safety for years. The checklist is anaid to the memory and helps to ensure that criticalitems necessary for the safe operation of aircraft arenot overlooked or forgotten. However, checklists areof no value if the pilot is not committed to its use.Without discipline and dedication to using the check-list at the appropriate times, the odds are on the side oferror. Pilots who fail to take the checklist seriouslybecome complacent and the only thing they can relyon is memory.The importance of consistent use of checklists cannotbe overstated in pilot training. A major objective inprimary flight training is to establish habit patterns thatwill serve pilots well throughout their entire flyingcareer. The flight instructor must promote a positiveattitude toward the use of checklists, and the studentpilot must realize its importance. At a minimum, pre-pared checklists should be used for the followingphases of flight.• Preflight Inspection.• Before Engine Start.• Engine Starting.• Before Taxiing.• Before Takeoff.• After Takeoff.• Cruise.• Descent.• Before Landing.• After Landing.• Engine Shutdown and Securing.POSITIVE TRANSFER OF CONTROLSDuring flight training, there must always be a clearunderstanding between the student and flight instruc-tor of who has control of the aircraft. Prior to anydual training flight, a briefing should be conductedthat includes the procedure for the exchange of flightcontrols. The following three-step process for theexchange of flight controls is highly recommended.When a flight instructor wishes the student to takecontrol of the aircraft, he/she should say to the stu-dent, “You have the flight controls.” The studentshould acknowledge immediately by saying, “I havethe flight controls.” The flight instructor confirms byCh 01.qxd 5/6/04 11:25 AM Page 1-6
  16. 16. 1-7again saying, “You have the flight controls.” Part ofthe procedure should be a visual check to ensure thatthe other person actually has the flight controls. Whenreturning the controls to the flight instructor, the stu-dent should follow the same procedure the instructorused when giving control to the student. The studentshould stay on the controls until the instructor says:“I have the flight controls.” There should never beany doubt as to who is flying the airplane at any onetime. Numerous accidents have occurred due to a lackof communication or misunderstanding as to whoactually had control of the aircraft, particularlybetween students and flight instructors. Establishingthe above procedure during initial training will ensurethe formation of a very beneficial habit pattern.Ch 01.qxd 5/6/04 11:25 AM Page 1-7
  17. 17. 1-8Ch 01.qxd 5/6/04 11:25 AM Page 1-8
  18. 18. 2-1VISUAL INSPECTIONThe accomplishment of a safe flight begins with a care-ful visual inspection of the airplane. The purpose of thepreflight visual inspection is twofold: to determine thatthe airplane is legally airworthy, and that it is in condi-tion for safe flight. The airworthiness of the airplane isdetermined, in part, by the following certificates anddocuments, which must be on board the airplane whenoperated. [Figure 2-1]Airworthiness certificate.Registration certificate.FCC radio station license, if required by the typeof operation.Airplane operating limitations, which may be inthe form of an FAA-approved Airplane FlightManual and/or Pilot’s Operating Handbook(AFM/POH), placards, instrument markings, orany combination thereof.Airplane logbooks are not required to be kept in theairplane when it is operated. However, they should beinspected prior to flight to show that the airplane hashad required tests and inspections. Maintenancerecords for the airframe and engine are required to bekept. There may also be additional propeller records.At a minimum, there should be an annual inspectionwithin the preceding 12-calendar months. In addition,the airplane may also be required to have a 100-hourinspection in accordance with Title14 of the Code ofFederal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91, section91.409(b).If a transponder is to be used, it is required to beinspected within the preceding 24-calendar months. Ifthe airplane is operated under instrument flight rules(IFR) in controlled airspace, the pitot-static system isalso required to be inspected within the preceding24-calendar months.The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) should alsobe checked. The ELT is battery powered, and thebattery replacement or recharge date should notbe exceeded.Airworthiness Directives (ADs) have varyingcompliance intervals and are usually tracked in aseparate area of the appropriate airframe, engine, orpropeller record.Figure 2-1. Aircraft documents and AFM/POH.••••Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-1
  19. 19. 2-2The determination of whether the airplane is in a con-dition for safe flight is made by a preflight inspectionof the airplane and its components. [Figure 2-2] Thepreflight inspection should be performed in accordancewith a printed checklist provided by the airplane man-ufacturer for the specific make and model airplane.However, the following general areas are applicable toall airplanes.The preflight inspection of the airplane should beginwhile approaching the airplane on the ramp. The pilotshould make note of the general appearance of theairplane, looking for obvious discrepancies such as alanding gear out of alignment, structural distortion,skin damage, and dripping fuel or oil leaks. Uponreaching the airplane, all tiedowns, control locks, andchocks should be removed.INSIDE THE COCKPITThe inspection should start with the cabin door. If thedoor is hard to open or close, or if the carpeting orseats are wet from a recent rain, there is a good chancethat the door, fuselage, or both are misaligned. Thismay be a sign of structural damage.The windshield and side windows should be examinedfor cracks and/or crazing. Crazing is the first stage ofdelamination of the plastic. Crazing decreasesvisibility, and a severely crazed window can result innear zero visibility due to light refraction at certainangles to the sun.The pilot should check the seats, seat rails, and seatbelt attach points for wear, cracks, and serviceability.The seat rail holes where the seat lock pins fit should12345678910Figure 2-2. Preflight inspection.Figure 2-3. Inside the cockpit.Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-2
  20. 20. 2-3also be inspected. The holes should be round and notoval. The pin and seat rail grips should also be checkedfor wear and serviceability.Inside the cockpit, three key items to be checked are:(1) battery and ignition switches—off, (2) controlcolumn locks—removed, (3) landing gear control—down and locked. [Figure 2-3]The fuel selectors should be checked for properoperation in all positions—including the OFF posi-tion. Stiff selectors, or ones where the tank position ishard to find, are unacceptable. The primer should alsobe exercised. The pilot should feel resistance whenthe primer is both pulled out and pushed in. Theprimer should also lock securely. Faulty primers caninterfere with proper engine operation. [Figure 2-4]The engine controls should also be manipulated byslowly moving each through its full range to checkfor binding or stiffness.The airspeed indicator should be properly marked, andthe indicator needle should read zero. If it does not, theinstrument may not be calibrated correctly. Similarly,the vertical speed indicator (VSI) should also read zerowhen the airplane is on the ground. If it does not, asmall screwdriver can be used to zero the instrument.The VSI is the only flight instrument that a pilot hasthe prerogative to adjust. All others must be adjustedby an FAA certificated repairman or mechanic.The magnetic compass is a required instrument forboth VFR and IFR flight. It must be securely mounted,with a correction card in place. The instrument facemust be clear and the instrument case full of fluid. Acloudy instrument face, bubbles in the fluid, or apartially filled case renders the instrument unusable.[Figure 2-5]The gyro driven attitude indicator should be checkedbefore being powered. A white haze on the inside ofFigure 2-4. Fuel selector and primer.Figure 2-5. Airspeed indicator, VSI, and magnetic compass.Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-3
  21. 21. 2-4the glass face may be a sign that the seal has beenbreached, allowing moisture and dirt to be sucked intothe instrument.The altimeter should be checked against the ramp orfield elevation after setting in the barometric pressure.If the variation between the known field elevation andthe altimeter indication is more than 75 feet, itsaccuracy is questionable.The pilot should turn on the battery master switch andmake note of the fuel quantity gauge indications forcomparison with an actual visual inspection of the fueltanks during the exterior inspection.OUTER WING SURFACES AND TAILSECTIONThe pilot should inspect for any signs of deterioration,distortion, and loose or missing rivets or screws,especially in the area where the outer skin attaches tothe airplane structure. [Figure 2-6] The pilot shouldlook along the wing spar rivet line—from the wingtipto the fuselage—for skin distortion. Any ripples and/orwaves may be an indication of internal damageor failure.Loose or sheared aluminum rivets may be identified bythe presence of black oxide which forms rapidly whenthe rivet works free in its hole. Pressure applied to theskin adjacent to the rivet head will help verify theloosened condition of the rivet.When examining the outer wing surface, it should beremembered that any damage, distortion, ormalformation of the wing leading edge renders theairplane unairworthy. Serious dents in the leadingedge, and disrepair of items such as stall strips, anddeicer boots can cause the airplane to beaerodynamically unsound. Also, special care shouldbe taken when examining the wingtips. Airplanewingtips are usually fiberglass. They are easilydamaged and subject to cracking. The pilot shouldlook at stop drilled cracks for evidence of crackprogression, which can, under some circumstances,lead to in-flight failure of the wingtip.The pilot should remember that fuel stains anywhereon the wing warrant further investigation—no matterhow old the stains appear to be. Fuel stains are a signof probable fuel leakage. On airplanes equipped withintegral fuel tanks, evidence of fuel leakage can befound along rivet lines along the underside ofthe wing.Figure 2-6. Wing and tail section inspection.Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-4
  22. 22. 2-5FUEL AND OILParticular attention should be paid to the fuel quantity,type and grade, and quality. [Figure 2-7] Many fueltanks are very sensitive to airplane attitude whenattempting to fuel for maximum capacity. Nosewheelstrut extension, both high as well as low, cansignificantly alter the attitude, and therefore the fuelcapacity. The airplane attitude can also be affectedlaterally by a ramp that slopes, leaving one wingslightly higher than another. Always confirm the fuelquantity indicated on the fuel gauges by visuallyinspecting the level of each tank.The type, grade, and color of fuel are critical to safeoperation. The only widely available aviation gasoline(AVGAS) grade in the United States is low-lead100-octane, or 100LL. AVGAS is dyed for easyrecognition of its grade and has a familiar gasolinescent. Jet-A, or jet fuel, is a kerosene-based fuel forturbine powered airplanes. It has disastrousconsequences when inadvertently introduced intoreciprocating airplane engines. The piston engineoperating on jet fuel may start, run, and power theairplane, but will fail because the engine has beendestroyed from detonation.Jet fuel has a distinctive kerosene scent and is oily tothe touch when rubbed between fingers. Jet fuel isclear or straw colored, although it may appear dyedwhen mixed in a tank containing AVGAS. When a fewdrops of AVGAS are placed upon white paper, theyevaporate quickly and leave just a trace of dye. Incomparison, jet fuel is slower to evaporate and leavesan oily smudge. Jet fuel refueling trucks anddispensing equipment are marked with JET-A placardsin white letters on a black background. Prudent pilotswill supervise fueling to ensure that the correct tanksare filled with the right quantity, type, and grade offuel. The pilot should always ensure that the fuel capshave been securely replaced following each fueling.Engines certificated for grades 80/87 or 91/96 AVGASwill run satisfactorily on 100LL. The reverse is nottrue. Fuel of a lower grade/octane, if found, shouldnever be substituted for a required higher grade.Detonation will severely damage the engine in a veryshort period of time.Automotive gasoline is sometimes used as a substitutefuel in certain airplanes. Its use is acceptable onlywhen the particular airplane has been issued asupplemental type certificate (STC) to both theairframe and engine allowing its use.Checking for water and other sediment contaminationis a key preflight element. Water tends to accumulatein fuel tanks from condensation, particularly inpartially filled tanks. Because water is heavier thanfuel, it tends to collect in the low points of the fuelsystem. Water can also be introduced into the fuelsystem from deteriorated gas cap seals exposed to rain,or from the supplier’s storage tanks and deliveryvehicles. Sediment contamination can arise from dustand dirt entering the tanks during refueling, or fromdeteriorating rubber fuel tanks or tank sealant.The best preventive measure is to minimize theopportunity for water to condense in the tanks. Ifpossible, the fuel tanks should be completely filledwith the proper grade of fuel after each flight, or atleast filled after the last flight of the day. The more fuelthere is in the tanks, the less opportunity forcondensation to occur. Keeping fuel tanks filled is alsothe best way to slow the aging of rubber fuel tanks andtank sealant.Sufficient fuel should be drained from the fuel strainerquick drain and from each fuel tank sump to check forfuel grade/color, water, dirt, and smell. If water ispresent, it will usually be in bead-like droplets,different in color (usually clear, sometimes muddy), inthe bottom of the sample. In extreme cases, do notoverlook the possibility that the entire sample,particularly a small sample, is water. If water is foundin the first fuel sample, further samples should be takenuntil no water appears. Significant and/or consistentwater or sediment contamination are grounds forfurther investigation by qualified maintenancepersonnel. Each fuel tank sump should be drainedduring preflight and after refueling.The fuel tank vent is an important part of a preflightinspection. Unless outside air is able to enter the tankas fuel is drawn out, the eventual result will be fuelgauge malfunction and/or fuel starvation. During thepreflight inspection, the pilot should be alert for anyFigure 2-7. Aviation fuel types, grades, and colors.Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-5
  23. 23. 2-6signs of vent tubing damage, as well as vent blockage.A functional check of the fuel vent system can be donesimply by opening the fuel cap. If there is a rush of airwhen the fuel tank cap is cracked, there could be aserious problem with the vent system.The oil level should be checked during each preflightand rechecked with each refueling. Reciprocatingairplane engines can be expected to consume a smallamount of oil during normal operation. If theconsumption grows or suddenly changes, qualifiedmaintenance personnel should investigate. If lineservice personnel add oil to the engine, the pilot shouldensure that the oil cap has been securely replaced.LANDING GEAR,TIRES, AND BRAKESTires should be inspected for proper inflation, as wellas cuts, bruises, wear, bulges, imbedded foreign object,and deterioration. As a general rule, tires with cordshowing, and those with cracked sidewalls areconsidered unairworthy.Brakes and brake systems should be checked for rustand corrosion, loose nuts/bolts, alignment, brake padwear/cracks, signs of hydraulic fluid leakage, andhydraulic line security/abrasion.An examination of the nose gear should include theshimmy damper, which is painted white, and the torquelink, which is painted red, for proper servicing andgeneral condition. All landing gear shock struts shouldalso be checked for proper inflation.ENGINE AND PROPELLERThe pilot should make note of the condition of theengine cowling. [Figure 2-8] If the cowling rivet headsreveal aluminum oxide residue, and chipped paintsurrounding and radiating away from the cowling rivetheads, it is a sign that the rivets have been rotating untilthe holes have been elongated. If allowed to continue,the cowling may eventually separate from the airplanein flight.Certain engine/propeller combinations requireinstallation of a prop spinner for proper enginecooling. In these cases, the engine should not beoperated unless the spinner is present and properlyinstalled. The pilot should inspect the propellerspinner and spinner mounting plate for security ofattachment, any signs of chafing of propeller blades,and defects such as cracking. A cracked spinner isunairworthy.The propeller should be checked for nicks, cracks,pitting, corrosion, and security. The propeller hubshould be checked for oil leaks, and the alternator/generator drive belt should be checked for propertension and signs of wear.When inspecting inside the cowling, the pilot shouldlook for signs of fuel dye which may indicate a fuelleak. The pilot should check for oil leaks, deteriorationof oil lines, and to make certain that the oil cap, filter,oil cooler and drain plug are secure. The exhaustsystem should be checked for white stains caused byexhaust leaks at the cylinder head or cracks in thestacks. The heat muffs should also be checked forgeneral condition and signs of cracks or leaks.The air filter should be checked for condition andsecure fit, as well as hydraulic lines for deteriorationand/or leaks. The pilot should also check for loose orforeign objects inside the cowling such as bird nests,shop rags, and/or tools. All visible wires and linesshould be checked for security and condition. Andlastly, when the cowling is closed, the cowlingfasteners should be checked for security.Figure 2-8. Check the propeller and inside the cowling.Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-6
  24. 24. 2-7COCKPIT MANAGEMENTAfter entering the airplane, the pilot should first ensurethat all necessary equipment, documents, checklists,and navigation charts appropriate for the flight are onboard. If a portable intercom, headsets, or a hand-heldglobal positioning system (GPS) is used, the pilot isresponsible for ensuring that the routing of wires andcables does not interfere with the motion or theoperation of any control.Regardless of what materials are to be used, theyshould be neatly arranged and organized in a mannerthat makes them readily available. The cockpit andcabin should be checked for articles that might betossed about if turbulence is encountered. Loose itemsshould be properly secured. All pilots should form thehabit of good housekeeping.The pilot must be able to see inside and outsidereferences. If the range of motion of an adjustable seatis inadequate, cushions should be used to provide theproper seating position.When the pilot is comfortably seated, the safety beltand shoulder harness (if installed) should be fastenedand adjusted to a comfortably snug fit. The shoulderharness must be worn at least for the takeoff andlanding, unless the pilot cannot reach or operate thecontrols with it fastened. The safety belt must be wornat all times when the pilot is seated at the controls.If the seats are adjustable, it is important to ensure thatthe seat is locked in position. Accidents have occurredas the result of seat movement during acceleration orpitch attitude changes during takeoffs or landings.When the seat suddenly moves too close or too faraway from the controls, the pilot may be unable tomaintain control of the airplane.14 CFR part 91 requires the pilot to ensure that eachperson on board is briefed on how to fasten andunfasten his/her safety belt and, if installed, shoulderharness. This should be accomplished before startingthe engine, along with a passenger briefing on theproper use of safety equipment and exit information.Airplane manufacturers have printed briefing cardsavailable, similar to those used by airlines, tosupplement the pilot’s briefing.GROUND OPERATIONSIt is important that a pilot operates an airplane safelyon the ground. This includes being familiar withstandard hand signals that are used by ramp personnel.[Figure 2-9]ENGINE STARTINGThe specific procedures for engine starting will not bediscussed here since there are as many differentmethods as there are different engines, fuel systems,and starting conditions. The before engine starting andengine starting checklist procedures should be fol-lowed. There are, however, certain precautions thatapply to all airplanes.Some pilots have started the engine with the tail of theairplane pointed toward an open hangar door, parkedautomobiles, or a group of bystanders. This is not onlydiscourteous, but may result in personal injury anddamage to the property of others. Propeller blast canbe surprisingly powerful.When ready to start the engine, the pilot should look inall directions to be sure that nothing is or will be in thevicinity of the propeller. This includes nearby personsand aircraft that could be struck by the propeller blastor the debris it might pick up from the ground. Theanticollision light should be turned on prior to enginestart, even during daytime operations. At night, theposition (navigation) lights should also be on.The pilot should always call “CLEAR” out of the sidewindow and wait for a response from persons who maybe nearby before activating the starter.Figure 2-9. Standard hand signals.Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-7
  25. 25. 2-8When activating the starter, one hand should be kepton the throttle. This allows prompt response if theengine falters during starting, and allows the pilot torapidly retard the throttle if revolutions per minute(r.p.m.) are excessive after starting. A low r.p.m.setting (800 to 1,000) is recommended immediatelyfollowing engine start. It is highly undesirable to allowthe r.p.m. to race immediately after start, as there willbe insufficient lubrication until the oil pressure rises.In freezing temperatures, the engine will also beexposed to potential mechanical distress until it warmsand normal internal operating clearances are assumed.As soon as the engine is operating smoothly, the oilpressure should be checked. If it does not rise to themanufacturer’s specified value, the engine may not bereceiving proper lubrication and should be shut downimmediately to prevent serious damage.Although quite rare, the starter motor may remain onand engaged after the engine starts. This can bedetected by a continuous very high current draw on theammeter. Some airplanes also have a starter engagedwarning light specifically for this purpose. The engineshould be shut down immediately should this occur.Starters are small electric motors designed to drawlarge amounts of current for short periods of cranking.Should the engine fail to start readily, avoidcontinuous starter operation for periods longer than 30seconds without a cool down period of at least 30seconds to a minute (some AFM/POH specify evenlonger). Their service life is drastically shortened fromhigh heat through overuse.HAND PROPPINGEven though most airplanes are equipped with electricstarters, it is helpful if a pilot is familiar with the pro-cedures and dangers involved in starting an engine byturning the propeller by hand (hand propping). Due tothe associated hazards, this method of starting shouldbe used only when absolutely necessary and whenproper precautions have been taken.An engine should not be hand propped unless twopeople, both familiar with the airplane and handpropping techniques, are available to perform theprocedure. The person pulling the propeller bladesthrough directs all activity and is in charge of theprocedure. The other person, thoroughly familiarwith the controls, must be seated in the airplane withthe brakes set. As an additional precaution, chocksmay be placed in front of the main wheels. If this isnot feasible, the airplane’s tail may be securely tied.Never allow a person unfamiliar with the controls tooccupy the pilot’s seat when hand propping. Theprocedure should never be attempted alone.When hand propping is necessary, the ground surfacenear the propeller should be stable and free of debris.Unless a firm footing is available, consider relocatingthe airplane. Loose gravel, wet grass, mud, oil, ice, orsnow might cause the person pulling the propellerthrough to slip into the rotating blades as the enginestarts.Both participants should discuss the procedure andagree on voice commands and expected action. Tobegin the procedure, the fuel system and enginecontrols (tank selector, primer, pump, throttle, andmixture) are set for a normal start. The ignition/magneto switch should be checked to be sure that it isOFF. Then the descending propeller blade should berotated so that it assumes a position slightly above thehorizontal. The person doing the hand propping shouldface the descending blade squarely and stand slightlyless than one arm’s length from the blade. If a stancetoo far away were assumed, it would be necessary tolean forward in an unbalanced condition to reach theblade. This may cause the person to fall forward intothe rotating blades when the engine starts.The procedure and commands for hand propping are:Person out front says, “GAS ON, SWITCH OFF,THROTTLE CLOSED, BRAKES SET.”Pilot seat occupant, after making sure the fuel isON, mixture is RICH, ignition/magneto switch isOFF, throttle is CLOSED, and brakes SET, says,“GAS ON, SWITCH OFF, THROTTLECLOSED, BRAKES SET.”Person out front, after pulling the propellerthrough to prime the engine says, “BRAKESAND CONTACT.”Pilot seat occupant checks the brakes SET andturns the ignition switch ON, then says,“BRAKES AND CONTACT.”The propeller is swung by forcing the blade downwardrapidly, pushing with the palms of both hands. If theblade is gripped tightly with the fingers, the person’sbody may be drawn into the propeller blades shouldthe engine misfire and rotate momentarily in theopposite direction. As the blade is pushed down, theperson should step backward, away from the propeller.If the engine does not start, the propeller should not berepositioned for another attempt until it is certain theignition/magneto switch is turned OFF.The words CONTACT (mags ON) and SWITCH OFF(mags OFF) are used because they are significantlydifferent from each other. Under noisy conditions orhigh winds, the words CONTACT and SWITCH OFF••••Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-8
  26. 26. 2-9are less likely to be misunderstood than SWITCH ONand SWITCH OFF.When removing the wheel chocks after the enginestarts, it is essential that the pilot remember that thepropeller is almost invisible. Incredible as it may seem,serious injuries and fatalities occur when people whohave just started an engine walk or reach into thepropeller arc to remove the chocks. Before the chocksare removed, the throttle should be set to idle and thechocks approached from the rear of the propeller.Never approach the chocks from the front or the side.The procedures for hand propping should always be inaccordance with the manufacturer’s recommendationsand checklist. Special starting procedures are usedwhen the engine is already warm, very cold, or whenflooded or vapor locked. There will also be a differentstarting procedure when an external power sourceis used.TAXIINGThe following basic taxi information is applicable toboth nosewheel and tailwheel airplanes.Taxiing is the controlled movement of the airplaneunder its own power while on the ground. Since anairplane is moved under its own power between theparking area and the runway, the pilot must thoroughlyunderstand and be proficient in taxi procedures.An awareness of other aircraft that are taking off,landing, or taxiing, and consideration for the right-of-way of others is essential to safety. When taxiing, thepilot’s eyes should be looking outside the airplane, tothe sides, as well as the front. The pilot must be awareof the entire area around the airplane to ensure that theairplane will clear all obstructions and other aircraft. Ifat any time there is doubt about the clearance from anobject, the pilot should stop the airplane and havesomeone check the clearance. It may be necessary tohave the airplane towed or physically moved by aground crew.It is difficult to set any rule for a single, safe taxiingspeed. What is reasonable and prudent under someconditions may be imprudent or hazardous under oth-ers. The primary requirements for safe taxiing are pos-itive control, the ability to recognize potential hazardsin time to avoid them, and the ability to stop or turnwhere and when desired, without undue reliance on thebrakes. Pilots should proceed at a cautious speed oncongested or busy ramps. Normally, the speed shouldbe at the rate where movement of the airplane isdependent on the throttle. That is, slow enough sowhen the throttle is closed, the airplane can be stoppedpromptly. When yellow taxiway centerline stripes areprovided, they should be observed unless necessary toclear airplanes or obstructions.When taxiing, it is best to slow down beforeattempting a turn. Sharp, high-speed turns placeundesirable side loads on the landing gear and mayresult in an uncontrollable swerve or a ground loop.This swerve is most likely to occur when turning froma downwind heading toward an upwind heading. Inmoderate to high-wind conditions, pilots will note theairplane’s tendency to weathervane, or turn into thewind when the airplane is proceeding crosswind.When taxiing at appropriate speeds in no-windconditions, the aileron and elevator control surfaceshave little or no effect on directional control of theairplane. The controls should not be consideredsteering devices and should be held in a neutralposition. Their proper use while taxiing in windyconditions will be discussed later. [Figure 2-10]Steering is accomplished with rudder pedals andbrakes. To turn the airplane on the ground, the pilotshould apply rudder in the desired direction of turn anduse whatever power or brake that is necessary tocontrol the taxi speed. The rudder pedal should be heldin the direction of the turn until just short of the pointwhere the turn is to be stopped. Rudder pressure is thenreleased or opposite pressure is applied as needed.More engine power may be required to start theairplane moving forward, or to start a turn, than isrequired to keep it moving in any given direction.When using additional power, the throttle shouldimmediately be retarded once the airplane beginsmoving, to prevent excessive acceleration.When first beginning to taxi, the brakes should betested for proper operation as soon as the airplane isput in motion. Applying power to start the airplaneUse Up Aileronon LH Wing andNeutral ElevatorUse Up Aileronon RH Wing andNeutral ElevatorUse Down Aileronon LH Wing andDown ElevatorUse Down Aileronon RH Wing andDown ElevatorFigure 2-10. Flight control positions during taxi.Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-9
  27. 27. 2-10moving forward slowly, then retarding the throttle andsimultaneously applying pressure smoothly to bothbrakes does this. If braking action is unsatisfactory, theengine should be shut down immediately.The presence of moderate to strong headwinds and/ora strong propeller slipstream makes the use of theelevator necessary to maintain control of the pitchattitude while taxiing. This becomes apparent whenconsidering the lifting action that may be created onthe horizontal tail surfaces by either of those twofactors. The elevator control in nosewheel-typeairplanes should be held in the neutral position, whilein tailwheel-type airplanes it should be held in the aftposition to hold the tail down.Downwind taxiing will usually require less enginepower after the initial ground roll is begun, since thewind will be pushing the airplane forward. [Figure2-11] To avoid overheating the brakes when taxiingdownwind, keep engine power to a minimum. Ratherthan continuously riding the brakes to control speed, itis better to apply brakes only occasionally. Other thansharp turns at low speed, the throttle should always beat idle before the brakes are applied. It is a commonstudent error to taxi with a power setting that requirescontrolling taxi speed with the brakes. This is theaeronautical equivalent of driving an automobile withboth the accelerator and brake pedals depressed.When taxiing with a quartering headwind, the wing onthe upwind side will tend to be lifted by the windunless the aileron control is held in that direction(upwind aileron UP). [Figure 2-12] Moving the aileroninto the UP position reduces the effect of the windstriking that wing, thus reducing the lifting action.This control movement will also cause the downwindaileron to be placed in the DOWN position, thus asmall amount of lift and drag on the downwind wing,further reducing the tendency of the upwind wingto rise.When taxiing with a quartering tailwind, the elevatorshould be held in the DOWN position, and the upwindaileron, DOWN. [Figure 2-13] Since the wind isstriking the airplane from behind, these controlpositions reduce the tendency of the wind to get underthe tail and the wing and to nose the airplane over.The application of these crosswind taxi correctionshelps to minimize the weathervaning tendency andultimately results in making the airplane easier tosteer.Normally, all turns should be started using the rudderpedal to steer the nosewheel. To tighten the turn afterfull pedal deflection is reached, the brake may beapplied as needed. When stopping the airplane, it isadvisable to always stop with the nosewheel straightahead to relieve any side load on the nosewheel and tomake it easier to start moving ahead.During crosswind taxiing, even the nosewheel-typeairplane has some tendency to weathervane. However,WHEN TAXIING DOWNWINDKeep engine powerto a minimum.Do not ride the brakes.Reduce power and usebrakes intermittently.Figure 2-11. Downwind taxi.Upwind Aileron UpDownwind Aileron DownElevator NeutralFigure 2-12. Quartering headwind.Upwind Aileron DownDownwind Aileron UpElevator DownFigure 2-13. Quartering tailwind.Figure 2-14. Surface area most affected by wind.Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-10
  28. 28. 2-11the weathervaning tendency is less than intailwheel-type airplanes because the main wheels arelocated farther aft, and the nosewheel’s ground frictionhelps to resist the tendency. [Figure 2-14] Thenosewheel linkage from the rudder pedals providesadequate steering control for safe and efficient groundhandling, and normally, only rudder pressure isnecessary to correct for a crosswind.BEFORE TAKEOFF CHECKThe before takeoff check is the systematic procedurefor making a check of the engine, controls, systems,instruments, and avionics prior to flight. Normally, it isperformed after taxiing to a position near the takeoffend of the runway. Taxiing to that position usuallyallows sufficient time for the engine to warm up to atleast minimum operating temperatures. This ensuresadequate lubrication and internal engine clearancesbefore being operated at high power settings. Manyengines require that the oil temperature reach aminimum value as stated in the AFM/POH before highpower is applied.Air-cooled engines generally are closely cowled andequipped with pressure baffles that direct the flow ofair to the engine in sufficient quantities for cooling inflight. On the ground, however, much less air is forcedthrough the cowling and around the baffling.Prolonged ground operations may cause cylinderoverheating long before there is an indication of risingoil temperature. Cowl flaps, if available, should be setaccording to the AFM/POH.Before beginning the before takeoff check, the airplaneshould be positioned clear of other aircraft. Thereshould not be anything behind the airplane that mightbe damaged by the prop blast. To minimizeoverheating during engine runup, it is recommendedthat the airplane be headed as nearly as possible intothe wind. After the airplane is properly positioned forthe runup, it should be allowed to roll forward slightlyso that the nosewheel or tailwheel will be aligned foreand aft.During the engine runup, the surface under the airplaneshould be firm (a smooth, paved, or turf surface ifpossible) and free of debris. Otherwise, the propellermay pick up pebbles, dirt, mud, sand, or other looseobjects and hurl them backwards. This damages thepropeller and may damage the tail of the airplane.Small chips in the leading edge of the propeller formstress risers, or lines of concentrated high stress. Theseare highly undesirable and may lead to cracks andpossible propeller blade failure.While performing the engine runup, the pilot mustdivide attention inside and outside the airplane. If theparking brake slips, or if application of the toe brakesis inadequate for the amount of power applied, theairplane could move forward unnoticed if attention isfixed inside the airplane.Each airplane has different features and equipment,and the before takeoff checklist provided by theairplane manufacturer or operator should be used toperform the runup.AFTER LANDINGDuring the after-landing roll, the airplane should begradually slowed to normal taxi speed before turningoff the landing runway. Any significant degree of turnat faster speeds could result in ground looping andsubsequent damage to the airplane.To give full attention to controlling the airplane duringthe landing roll, the after-landing check should beperformed only after the airplane is brought to acomplete stop clear of the active runway. There havebeen many cases of the pilot mistakenly grasping thewrong handle and retracting the landing gear, insteadof the flaps, due to improper division of attention whilethe airplane was moving. However, this procedure maybe modified if the manufacturer recommends thatspecific after-landing items be accomplished duringlanding rollout. For example, when performing ashort-field landing, the manufacturer may recommendretracting the flaps on rollout to improve braking. Inthis situation, the pilot should make a positiveidentification of the flap control and retract the flaps.CLEAR OF RUNWAYBecause of different features and equipment in variousairplanes, the after-landing checklist provided by themanufacturer should be used. Some of the items mayinclude:• Flaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Identify and retract• Cowl flaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Open• Propeller control . . . . . . . . . . . Full increase• Trim tabs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SetPARKINGUnless parking in a designated, supervised area, thepilot should select a location and heading which willprevent the propeller or jet blast of other airplanes fromstriking the airplane broadside. Whenever possible, theairplane should be parked headed into the existing orforecast wind. After stopping on the desired heading,the airplane should be allowed to roll straight aheadenough to straighten the nosewheel or tailwheel.Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-11
  29. 29. 2-12ENGINE SHUTDOWNFinally, the pilot should always use the procedures inthe manufacturer’s checklist for shutting down theengine and securing the airplane. Some of the impor-tant items include:Set the parking brakes ON.Set throttle to IDLE or 1,000 r.p.m. If tur-bocharged, observe the manufacturer’s spooldown procedure.Turn ignition switch OFF then ON at idle tocheck for proper operation of switch in the OFFposition.Set propeller control (if equipped) to FULLINCREASE.Turn electrical units and radios OFF.Set mixture control to IDLE CUTOFF.Turn ignition switch to OFF when engine stops.Turn master electrical switch to OFF.Install control lock.POSTFLIGHTAflight is never complete until the engine is shut downand the airplane is secured. A pilot should consider thisan essential part of any flight.SECURING AND SERVICINGAfter engine shutdown and deplaning passengers, thepilot should accomplish a postflight inspection. Thisincludes checking the general condition of the aircraft.For a departure, the oil should be checked and fueladded if required. If the aircraft is going to be inactive,it is a good operating practice to fill the tanks to thetop to prevent water condensation from forming.When the flight is completed for the day, the aircraftshould be hangared or tied down and the flightcontrols secured.•••••••••Ch 02.qxd 5/7/04 6:22 AM Page 2-12
  30. 30. 3-1THE FOUR FUNDAMENTALSThere are four fundamental basic flight maneuversupon which all flying tasks are based: straight-and-level flight, turns, climbs, and descents. Allcontrolled flight consists of either one, or a combinationor more than one, of these basic maneuvers. If a studentpilot is able to perform these maneuvers well, and thestudent’s proficiency is based on accurate “feel” andcontrol analysis rather than mechanical movements, theability to perform any assigned maneuver will only bea matter of obtaining a clear visual and mental concep-tion of it. The flight instructor must impart a goodknowledge of these basic elements to the student, andmust combine them and plan their practice so thatperfect performance of each is instinctive withoutconscious effort. The importance of this to the successof flight training cannot be overemphasized. As thestudent progresses to more complex maneuvers,discounting any difficulties in visualizing themaneuvers, most student difficulties will be caused bya lack of training, practice, or understanding of theprinciples of one or more of these fundamentals.EFFECTS AND USE OFTHE CONTROLSIn explaining the functions of the controls, the instructorshould emphasize that the controls never change in theresults produced in relation to the pilot. The pilot shouldalways be considered the center of movement of the air-plane, or the reference point from which the movementsof the airplane are judged and described. The followingwill always be true, regardless of the airplane’s attitudein relation to the Earth.• When back pressure is applied to the elevator con-trol, the airplane’s nose rises in relation to the pilot.• When forward pressure is applied to the elevatorcontrol, the airplane’s nose lowers in relation to thepilot.• When right pressure is applied to the aileron con-trol, the airplane’s right wing lowers in relation tothe pilot.• When left pressure is applied to the aileron control,the airplane’s left wing lowers in relation to thepilot.• When pressure is applied to the right rudder pedal,the airplane’s nose moves (yaws) to the right inrelation to the pilot.• When pressure is applied to the left rudder pedal,the airplane’s nose moves (yaws) to the left inrelation to the pilot.The preceding explanations should prevent thebeginning pilot from thinking in terms of “up” or“down” in respect to the Earth, which is only a relativestate to the pilot. It will also make understanding of thefunctions of the controls much easier, particularlywhen performing steep banked turns and the moreadvanced maneuvers. Consequently, the pilot must beable to properly determine the control applicationrequired to place the airplane in any attitude or flightcondition that is desired.The flight instructor should explain that the controlswill have a natural “live pressure” while in flight andthat they will remain in neutral position of their ownaccord, if the airplane is trimmed properly.With this in mind, the pilot should be cautionednever to think of movement of the controls, but ofexerting a force on them against this live pressure orresistance. Movement of the controls should not beemphasized; it is the duration and amount of theforce exerted on them that effects the displacementof the control surfaces and maneuvers the airplane.The amount of force the airflow exerts on a controlsurface is governed by the airspeed and the degree thatthe surface is moved out of its neutral or streamlinedposition. Since the airspeed will not be the same in allmaneuvers, the actual amount the control surfaces aremoved is of little importance; but it is important thatthe pilot maneuver the airplane by applying sufficientcontrol pressure to obtain a desired result, regardlessof how far the control surfaces are actually moved.The controls should be held lightly, with the fingers,not grabbed and squeezed. Pressure should be exertedon the control yoke with the fingers. A common errorin beginning pilots is a tendency to “choke the stick.”This tendency should be avoided as it prevents thedevelopment of “feel,” which is an important part ofaircraft control.The pilot’s feet should rest comfortably against therudder pedals. Both heels should support the weightof the feet on the cockpit floor with the ball of eachfoot touching the individual rudder pedals. The legsand feet should not be tense; they must be relaxedjust as when driving an automobile.Ch 03.qxd 7/13/04 11:08 AM Page 3-1
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