Category Archives: Flight Instruments

CFI Brief: Altimeter Pressure Errors

High to low look out below, low to high clear the sky! If you have never heard that saying before you are probably pretty confused right now. Let me help ease that confusion and explain that today we are discussing altimeter errors when flying in areas of changing atmospheric pressures. The discussion will revolve around […]

CFI Brief: Magnetic Compass

The magnetic compass is the most basic of all instruments you will find installed in your aircraft and is required under both Visual and Instrument Flight Rules (VFR and IFR). The function and purpose of a magnetic compass installed in an aircraft is no different then one you might use on a weekend hike with […]

Flight Instruments: The Heading Indicator and Magnetic Compass

Today’s post on flight instruments is an excerpt from the new fourth edition of The Pilot’s Manual: Ground School (PM-2C). The magnetic compass is the primary indicator of direction in most airplanes. It is, however, difficult to read in turbulence and subject to acceleration and turning errors, making it a difficult instrument to fly by […]

Flight Instruments: Angle of Attack Indicators

Today’s post on flight instruments comes from the brand-new Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25B)! The purpose of an angle of attack (AOA) indicator is to give the pilot better situational awareness pertaining to the aerodynamic health of the airfoil. This can also be referred to as stall margin awareness. More simply explained, it is the margin that exists between […]

IFR: Instrument Scanning

This week we’re back with more on IFR. Go back and familiarize yourself with the basics we’ve introduced in earlier introductory posts from this year. Today, we’ll look at instrument scanning techniques. This post features text and images from The Pilot’s Manual Volume 3: Instrument Flying. In instrument conditions, when the natural horizon cannot be […]

Flight Instruments: The Turn and Slip Indicator

Today we’re focusing on your airplane’s turn and slip indicator. This instrument shows the rotation around the yaw axis (via the ball) and around the roll axis (the miniature airplane or needle), and can be used to establish and maintain a standard-rate turn (3° per second, or a complete circle in two minutes). Today’s post […]

CFI Brief: Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI)

Personally, one of my favorite instruments in an aircraft is the horizontal situation indicator or HSI for short. The HSI is a combination of two instruments: the heading indicator and the VOR. By bringing these two instruments together you are able to get a much clearer picture in a quicker amount of time. This instrument […]

Flight Instruments: Attitude Indicator

We’re focusing this week on flight instruments and today we’ll cover the attitude indicator. The attitude indicator is reliable and the most realistic flight instrument on the panel; its indications are very close approximations of the actual attitude of the aircraft. Check out our previous posts on flight instruments, including our introduction to the gyroscopic instruments. Words […]

CFI Brief: Checking the accuracy of your VOR

14 CFR 91.171, “VOR Equipment check for IFR Operations”—a friendly reminder on this week’s Learn to Fly Blog to check the accuracy of your VOR equipment per §91.171! Sometimes in the excitement of getting wheels up and on to your destination a VOR accuracy check can often be overlooked. Even if you plan on operating on […]

CFI Brief: Gyroscopic Flight Instrument Questions

Monday’s post gave us an introduction into the world of gyroscopic flight instruments and as we learned these include the attitude indicator, turn coordinator, and heading indicator also referred to as the directional gyro. Each one of these gyroscopic flight instruments functions based off the principle of rigidity in space. To put it more simply […]

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