Commercial, Instrument, Private

Straight and Level Flight

Straight and Level

Combination of 2 maneuvers:

  • Straight flight attitude (maintain constant HI)
  • Level flight attitude (maintain constant ALT)

Essence of attitude instr. Flying is controlling:


Attitude instr. AI (relationship of A/C’s pitch, roll and yaw axes to the natural horizon) – “windshield” to the outside, like horizon in VFR

Power instruments TACH, MP (engine output)

  1. Establish predetermined attitude and power
  2. Cross check the instruments for information(scan)
  3. Interpret airplanes attitude
  4. Make the necessary control input to achieve the desired performance

Straight Flight (constant HDG)

  • AI- direct indicator of bank
  • Wings must be kept level with the horizon (aileron and rudder pressure)
  • HI- all banking results in a change of heading, make corrections no greater than the number of degrees to be turned
  • Avoid FIXATION

Level flight (constant pitch/ALT)

  • Proper pitch attitude varies with A/S and load, just as VFR proper sight picture on AI must be established
  • Pitch attitude changed with elevator pressure
  • Pitch Instruments:

AI- direct indicator of pitch attitude, control instrument

ALT- measures performance, change in pitch results in a change in altitude

Pitch corrections with ALT

  1. Change attitude to stop the motion of the needle
  2. Change pitch to get back on desired ALT

*change of direction means level attitude was passed through

VSI- trend (climb/descent) and a rate instrument, lags (once established OK)

ASI-at constant power an increase in air speed means a decrease in pitch attitude and visa versa.

  • Trim and avoid FIXATION

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