Standard Instruments

The instrument panel is one of the most important things all aspiring private pilotss should get acquainted with. It is impossible for one to pass his or her checkride and obtain the much sought after private pilot licence without being able to successfully differentiate each of the instruments and and their uses. Here are the more common standard instruments you find on an aircraft’s panel.

  • ·         Altimeter-The altimeter shows the aircraft’s altitude above sea-level by measuring the difference between the pressure in a stack of aneroid capsules inside the altimeter and the atmospheric pressure obtained through the static system.
  • ·         Attitude indicator-The attitude indicator (also known as an artificial horizon) shows the aircraft’s attitude relative to the horizon. From this the pilot can tell whether the wings are level and if the aircraft nose is pointing above or below the horizon.
  • ·         Airspeed indicator-The airspeed indicator shows the aircraft’s speed (usually in knots ) relative to the surrounding air. It works by measuring the ram-air pressure in the aircraft’s pitot tube.
  • ·         Magnetic compass-The compass shows the aircraft’s heading relative to magnetic north. While reliable in steady level flight it can give confusing indications when turning, climbing, descending, or accelerating due to the inclination of the Earth’s magnetic field.
  • [Heading indicator-The heading indicator (also known as the directional gyro, or DG; sometimes also called the gyrocompass, though usually not in aviation applications) displays the aircraft’s heading with respect to geographical north.
  • ·         Turn indicator-The turn indicator displays direction of turn and rate of turn. Internally mounted inclinometer displays ‘quality’ of turn, i.e. whether the turn is correctly coordinated, as opposed to an uncoordinated turn, wherein the aircraft would be in either a slip or a skid
  • ·         Vertical speed indicator-The VSI (also sometimes called a variometer). Senses changing air pressure, and display that information to the pilot as a rate of climb or descent in feet per minute, meters per second or knots.

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How to Choose the Right Certified Flight Instructor

The Certified Flight Instructor you choose will ultimately have a great impact on your flight education and your future as pilot. Choosing the ideal certified flight instructor is very important for you and should never be overlooked. This will affect you education as an aspiring pilot and will have an impact on what kind of pilot you will be.

You may have to spend some time looking over your choices before you make a final decision on which one of them you will ultimately tap for your student pilot days since there may be more than one CFI’s in your area. There are some things you should keep in mind when choosing a certified flight instructor.

“How is he or she as a Teacher?” this is the question that you should ask yourself first. Do a background check on a prospective certified flight instructor and check out his reputation in the general aviation community. You do not want to be learning from someone who has a bad reputation that would only take you down even before you have gotten off the ground.

Every certified flight instructor is required to be certified by the FAA. Make sure your CFI is licensed to practice giving instruction to flight students. Teaching how to fly without a license is obviously against the law so check out his or her credentials first. This is also done so you won’t be taking instruction from fakes and frauds who will teach you nothing in return for you money.

The simplest solution is usually the best, interviewing the CFI is a great way to get to know his or her personality and background. Through diligent research, you might find the teacher that not only will teach you to become a private pilot, but also help you save money from your private pilot flight training. Have a list of questions that you want to ask in advance so you can be prepared. This is a very important part of the process so never overlook it.

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