Flight Instruments

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Aircraft became a practical means of transportation when accurate flight instruments freed the pilot from the necessity of maintaining visual contact with the ground. Flight instruments are crucial to conducting safe flight operations and it is important that the pilot have a basic understanding of their operation. The basic flight instruments required for operation under visual flight rules (VFR) are airspeed indicator (ASI), altimeter, and magnetic direction indicator. In addition to these, operation under instrument flight rules (IFR) requires a gyroscopic rate-of-turn indicator, slip-skid indicator, sensitive altimeter adjustable for barometric pressure, clock displaying hours, minutes, and seconds with a sweep-second pointer or digital presentation, gyroscopic pitch-and-bank indicator (artificial horizon), and gyroscopic direction indicator (directional gyro or equivalent).

Aircraft that are flown in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) are equipped with instruments that provide attitude and direction reference, as well as navigation instruments that allow precision flight from takeoff to landing with limited or no outside visual reference.

The instruments discussed in this category are those required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91, and are organized into three groups: pitot-static instruments, compass systems, and gyroscopic instruments. This category concludes with a discussion of how to preflight these systems for IFR flight. This category addresses additional avionics systems such as Electronic Flight Information Systems (EFIS), Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS), Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS), Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), Head Up Display (HUD), etc., that are increasingly being incorporated into general aviation aircraft.



Instrument Flight Rules Test Prep

If you are studying for or planning on studying for your instrument rating, the ASA Test Prep guide for the Instrument Rating will help you prepare with samples of every test question in the FAA exam database, along with their answers and explanations.  Subjects covered are:  meteorology, flight and navigational instruments, instrument flight rules and procedures, arrivals and approaches, and review computations. It also includes a computer testing supplement.


You should also consider getting a copy of the Instrument Pilot Oral Exam Guide by Michael D. Hayes to prepare for the oral exam as well as the the Instrument Rating Airmen Certification Standards by the FAA which outlines the standards for passing the knowledge and oral exams.