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Ground reference maneuvers and their related factors are used in developing a high degree of pilot skill. Although most of these maneuvers are not performed in normal everyday flying, the elements and principles involved are applicable to performance of the customary pilot operations. The maneuvers aid the pilot in analyzing the effect of wind and other forces acting on the aircraft and in developing a fine control touch, coordination, and the division of attention necessary for accurate and safe maneuvering of the aircraft.
- Maneuvering by Reference to Ground Objects and Drift and Ground Track Control
- Rectangular Course
- S-Turns Across a Road and Turns Around a Point
The early part of a pilot’s training is conducted at relatively high altitudes for the purpose of developing technique, knowledge of maneuvers, coordination, feel, and the handling of the aircraft in general. This training requires that most of the pilot’s attention be given to the actual handling of the aircraft, the results of control pressures on the action, and attitude of the aircraft.
As soon as the pilot shows proficiency in the fundamental maneuvers, it is necessary that he or she be introduced to ground reference maneuvers requiring attention beyond practical application and current knowledge base.
It should be stressed that during ground reference maneuvers, it is equally important that previously learned basic flying technique be maintained. The flight instructor should not allow any relaxation of the student’s previous standard of technique simply because a new factor is added. This requirement should be maintained throughout the student’s progress from maneuver to maneuver. Each new maneuver should embody some advanced knowledge and include principles of the preceding maneuver in order to maintain continuity. Each new skill introduced should build on one already learned so that orderly, consistent progress can be made.