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Elements of Flight-Instruments - Level 1

 

 

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The ATTITUDE INDICATOR shows the aircraft's position in relation to the earth's horizon.  The white semi-circle of the instrument represents the sky.  The white dot at the center of the display represents the nose of the airplane in relation to the horizon and the whitel bars represent the wings of the airplane.  In straight and level flight, the nose and wings correspond to the horizon line  (see figure).  At the top of the indicator is a marker and ball.  The ball is covered by the marker indicating level flight.    Although this instrument is used at all times, it is particularly important at night and when flying in clouds in order to control the position of airplane relative to the earth.  See the examples given below for details.


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PITCH LEVEL,SHALLOW LEFT BANK

Since the left wing is dipped below the horizon, the plane is banking to the left.   Since the wing line crosses the horizon, as well, then the plane's pitch is level.   Notice the marker and ball at the top of the indicator.  If the marker is to the left of the ball, then the plane is banking left.


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PITCH NOSE UP,WINGS LEVEL

Since the wing line is completely above the horizon, that shows that the plane's nose is pitched up.  Since the wings are level with the horizon, that shows the plane is level.

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PITCH LEVEL,MEDIUM RIGHT BANK

Since the right wing is dipped below the horizon, the plane is banking to the right.   Since the wing line crosses the horizon, as well, then the plane's pitch is level. Notice the marker and ball at the top of the indicator.  Since the marker is to the right of the ball, the plane is banking to the right.


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PITCH NOSE DOWN,SHALLOW LEFT BANK

Since the wing line is completely below the horizon, that shows that the plane's nose is pitched down.  Since the left wing is below the right wing, that shows the plane is banking to the left.  Notice the ball and marker at the top of the indicator.   Since the marker is to the left of the ball, but not by much, then the plane is making a shallow bank to the left.

 


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Updated: March 12, 2004