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or gain in altitude. It is important in maintaining straight and level flight based on airspeed to set
the correct level flight attitude and support it with the proper scan pattern. For instrument flight,
the attitude gyro is the basic attitude indicator for nose and wing position. The nose position is
crosschecked with the altimeter and vertical speed indicator, and the wing position is
crosschecked with the RMI. The airspeed indicator is the performance instrument. The attitude
gyro should be adjusted so that the miniature airplane is superimposed on the horizon bar (for
normal cruise only). Since the greatest percentage of flight time is straight and level flying, the
correction techniques discussed here are extremely important. All attitude adjustments to correct
for errors noted on the attitude crosscheck instruments should be made on the attitude gyro.
Whenever an error in either heading or altitude is noted, first stop the error and stabilize, then
correct back to proper heading or altitude.
A correction to return to a desired heading should be made by establishing an AOB on
the attitude gyro and maintaining it until approaching the particular heading desired. As
a rule of thumb, the AOB used for heading correction should not exceed the number of
degrees you want to turn. Lead the rollout heading by the "one­third rule," i.e., by the
number of degrees equal to one­third the AOB. This lead in rollout will preclude turning
beyond the desired heading.
Corrections for small deviations from the desired altitude (1000 feet or less) should be
made by displacing the nose attitude from the level flight position on the attitude gyro
and maintaining it until approaching the correct altitude. Adjust power as necessary to
maintain 150 KIAS throughout your correction. The lead necessary to level off without
going beyond the desired altitude will depend upon the rate of change in altitude.
Adjustments for heading and altitude should be made as soon as the error is noted so that large
corrections will not be necessary. Corrections for large deviations from desired altitude (over
1000 feet): use 120 KIAS normal climb procedures if low, use 150 KIAS normal descent if
high. If an error is noted and the aviator immediately tries to correct back, prior to settling down,
the tendency is always to overcorrect.
In order to maintain level flight, the pilot must first establish the nose in the level flight position
on the gyro, trim to that attitude, and then crosscheck the altimeter and VSI to detect if the
aircraft's nose is indeed level (VSI indicating zero) at desired altitude (altimeter). Obviously,
both instruments must be used together. For example, when a rate of descent is noted on the
VSI, the altimeter is immediately checked to determine if the descent is undesirable (altimeter on
altitude or below) or beneficial (above altitude, and thus the VSI shows you to be correcting).
The vertical speed indicator is the best and most precise crosscheck instrument in level flight if
used properly. Used improperly, when its lagging factor is not taken into consideration, it can
lead to extremely erratic nose control as the pilot chases the VSI.
Altitude and Airspeed Corrections. There are several methods for correcting for a
deviation from desired altitude and airspeed or both. These consist of a power correction or a
power and attitude correction plus the need for retrimming.

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