What is the difference between visual and instrument flight? The difference could be termed as
"sensations of flight." The inner ear and muscle movements produce body sensations that are
unreliable when in a threedimensional element such as the air. During contact flight, we tend to
ignore all these erroneous sensations because our sight, the most trusted sensing device, tells us
the correct attitude. During instrument conditions, when visual contact with the ground is lost,
the most common mistake is to rely on the other senses for attitude determination. This produces
the effect of being in one attitude while believing to be in another. The term for this
disorientation is vertigo. It can be combated with a thorough knowledge of the conditions that
cause it and an absolute faith in the flight instruments. The vertigo demonstration and unusual
attitudes are introduced in order to acquaint the student pilot with unreliable body sensations and
build confidence in the capabilities of his/her instruments while practicing unusual attitude
recognition and return of the aircraft to controlled instrument flight.
Vertigo is a problem during instrument conditions because visual contact with the ground is lost.
However, the attitude gyro is used to immediately regain visual presentation. Combining gyro
presentation of aircraft attitude and artificial horizon with the supporting crosscheck instruments
in a consistent and efficient sequence, develops what is known as an attitude instrument scan
pattern. Once an instrument scan pattern has been developed, "vision through instruments" is
Success in instrument flight depends on your ability to see not the instruments, but the picture
they portray (Figure 11).
Figure 11 Visualized Attitude
1-2 INTRODUCTION TO BASIC INSTRUMENTS