To understand this picture, one must interpret what is "seen" and then take effective control action.
Proper interpretation of this "vision through instruments" requires an understanding of:
The functions, indications, and limitations of the instruments.
The forces that enable an airplane to fly.
The response of the controls to these forces and the combination of power and balanced
attitude necessary to deliver the desired balanced flight performance.
Instrument flying is mastered when the instrument panel is used as a lens or window to "see" the
airplane's attitude with respect to the three dimensions in which it travels and effective control
action is taken to maintain the desired performance and attitude.
By "scanning" the instruments, the threedimensional attitude of the aircraft is available at any
particular moment. If it is necessary to change the attitude, airspeed, or aircraft configuration,
simply use power with coordinated primary control surface action. Develop the required power
and balanced flight attitude condition to obtain the desired performance. Remember, attitude
instrument flight is nothing more than the use of the flight instruments to "see" the three
dimensional aircraft attitude in relation to the actual horizon. Control forces are applied just as
in contact flight to adjust the nose, wing position, and rudder to the desired attitude to produce
the desired performance.
POWER PLUS ATTITUDE EQUALS PERFORMANCE
Balanced flight is the flight condition in which primary aircraft control surfaces exactly
compensate for the effects of applied aircraft power and airspeed during a specific maneuver
performance and is characterized by an absence of aircraft yaw. Specifically, balanced flight
occurs when the aircraft's longitudinal (nosetotail) axis is coincident with the aircraft flight
path regardless of flight maneuver, airspeed or power applied, including turns, climbs/descents,
or any combination. When yaw exists, the aircraft power and attitude combination is not
optimized and performance will be degraded from that which might be anticipated.
For every power and balanced flight attitude combination, a specific performance may be
expected. Power coupled with a specific balanced aircraft maneuvering attitude controls the
performance of the aircraft. To illustrate, if we apply climb power without raising the nose to
climb attitude, we simply build up airspeed without climbing. Alternatively, if we place the nose
of the aircraft in a climbing attitude, but do not add power, we gain a small amount of altitude as
airspeed decreases. From these simple facts, we realize power and balanced flight attitude are
allies. Together, they form a combination resulting in efficient flight performance and giving us
a guiding concept for attitude instrument flight. In addition, since many combinations of these
two factors are required during a routine instrument flight, corresponding trim adjustments must
be made immediately following each change in power and/or attitude to compensate for overall
changes in aircraft performance and to maintain the aircraft in or return the aircraft to a balanced
flight, balance ball centered condition. Good trim technique applied in a timely fashion will
enable you to maintain a balanced flight attitude during any maneuver and throughout any
performance transition without holding variable or continuous control pressure.
INTRODUCTION TO BASIC INSTRUMENTS 1-3