instrument panel of a Diamond C-1 training aircraft.
instruments are an important aid to pilots. The information is useful
to the pilot who flies under visual flight rules (VFR) or under instrument
flight rules (IFR). The VFR pilot flies the aircraft with primary reference
and information from vision outside of the airplane, but it is still required
to occasionally glance at important aircraft instruments in the cockpit,
including the altimeter, airspeed indicator, and engine instruments.
The IFR pilot is entirely
dependent on aircraft instruments to fly in poor weather conditions. It’s
possible to fly from an airport in almost zero visibility conditions,
fly in cloud cover for the entire flight, and then land at an airport
with the runway lights and centerline visible just prior to landing. An
instrument rating is required to act as the pilot in these types of flights.
Here are some
important aircraft instruments with their primary function.
speed of airflow in knots, kilometers, or miles per hour
altitude (usually in reference to sea level)
direction in reference to magnetic north
direction or heading
trend of increase or decrease in altitude at a rate of feet
indicator or artificial horizon
rate of pitch and bank of aircraft
variety of instruments display radio, satellite, or inertial
engine speed in revolutions per minute
air temperature (OAT) gage
the temperature of air outside the aircraft
This lesson will
help you understand how these instruments work and why they are so important
for flight under VFR and IFR conditions.