is important to remember other instruments available in the cockpit, especially
the engine instruments. Including engine instruments in the scan helps
to identify potential problems before they become full emergencies.
was well trained as an instrument pilot, not by my lone efforts, but by
paying attention to the Delta Airline pilot who taught me. I was taught
to look at the engine instruments in my scan every few minutes. Sometimes,
especially during and after takeoff, the engine instruments should be
scanned more frequently.
flying for the airline, I once noticed strange readings coming on the
power reading for one of the jet engines on the aircraft I flew. I also
began to feel yawing tendencies in the aircraft. Quickly, the other pilot
and I made the decision to pull power back and return to the departure
airport for landing. The problem continued to worsen, and I am glad we
noticed the problem before the engine completely failed.
engine and other problems can be detected long before they become ‘an
emergency.’ In IMC conditions, where options are often limited in emergency
situations, it’s good to know if a system is starting to fail. You may
detect a loss in oil pressure, excessive cylinder head temperatures, or
a loss of sensory data.
tachometer, engine oil pressure and temperature, cylinder head temperature,
and fuel gauges should be included in the scan for piston engine aircraft.
There may be additional instruments in your aircraft that should also
be included in your checks.