Comparing Outside View to Instruments

When flying an airplane, it is important to not only look at the instruments to get their readings, but to look outside as well. It is important to get in the habit of looking outside as much as possible.

By looking outside, you will be able to see the position of the aircraft in relation to the surrounding areas and horizon as well as to identify and avoid any traffic.

The flight display and/or instrument panel should be looked at only briefly as needed and to confirm what you see outside, not different than when driving an automobile.

Attitude – the position of the nose and wingtips in relation to the horizon.

The attitude of the aircraft can be determined by developing a sight picture which is basically, the outside view in relation to your airplane. This “sight picture” should be memorized when maintaining a level attitude.

Flight Display – The attitude indicator on the flight display will tell you the pitch of the aircraft in relation to the horizon (marked in 5 degree increments for mechanical and 2.5 degree increments for electronic indicators) as well as the bank in relation to the horizon (marked in 10 degree increments for the first 30 degrees of bank.

The flight display also has a slip/skid indicator that shows if additional rudder pressure is required.

G-1000 Equipped Aircraft Turn Coordinator

If the aircraft is equipped with a G1000 flight display, there will be a visible triangle that indicates the bank of the aircraft under which will be a horizontal line. This horizontal line should be centered and if it shows to be on the left, then add left rudder. If the horizontal line shows on the right, add right rudder pressure.

Analog Turn Coordinator

On an analog turn coordinator, there will be a ball that should be centered if no rudder pressure is required. If the ball is to the right of center, add right rudder pressure and if the ball is to the left, add left rudder pressure.