Objective: Caution to student pilot: Instrument instruction at the private pilot level is intended as an emergency procedure only. It is illegal and dangerous to fly in instrument conditions without full instrument training and an instrument rating. To accustom the student to the essential elements of instrument flight, so that calm and correct cross-check will prevail in an emergency situation of IMC. Instrument training is also introductory to future advanced training.
Instrument cross-check, instrument interpretation, and aircraft control for straight-and-level flight, level turns, constant-airspeed climbs, and constant-airspeed descents
Airworthy aircraft. PTS. View-limiting device
Ground lesson: 15 minutes
Instructor demonstration: none (illegal)
Student practice: 30 minutes at a time at first, building up to an hour
Postflight feedback: 5 minutes
Preflight: (see lesson plan) motivate, explain, list common errors, discuss.
In flight: Put student "under the hood" and let them fly for a while without saying anything, merely monitoring to make sure safety is maintained. If disorientation occurs, all the better for student understanding of the problems involved in getting into IMC. Following this, instruction is given in proper scan and control technique. After practice indicates solid ability, small distractions are added, again to teach the importance of keeping up the scan continually.
Postflight: Give feedback and suggestions.
Preflight: Attend to explanation, answer questions
In flight: Fly under hood, concentrating on learning to keep up a scan. after demonstration
Postflight: Ask questions.
(My own: student pilot understands the dangers involved in flying in IMC.) PTS: Exhibit knowledge of elements related to attitude instrument flying during straight-and-level flight, constant-airspeed climbs, constant-airspeed descents, and turns to headings. Uses proper instrument cross-check (scan), interpretation, and control application. Demonstrates all BAI solely by reference to instruments, altitude ±200 ft, headings ±20º, airspeed ±10 knots
Review: Spatial disorientation illusions
Objective: Understanding of the proper procedures for scanning and maintaining aircraft control in the event of unintended flight in IMC. Instrument cross-check, instrument interpretation, and aircraft control for straight-and-level flight, level turns, constant-airspeed climbs, and constant-airspeed descents. NOTE: It may be beneficial to introduce simulated IMC in the air, and then do a ground lesson on it.
Materials: Picture of the flight instruments.
INTRODUCTION: Attention/motivation: (2 minutes)
It is not my intention to scare you with what we're about to learn. Quite the opposite: the whole reason that we do this, is so that in the event that you accidentally find yourself in a cloud (because of an emergency, because you mistakenly fly into one that you don't see, at night [I've done this], because of some other emergency e.g. engine failure over a cloudy area), you will have experience and know what happens in non-visual conditions, be able to stay calm, and know what to do. It should become not a big big deal for you. All that having been said: Instrument instruction at the private pilot level is required, and intended as an emergency procedure only. It is illegal and dangerous to fly in instrument conditions without full instrument training and an instrument rating. (Does the name, "John Kennedy Jr." mean anything to anyone around here?)
DEVELOPMENT: Overview and explanation: (5 minutes)
OK, so why is it illegal and dangerous to fly in a cloud? It's just a cloud, right? It's just water vapor that's become visible, making everything else invisible. So why is that a big deal?
o Collision possibility
o Did I mention disorientation?
The key: trust not your senses, but your instruments. The priorities
are in this order:
1. Instrument cross-check (a.k.a. scan)
2. Instrument interpretation
3. Aircraft Control
The attitude indicator will give you the best view of what the plane is doing. It is generally considered the #1 instrument. However, all six must constantly be consulted. (Use picture of instruments and demonstrate a scan.)
Common errors: (2 minutes)
Omission, fixation, emphasis
Distracted from scan
Inability to control aircraft within altitude and heading tolerances
Improper control applications
Poor trim technique
Oral evaluation/quiz and discussion questions:
Q: Another name for the attitude indicator is an "artificial horizon." Why? What does that mean, and how does it help you?
Q: Look at the picture of the flight instruments, and for each one, explain what could happen if you leave it out of your scan. For each one, say what will happen if you fixate on it.
Q: Are you allowed to fly over an overcast (or broken) cloud layer?