What Is the Correct Sequence in Which to Use the Three Skills Used in Instrument Flying?

What Is the Correct Sequence in Which to Use the Three Skills Used in Instrument Flying?

Instrument flying is a crucial aspect of aviation that allows pilots to navigate and control an aircraft solely by reference to instruments, rather than relying on visual cues. It requires the mastery of three essential skills: instrument interpretation, aircraft control, and navigation. Understanding the correct sequence in which to use these skills is imperative for safe and efficient flight operations. In this article, we will explore each skill and discuss the correct order of their application.

1. Instrument interpretation:

The first skill pilots need to develop is the ability to interpret the flight instruments accurately. These instruments provide pertinent information about the aircraft’s altitude, airspeed, attitude, heading, and other critical parameters. By understanding the indications and indications of these instruments, pilots can maintain situational awareness and make informed decisions.

When beginning a flight, pilots should start by scanning the primary flight instruments, including the attitude indicator, altimeter, airspeed indicator, heading indicator, and vertical speed indicator. This scan allows them to establish a baseline for the aircraft’s current status. Throughout the flight, pilots must continually monitor these instruments to detect any deviations from the desired parameters.

2. Aircraft control:

Once pilots have established a clear understanding of the instrument indications, they can proceed to the second skill: aircraft control. This skill involves making appropriate control inputs to maintain the desired flight parameters and correct any deviations detected through instrument interpretation.

Correct aircraft control requires a coordinated use of the flight controls, including the control yoke or stick, rudder pedals, and throttle. Pilots must make smooth and precise adjustments to maintain the desired altitude, airspeed, heading, and attitude. Failure to control the aircraft accurately can lead to dangerous situations, such as stalling, spinning, or loss of control.

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3. Navigation:

After ensuring proper aircraft control, pilots can move on to the third skill: navigation. Navigation involves determining the aircraft’s position, planning the desired route, and ensuring accurate course tracking. It involves the use of navigation aids, such as VOR (VHF Omnidirectional Range) stations, GPS (Global Positioning System), and inertial navigation systems.

Navigation skills are crucial for maintaining the aircraft on the intended flight path, especially during adverse weather conditions or when flying in congested airspace. Pilots must be able to interpret navigation instruments, such as the course deviation indicator (CDI) and horizontal situation indicator (HSI), to make precise course corrections.


Q: What are the consequences of using the skills in the wrong sequence?
A: Using the skills in the wrong sequence can lead to a breakdown in situational awareness and control of the aircraft. It can result in incorrect interpretations of instrument indications, leading to improper control inputs and navigation decisions. This can potentially lead to dangerous situations, including loss of control or navigation errors.

Q: How can pilots practice and improve their instrument flying skills?
A: Pilots can improve their instrument flying skills through regular practice in a flight simulator or by flying with a certified flight instructor. These training sessions allow pilots to simulate various scenarios and develop the necessary skills to interpret instruments accurately, control the aircraft, and navigate effectively.

Q: Are the skills used in instrument flying applicable to all types of aircraft?
A: Yes, the skills used in instrument flying are applicable to all types of aircraft, ranging from small single-engine planes to large commercial jets. However, the complexity of instrument systems and the level of automation may vary between different aircraft types.

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In conclusion, instrument flying requires the mastery of three essential skills: instrument interpretation, aircraft control, and navigation. Pilots must follow the correct sequence by first interpreting the instrument indications, then controlling the aircraft based on the interpreted information, and finally navigating accurately. By adhering to this sequence, pilots can ensure safe and efficient flight operations, even in challenging weather conditions or congested airspace.

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