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Basic Flight Instruments and Controls of a Cessna 172

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Robert Filmer

on 11 April 2015

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Transcript of Basic Flight Instruments and Controls of a Cessna 172

Basic Flight Instruments and Controls of a Cessna 172
Instructors: FSgt. Kroell / FCpl Muelleder
Time: 1X90 Mins
Date: 2014-04-12
The purpose of this lesson is to ensure that cadets have a basic understanding of the flight instruments and controls on the Cessna 172, to safely and correctly operate the aircraft and instruments.

Teaching Points
1) Flight Instruments
a. Attitude Indicator
b. Airspeed Indicator
c. Altimeter
d. Turn & Bank Coordinator
e. Heading Indicator
f. Vertical Speed Indicator
2) Aircraft Flight Controls
a. Elevator, Ailerons, Rudder
b. Trim
c. Engine Controls

d. Propeller/ Cowl Flaps
(Time Permitted)

Flight Instruments
Almost all general aviation aircraft have the same basic six instruments. These are referred to as the "Six Pack". These six instruments are vital for safe and effective operation of the aircraft. Most new aircraft have these instruments on digital displays, but older aircraft have gauge style instruments
Digital Instruments
Gauge Instruments
The Attitude Indicator
Attitude Indicator
The attitude indicator displays how high and low the nose is
relative to the horizon.
It will also display if the aircraft is banking left or right. This information is usually gathered by looking outside and referencing to the horizon seen but this instrument will give precise angles.
The Airspeed Indicator
Airspeed Indicator
The airspeed indicator will display the aircraft's speed relative to airflow. Keep in mind this instrument will not be able to display ground speed and has it's own set of errors. This instrument is vital to the safe operation of aircraft as the aircraft is flown by indicated airspeed.
The Altimeter
The altimeter displays the aircraft's height above sea level in feet. This instrument has to be periodically set to the correct altimeter setting to be accurate as it measures atmospheric pressure which changes from day to day. Keep in mind that this instrument does not display altitude over ground rather altitude over sea level.
The Turn & Bank Indicator
Turn & Bank Indicator
The turn & bank indicator will display if the aircraft is in a turn or flying straight. The ball, which is free floating, will display if the aircraft is coordinated in a turn or not. Uncoordinated turns are inefficient and can even be unsafe. To stay coordinated, push on the rudder pedal that is on the same side that the ball is on (e.g push in left rudder if ball is on left side).
The Heading Indicator
Heading Indicator
The heading indicator is a gyroscopic instrument that will display the aircraft's heading relative to magnetic north, if set correctly. Due to the fact that there is friction in the instrument case, this instrument has to be constantly corrected with your magnetic compass.
The Vertical Speed Indicator
Vertical Speed Indicator
This instrument will display how fast the aircraft is moving up and down in hundreds of feet. It does so by recognizing changes to pressure in altitude. It is important not to chase the needle while flying as this instrument can have a lag up to seven seconds behind the aircraft's actual position.
The Cockpit
Aircraft Flight Controls
All aircraft get controlled by three control surfaces; these are called the
elevator, the ailerons, and the rudder
. These surfaces control the aircraft's pitch, it's roll, and it's yaw on the different axes around the aircraft.
The Elevator
The elevator is there to control the pitch on the horizontal axis. The elevator is controlled by pushing or pulling on the control column, which, in turn, is controlled by cables and pulleys that go from the cockpit to the tail of the aircraft.
The elevators of a Cessna 172
The Ailerons
The Ailerons roll the aircraft about its longitudinal axis. The ailerons are controlled by turning the control column left or right, which, in turn, makes the aircraft turn left or right, depending on which way the column what turned. Cables from the cockpit that extend to the wings control the ailerons.
The Ailerons of a Cessna 172
The Rudder
The rudder will yaw the aircraft about it's normal axis and will ensure the aircraft is coordinated or perform certain aircraft maneuvers. The rudder is controlled by cables and pulleys that start in the rudder pedals and go to the tail of the aircraft.
Rudder of the Cessna 172
The Trim
The trim exists to take pressure off of the control column via a tab on the left side of the elevator. This is to make a flight more comfortable and makes flying some smaller aircraft possible. Adjusting the trim during all different kinds of flight like a climb or descents demonstrates good airmanship.
The trim tab on a Cessna 172
Engine Controls
The Engine has two main control located inside cockpit which can be accessed by both the right and left seat due to the position of both the throttle and mixture.
The Throttle
The Mixture Control
The throttle controls a valve in the carburetor which controls the amount of air and fuel put into the engine. This ultimately controls the power output of the engine. The throttle is a black push or pull knob.
The throttle and mixture control of a Cessna.
The mixture control is a device that controls the amount of fuel that is put into the engine. This is only required to less dense air as you climb and it's use is complicated. For engine operation closer to sea level, mixture should be full rich and get leaned as you climb.
Propeller/Cowl Flap Control
More high performance aircraft have a propeller control which can control the propeller speed independently of the engine speed. This will make the flight more efficient and provide greater speed. The cowl flaps are designed to provide more engine cooling during high power engine operation for things like takeoffs and climbs. Cowl flaps may be closed during cruise and depends to provide a warm engine and greater speed in cruise due to less drag. The Cessna 172 possesses neither a variable pitch propeller or cowl flaps, but some higher performance aircraft will have these controls.
Cowl Flap closed
Flaps are devices used to improve the lift characteristics of a wing and are mounted on the trailing edges of the wings of a fixed-wing aircraft to reduce the speed at which the aircraft can be safely flown and to increase the angle of descent for landing. They shorten takeoff and landing distances. Flaps do this by lowering the stall speed and increasing the drag.
The left flap on a Cessna 172
Full transcript