1.4 Theory of Flight

Training Objective:

The trainee will be able to identify and describe the basic components of the theory of flight relating to the aircraft environment they will be operating in.


General Aircraft Description
Aerodynamics of Flight
Air Traffic Control

(To enhance communication between flight crew and flight attendants, it is recommended that this portion of the training be delivered by a qualified pilot.)

1.4A General Aircraft Description

1.4A.1 Identify the main components of an aircraft and describe their function including but not limited to:

  1. Wing - leading edge, trailing edge, wing tip, wing root, winglet;
  2. Control systems - ailerons, flaps, rudder, elevator;
  3. Tail - fixed vertical stabilizer, rudder, elevators; and
  4. Miscellaneous - fuselage, spoilers, speed brakes, undercarriage, main gear, nose wheel, chocks/blocks, pins.

1.4A.2 Define what is meant by aircraft operating abnormalities, which do not constitute an emergency (e.g. flap, landing gear, visible fluid leaks, etc.).

1.4B Aerodynamics of Flight

1.4B.1 Identify and describe the four forces acting on an aircraft in-flight.

1.4B.2 Identify and describe the three axes of an aircraft and describe the movement around each.

1.4B.3 Define what is meant by aircraft attitude.

1.4B.4 Describe how lift is achieved and factors which adversely affect lift.

1.4B.5 Describe how a piston engine, turbine engine and a jet engine function (as applicable to the operator's operation).

1.4B.6 Describe how and when an aircraft is pressurized and how pressurization is maintained. Include a description of aircraft altitude and cabin altitude.

1.4B.7 Describe the aerodynamic forces at work when aircraft engines fail in flight with specific reference to the operator's aircraft.

1.4B.8 Identify the importance for crew members to be alert for abnormal aircraft functioning and how to recognize and report it to flight crew members.

1.4B.9 Define what is meant by weight and balance (center of gravity), its effect on aircraft controllability and factors which affect weight and balance.

1.4C Meteorology

1.4C.1 Describe types of common cloud formations and their effect on weather ( e.g., frontal systems,thunderstorms).

1.4C.2 Describe the types of wind phenomena and their effect on aircraft in flight (e.g., jet stream, wind shear).

1.4C.3 Identify the hazards to flight associated with volcanic ash/dust. Describe how to recognize it (e.g., smoke or dust in the cabin, acrid odour, and bright orange glow in the engine intakes).

1.4D Air Traffic Control

1.4D.1 Define what is meant by VFR and IFR and identify the most common restrictions for an aircraft flying under VFR and IFR flight plans.

1.4D.2 Identify what is meant by air traffic control and who is responsible for ensuring aircraft separation under VFR and under IFR conditions.

1.4D.3 Describe how aircraft are controlled on the ground and in the air with specific reference to the operator's operation.

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