Part II — The Ground and Air Instruction Syllabus — Exercise 6 — Straight and Level Flight


To teach the student:

(1)  To fly straight and level (constant heading, selected altitude and airspeed) at various speeds within the full operational speed range of the aircraft.

(2)  The combination of attitude and power to achieve performance.


As required.

Essential Background Knowledge

(1)  Straight Flight

  1. Review:
  1. cruise attitude;
  2. need to control yaw;
  3. causes of yaw (bank attitude, slipstream effect, asymmetric thrust, etc.).

(2)  Impress the need for a good look-out, particularly while flying in a nose-up attitude.

(3)  Explain considerations for Straight Flight.

  1. Control of Yaw — use of rudder to offset the effect of power changes;
  2. Necessity to keep wings laterally level — use of ailerons;
  3. Use of trim — if applicable;
  4. Instrument indications.

(4)  Level Flight

Explain considerations for Level Flight at various airspeeds while maintaining a constant selected altitude:

  1. To increase speed (increase power, lower nose);
  2. To decrease speed (decrease power, raise nose).

(5)  Explain practical examples of the use of this exercise for flight at other than cruise speed e.g. circuit spacing.

(6)  Instrument indications.

(7)  Look-out — review collision geometry and scanning techniques.

(8)  Question student on the exercise and clarify as necessary.

Advice to Instructors

(1)  Level Flight is defined as flight at a constant altitude and airspeed, and should not be confused with simply keeping the wings level with the horizon.

(2)  Range Flight and Endurance Flight are separate exercises and should be taught as a continuation, as well as practical utilization of this exercise when training progresses to that stage.

(3)  Emphasize the proper use of trim between each attitude change.

(4)  Give the student ample time to practise this exercise. It helps to produce co-ordination and mastery over the aircraft.

(5)  This exercise should not be continued below the speed for maximum endurance.

(6)  Introduction to the magnetic compass and heading indicator in this exercise, and review and practice in subsequent exercises, will ensure proficiency in maintaining accurate headings prior to the cross-country exercises.

Instruction and Student Practice

(1)  Scanning techniques:

  1. Demonstrate correct method of searching the sky for other traffic.

(2)  Straight Flight:

  1. Establish straight and level flight and point out reference.
  2. Point out airspeed and RPM.
  3. Show results of not keeping wings level.
  4. Show need for control of yaw when increasing or decreasing power.
  5. Instrument indications.

(3)  Level Flight — Constant Altitude:

  1. Establish straight and level flight and show how to maintain altitude:
  1. in normal cruise flight — elevator use and altitude monitoring;
  2. at selected lower speeds — power and attitude relationship;
  3. at selected higher speeds — power and attitude relationship.

B. Monitor directional control.

C. Demonstrate practical examples of the use of this exercise for flight at other than cruise speed, e.g. circuit spacing.

D. Instrument indications.

(4)  Introduce the compass — briefly demonstrate:

  1. Problems relating to acceleration, deceleration, turning;
  2. Practical use;
  3. Technique for setting heading indicator from compass while flying straight:
  1. in smooth air;
  2. in rough air.

D. Resetting heading indicator every 15 minutes.

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