Airplane Systems and Flight Instruments


On Wednesday, 16 November, 2011 I had my third Ground School class and the second test covering Chapter 2 covered on Monday. This chapter covered Airplane Systems, Electrical Systems and Flight Instruments. After having read this chapter, I’m now beginning to put it altogether in conjunction with my flight lessons. The flight instructions can only tell you about how to fly the plane, but the real understanding of how the plane operates, how the instruments work and why they work, what could go wrong, what are the possible solutions etc. is really learnt in Ground School. So I’m really enjoying my classes even more now.

So we had our test and this time I was able to get 10 out of 10! 😀 So I’m quite pleased with myself. I asked Mr. Whipple how many questions we would get in the actual FAA examination. He said we would get 60 questions out of a possible 750 questions or so, but which questions, clearly we wouldn’t know and we would have to get at least 70% to pass. So the test will be very similar to what we’re getting in our class I suppose. Each chapter is pretty big and out of a number of possible questions Mr. Whipple could ask us, he only asks us 10 from the entire chapter.

Twin Cities Aviation has Cirrus planes, which I’m very interested in flying. I asked Mr. Whipple if I would have to take separate lessons to fly this plane and he said that technically, no. Once you’ve qualified as a private pilot on whichever plane it is you’re learning on, you wouldn’t need to, but since it’s a high performance plane (meaning any plane with 200 hp or more), I most probably would have to take some lessons. In addition he added that the Cirrus Company requires that you take at least 20-25 hours of flight lessons in the Cirrus plane when you buy one from them. During break I went and had a closer look at the Cirrus and I could understand why some lessons would indeed be required. I found that the yoke (or the steering wheel) is not a yoke, but a joy stick and is on the left and not in the center (see pictures below). Further, the Cirrus has a parachute to be deployed in emergencies; one would have to know how to deploy it. I’m sure there are other things that would be different and would have to be learnt.

Chapter3, Aerodynamic Principles is the largest chapter thus far, and Mr. Whipple was only able to cover Section A of it i.e. The Four Forces in Flight, in the three hours. So next week we’ll have our test only on this section and it will give me a chance to read ahead.

The pictures below are of the Cirrus SR 20 in the Twin Cities Aviation hangar (double click to enlarge):

    

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