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Artificial Horzion

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Vigilant1

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It's no problem at all to learn without an artificial horizon. I think it is a distinct advantage. A student should get very comfortable with using the real horizon, and too often that ball becomes a crutch. A good instructor will often cover the AH if he sees a student relying on it. Put a grease pencil spot at eye level on the windscreen if needed while learning, soon that won't be needed.
Obviously, everything changes when a student starts learning about instrument flight, inadvertent entry into IMC, etc. In these cases, if a reliable AH is available, it should be used.
My present airplane doesn't have an AH.
 
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Mark Thompson

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It's no problem at all to learn without an artificial horizon. I think it is a distinct advantage. A student should get very comfortable with using the real horizon, and too often that ball becomes a crutch. A good instructor will often cover the AH if he sees a student relying on it. Put a grease pencil spot at eye level on the windscreen if needed while learning, soon that won't be needed.
Obviously, everything changes when a student starts learning about instrument flight, inadvertent entry into IMC, etc. If a reliable AH is available, it should be used.
Now that you mention it I believe my instructor did just that. draw a line on the windscreen or had me do it.
 

Dan Thomas

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From 1903 until the early '50s just about all pilots learned to fly without an attitude indicator. Even WWII pilot trainees often started out in basic airplanes (biplanes, a lot of them) with no IFR stuff at all. Even now you can buy a brand-new airplane with a basic panel.

When I was an instructor I sometimes found new students struggling to learn. They'd spent hundreds of hours fooling with Microsoft Flight Sim, and spending most of that time looking at all the pretty colors on the panel. They absolutely have to learn to judge attitude by looking outside, or they'll have trouble with learning to land, for instance, or trimming, or keeping the wings level, or spin recovery, or whatever. And when they come to learn IFR they've already locked themselves into some sort of instrument scan that doesn't work too well.
 

TFF

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If the altimeter is not moving up or down, you are level. Flying IFR, flying higher altitude it becomes pretty handy. It’s great for long distances. Putting around a couple hours of thousand feet above ground or lower, not looking at it. I’m looking at the surroundings.
 

Pops

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I learned to fly on instruments with about 20 hrs of actual, before getting my Private L, with an altimeter , vac T&B, airspeed, compass, ROC , using an Alpha 200 1 1/2 system radio.( same receiver for com or VOR).
 

Vigilant1

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We have ATPs who are crashing airliners in VMC due to ambiguous AoA indications. Something isn't right if pilots are being entrusted with the lives of hundreds of people without being comfortable hand flying the airplane using known pitch, power, and airspeed. It should be possible for any pilot to get safely around the skies in VMC without reliable airspeed and/or artificial pitch info.
 
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gtae07

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I trained in C150s with them (and half the time they didn't work) but then flew Dad's RV without one for 10 years before he got a Skyview. IMHO not necessary at all for VFR, albeit a nice-to-have on hazy days at higher altitude.
 

Wanttaja

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Took my whole Private syllabus in a Citabria with only the basic VFR instruments plus a turn-and-bank. Was fun doing the hood work required for the Private; wings level with the turn and bank, holding pitch by the altimeter and airspeed, knowing the compass lead/lag rules to be able to make the turns somewhat accurately.

Don't even have a turn-and-bank, now...just the skid ball.
labeled.jpg
Ron Wanttaja
 

Pops

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Lot of pilots today don't know the idiosyncrasies of a compass.

Ron---- Your fun meter is pegged. :)
 

Dana

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Absolutely no need for an artificial horizon if you're not flying IFR. I've never owned a plane with one. Even climbed my T-Craft through an overcast once on just the needle, ball, and airspeed after pushing scud running a bit too far once. I'm thinking of putting a T&B in my Hatz, because I have one laying around, and it did save my arse that one time...
 

Daleandee

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It's no problem at all to learn without an artificial horizon. I think it is a distinct advantage. A student should get very comfortable with using the real horizon ...
The ultralights I learned to fly in had no such device ... you had to look out the windscreen. If the houses were getting larger you were descending and smaller meant you were climbing. Wings level was learned by looking at the left & right wing tips. My iFly 740b has an EFIS screen built in but needs an external AHRS which I don't have so any info given on the iFly EFIS screen is GPS based and slow to follow the real changes in flight attitude or direction.
Recently I did find an artificial horizon device for use in my aircraft. I don't really use it but it's there if I should do something dumb like fly into some clouds or very low visibility areas (which I work very hard NOT to do). If you have an iPhone/iPad this free app is worth putting on your phone. It works and it works amazingly well. I've only flown a few flights with it but from what I have seen it is a pretty good backup plan to have - just in case:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ibfdmonochrome/id1413179229

For day VFR an Artificial Horizon should not be needed, but they are sometimes fun to play with as you tool around doing maneuvers ...

Dale

PS: More info on iBFD is here:

https://chiryuusaeki.wixsite.com/ibfd
 
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don january

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For your home built plane there is another way to have a AH. If Kitty is on your lap purring all is well and if it's above your head with claws out and hair standing straight up then you shouldn't be flying in the soup. Works well for banking turns also. I do recommend de-clawing the artificial AH first :)a Cat-one-approach.jpg
 
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don january

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Attitude indicator, turn coordinator, Gyroscopic horizon instrument. artifical horizon.png I believe covers post #16 question. Like Marc W if you wouldn't know. :)
 

Dan Thomas

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What's an artificial horizon?
That's the old name for an attitude indicator. At some point in the 19 years between when I got my PPL and when I got the CPL the government had decided that everything had to be an "indicator" of some sort, so the artificial horizon became an attitude indicator and the gyrocompass became a heading indicator. They go with our vertical speed indicator, turn-and-bank indicator and the airspeed indicator. But we still have an altimeter instead of an altitude indicator and a turn coordinator instead of a turn coordination indicator. Someday some bureaucraft will spot that....
 

akwrencher

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For your home built plane there is another way to have a AH. If Kitty is on your lap purring all is well and if it's above your head with claws out and hair standing straight up then you shouldn't be flying in the soup. Works well for banking turns also. I do recommend de-clawing the artificial AH first :)View attachment 93622
Many years ago I posted this. Seema like a good time to re post it :)

Many years ago my Grandfather sent me a clipping with this funny story. I now share it with you. I hope you laugh as hard as I did :)





INSTRUMENT FLYING FOR ANIMAL LOVERS


Having detailed the concept of attitude control, there is another method which you may prefer. For reasons which will become apparent, it is recommended for those pilots whose airplanes have large , easily cleaned cabins. Known as the “Cat and Duck Method” of instrument flight, it has received much publicity and is considered to have a great deal of merit by those who have not tried it. No reports have been received from those who did try it, and none is expected. Pilots are invited to assess it's merits objectively.
Basic rules for the C&D Method of instrument flight are fairly well known and are extremely simple. Here's how it's done:


1: Place a live cat on the cockpit floor; because a cat always remains upright, he or she can be used in lieu of a needle and ball. Merely watch to see which way the cat leans to determine if a wing is low, and if so, which one.


2: the duck is used for the instrument approach and landing. Because of the fact that any sensible duck will refuse to fly under instrument conditions, it is only necessary to hurl your duck out of the plane and follow it to the ground.




There are some limitations to the Cat and Duck Method, but by rigidly adhering to the following checklist,a degree of success will be achieved which will surely startle you,your passengers, and even an occasional tower operator:



1: Get a wide awake cat. Most cats do not want to stand up at all. It may be necessary to carry a large dog in the cockpit to keep the cat at attention.


2: Make sure your cat is clean. Dirty cats will spend all their time washing. Trying to follow a washing cat usually results in a tight snap roll followed by an inverted spin(flat).


3: Use old cats only. Young cats havenine lives, but old used-up cats with only one life left have just as much to lose as you do and will be more dependable.


4: Beware of cowardly ducks. If the duck discovers that you are using the cat to stay upright, it will refuse to leave without the cat. Ducks are no better in IFR conditions than you are.


5: Be sure that the duck has good eyesight. Nearsighted ducks sometimes fail to realize that they are on the gauges and go flogging off into the nearest hill. Very nearsighted ducks will ground in a sitting position. This maneuver is difficult to follow in an airplane.


6: Use land-loving ducks. It is very discouraging to break out and find yourself on final for a rice paddy, particularly if there are duck hunters around. Duck hunters suffer from temporary insanity while sitting in freezing weather in the blinds and will shoot at anything that flies.


7: Choose your duck carefully. It is easy to confuse ducks with geese because many water birds look alike. While they are very competent instrument flyers, geese seldom want to go in the same direction as you. If your duck heads off for Canada or Mexico, you may be sure that you have been given the goose.
 
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