Saturday, February 21, 2009

Purpose And Scope - Ground Reference Maneuvers

Ground reference maneuvers and their related factors
are used in developing a high degree of pilot skill.
Although most of these maneuvers are not performed
as such in normal everyday flying, the elements and
principles involved in each are applicable to performance of the customary pilot operations. They aid the
pilot in analyzing the effect of wind and other forces
acting on the airplane and in developing a fine control touch, coordination, and the division of attention
necessary for accurate and safe maneuvering of the

All of the early part of the pilot's training has been conducted at relatively high altitudes, and for the purpose
of developing technique, knowledge of maneuvers,
coordination, feel, and the handling of the airplane in
general. This training will have required that most of
the pilot's attention be given to the actual handling of
the airplane, and the results of control pressures on the
action and attitude of the airplane.

If permitted to continue beyond the appropriate training
stage, however, the student pilot's concentration of
attention will become a fixed habit, one that will seriously detract from the student's ease and safety as a
pilot, and will be very difficult to eliminate. Therefore,
it is necessary, as soon as the pilot shows proficiency in
the fundamental maneuvers, that the pilot be introduced
to maneuvers requiring outside attention on a practical
application of these maneuvers and the knowledge

It should be stressed that, during ground reference
maneuvers, it is equally important that basic flying
technique previously learned be maintained. The
flight instructor should not allow any relaxation of the
student's previous standard of technique simply
because a new factor is added. This requirement
should be maintained throughout the student's
progress from maneuver to maneuver. Each new
maneuver should embody some advance and include
the principles of the preceding one in order that continuity be maintained. Each new factor introduced
should be merely a step-up of one already learned so
that orderly, consistent progress can be made.

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