Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25)

Share/Save/Bookmark Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge:

(FAA Handbooks series)

FAA (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration) Flight Standards Service / December 2003
ISBN not applicable


Required reading for pilots for more than 25 years, this handbook is used extensively as a reference source for the FAA Knowledge Exams and provides information for training and guiding student pilots. Including basic knowledge that is essential for all pilots, from beginning students to those pursuing more advanced pilot certificates, it introduces pilots to the broad spectrum of knowledge that will be needed as they progress through their pilot training. Principles of flight, aircraft and engine structures and systems, weight / balance and performance calculations, charts and navigation, weather theory, reports, forecasts, and flight manuals are among the subjects covered. Formerly published as an Advisory Circular (AC 61-23C), this new edition is now listed as an official FAA Handbook (#FAA-H-8083-25).


The Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge provides basic knowledge that is essential for pilots. This handbook introduces pilots to the broad spectrum of knowledge that will be needed as they progress in their pilot training. Except for the Code of Federal Regulations pertinent to civil aviation, most of the knowledge areas applicable to pilot certification are presented. This handbook is useful to beginning pilots, as well as those pursuing more advanced pilot certificates.

Occasionally, the word “must” or similar language is used where the desired action is deemed critical. The use of such language is not intended to add to, interpret, or relieve a duty imposed by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR). It is essential for persons using this handbook to also become familiar with and apply the pertinent parts of 14 CFR and the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM).

The current Flight Standards Service airman training and testing material and subject matter knowledge codes for all airman certificates and ratings can be obtained from the Flight Standards Service Web site.

This handbook supersedes Advisory Circular (AC) 61-23C, Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, dated 1997. (…)


Chapter 1—Aircraft Structure
Major Components 1-1
Fuselage 1-2
Empennage .1-4
Landing Gear 1-4
The Powerplant.1-5

Chapter 2—Principles of Flight
Structure of the Atmosphere2-1
Atmospheric Pressure.2-2
Effects of Pressure on Density .2-2
Effect of Temperature on Density 2-2
Effect of Humidity on Density .2-2
Newton’s Laws of Motion and Force2-2
Magnus Effect .2-3
Bernoulli’s Principle of Pressure.2-3
Airfoil Design2-4
Low Pressure Above2-5
High Pressure Below .2-6
Pressure Distribution .2-6

Chapter 3—Aerodynamics of Flight
Forces Acting on the Airplane.3-1
Drag 3-3
Lift 3-6
Wingtip Vortices 3-6
Ground Effect 3-7
Axes of an Airplane.3-8
Moments and Moment Arm 3-9
Design Characteristics .3-9
Basic Concepts of Stability 3-10
Static Stability 3-10
Dynamic Stability .3-11
Longitudinal Stability (Pitching) 3-11
Lateral Stability (Rolling) 3-14
Vertical Stability (Yawing) .3-15
Free Directional Oscillations (Dutch Roll).3-16
Spiral Instability .3-16
Aerodynamic Forces in Flight Maneuvers3-17
Forces in Turns .3-17
Forces in Climbs.3-19
Forces in Descents3-19
Stalls 3-20
Basic Propeller Principles .3-21
Torque and P Factor3-23
Torque Reaction3-23
Corkscrew Effect 3-24
Gyroscopic Action 3-24
Asymmetric Loading (P Factor).3-25
Load Factors 3-26
Load Factors in Airplane Design3-26
Load Factors in Steep Turns.3-27
Load Factors and Stalling Speeds 3-28
Load Factors and Flight Maneuvers.3-29
VG Diagram .3-30
Weight and Balance.3-31
Effects of Weight on Flight Performance 3-32
Effect of Weight on Airplane Structure3-32
Effects of Weight on Stability and Controllability3-33
Effect of Load Distribution 3-33
High Speed Flight3-35
Supersonic vs. Subsonic Flow3-35
Speed Ranges3-35
Mach Number vs. Airspeed3-36
Boundary Layer 3-36
Shock Waves.3-37
Mach Buffet Boundaries.3-39
Flight Controls3-40

Chapter 4—Flight Controls
Primary Flight Controls.4-1
Ailerons 4-1
Adverse Yaw.4-2
Differential Ailerons .4-2
Frise-Type Ailerons 4-2
Coupled Ailerons and Rudder 4-3
Rudder 4-5
V-Tail 4-6
Secondary Flight Controls.4-6
Leading Edge Devices4-7
Spoilers .4-7
Trim Systems4-8
Trim Tabs4-8
Balance Tabs.4-8
Antiservo Tabs4-8
Ground Adjustable Tabs .4-9
Adjustable Stabilizer 4-9

Chapter 5—Aircraft Systems
Reciprocating Engines5-1
Fixed-Pitch Propeller5-3
Adjustable-Pitch Propeller5-4
Induction Systems 5-5
Carburetor Systems 5-5
Mixture Control 5-5
Carburetor Icing5-6
Carburetor Heat 5-7
Carburetor Air Temperature Gauge5-8
Outside Air Temperature Gauge.5-8
Fuel Injection Systems .5-8
Superchargers and Turbosuperchargers5-9
Superchargers .5-9
Turbosuperchargers 5-10
System Operation .5-10
High Altitude Performance.5-11
Ignition System.5-11
Fuel Systems.5-13
Fuel Pumps .5-14
Fuel Primer .5-14
Fuel Tanks.5-14
Fuel Gauges 5-14
Fuel Selectors .5-14
Fuel Strainers, Sumps, and Drains .5-14
Fuel Grades.5-15
Fuel Contamination 5-15
Refueling Procedures5-16
Starting System.5-16
Oil Systems.5-16
Engine Cooling Systems 5-18
Exhaust Systems.5-19
Electrical System 5-19
Hydraulic Systems5-22
Landing Gear 5-22
Tricycle Landing Gear Airplanes .5-22
Tailwheel Landing Gear Airplanes.5-23
Fixed and Retractable Landing Gear5-23
Brakes .5-23
Pressurized Airplanes 5-24
Oxygen Systems .5-26
Diluter Demand Oxygen Systems 5-27
Pressure Demand Oxygen Systems5-27
Continuous Flow Oxygen System5-27
Servicing of Oxygen Systems 5-28
Ice Control Systems5-28
Airfoil Ice Control 5-28
Windscreen Ice Control 5-29
Propeller Ice Control 5-29
Other Ice Control Systems .5-29
Turbine Engines.5-29
Types of Turbine Engines.5-30
Turboprop .5-30
Turbofan .5-30
Performance Comparison .5-31
Turbine Engine Instruments .5-31
Engine Pressure Ratio 5-32
Exhaust Gas Temperature.5-32
N1 Indicator5-32
N2 Indicator5-32
Turbine Engine Operational
Considerations .5-32
Engine Temperature Limitations 5-32
Thrust Variations 5-32
Foreign Object Damage5-32
Turbine Engine Hot/Hung Start .5-33
Compressor Stalls.5-33
Flameout .5-33

Chapter 6—Flight Instruments
Pitot-Static Flight Instruments.6-1
Impact Pressure Chamber and Lines6-1
Static Pressure Chamber and Lines6-1
Principle of Operation 6-2
Effect of Nonstandard Pressure and Temperature .6-2
Setting the Altimeter.6-3
Altimeter Operation6-4
Types of Altitude 6-4
Indicated Altitude .6-4
True Altitude.6-4
Absolute Altitude6-4
Pressure Altitude.6-4
Density Altitude6-5
Vertical Speed Indicator .6-5
Principle of Operation 6-5
Airspeed Indicator 6-6
Indicated Airspeed 6-6
Calibrated Airspeed 6-6
True Airspeed .6-6
Airspeed Indicator Markings6-6
Other Airspeed Limitations 6-7
Blockage of the Pitot-Static System.6-8
Blocked Pitot System .6-8
Blocked Static System6-8
Gyroscopic Flight Instruments 6-9
Gyroscopic Principles.6-9
Rigidity in Space 6-9
Precession .6-9
Sources of Power6-10
Turn Indicators .6-10
Turn-and-Slip Indicator 6-11
Turn Coordinator 6-11
The Attitude Indicator 6-12
Heading Indicator .6-12
Magnetic Compass 6-14
Compass Errors 6-15
Compass Deviation.6-16
Magnetic Dip 6-16
Using the Magnetic Compass.6-16
Acceleration/Deceleration Errors .6-16
Turning Errors 6-16
Vertical Card Compass .6-17
Outside Air Temperature Gauge6-17

Chapter 7—Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Airplane Flight Manuals7-1
Preliminary Pages.7-1
General (Section 1).7-2
Limitations (Section 2).7-2
Weight and Loading Distribution .7-2
Flight Limits .7-3
Emergency Procedures (Section 3) 7-3
Normal Procedures (Section 4) 7-3
Performance (Section 5).7-3
Weight and Balance/Equipment List (Section 6) .7-3
Systems Description (Section 7) 7-4
Handling, Service, and Maintenance (Section 8) .7-4
Supplements (Section 9).7-4
Safety Tips (Section 10) .7-5
Aircraft Documents .7-5
Certificate of Aircraft Registration.7-5
Airworthiness Certificate7-6
Aircraft Maintenance.7-7
Aircraft Inspections 7-7
Annual Inspection.7-7
100-Hour Inspection.7-7
Other Inspection Programs.7-8
Altimeter System Inspection 7-8
Transponder Inspection 7-8
Preflight Inspections.7-8
Minimum Equipment Lists (MEL) and Operations with Inoperative Equipment 7-8
Preventive Maintenance .7-9
Repairs and Alterations 7-9
Special Flight Permits 7-9
Airworthiness Directives 7-10
Aircraft Owner/Operator Responsibilities7-11

Chapter 8—Weight and Balance
Weight Control 8-1
Effects of Weight 8-1
Weight Changes8-2
Balance, Stability, and Center of Gravity8-2
Effects of Adverse Balance 8-2
Management of Weight and Balance Control .8-3
Terms and Definitions 8-3
Basic Principles of Weight and Balance Computations.8-4
Weight and Balance Restrictions8-6
Determining Loaded Weight and Center of Gravity8-6
Computational Method.8-6
Graph Method.8-6
Table Method8-8
Computations with a Negative Arm.8-8
Computations with Zero Fuel Weight 8-9
Shifting, Adding, and Removing Weight .8-9
Weight Shifting.8-9
Weight Addition or Removal8-10

Chapter 9—Aircraft Performance
Importance of Performance Data 9-1
Structure of the Atmosphere9-1
Atmospheric Pressure.9-1
Pressure Altitude.9-2
Density Altitude 9-3
Effects of Pressure on Density .9-4
Effects of Temperature on Density.9-4
Effect of Humidity (Moisture) on Density 9-4
Straight-and-Level Flight .9-5
Climb Performance. 9-6
Range Performance 9-8
Ground Effect .9-10
Region of Reversed Command 9-12
Runway Surface and Gradient 9-13
Water on the Runway and Dynamic Hydroplaning .9-14
Takeoff and Landing Performance 9-15
Takeoff Performance 9-15
Landing Performance .9-17
Performance Speeds 9-18
Performance Charts .9-19
Density Altitude Charts 9-20
Takeoff Charts 9-22
Climb and Cruise Charts 9-23
Crosswind and Headwind Component Chart.9-28
Landing Charts .9-29
Stall Speed Performance Charts.9-30
Transport Category Airplane Performance9-31
Major Differences in Transport Category versus Non-Transport Category Performance Requirements 9-31
Performance Requirements 9-31
Runway Requirements9-32
Balanced Field Length9-32
Climb Requirements.9-34
First Segment9-35
Second Segment .9-35
Third or Acceleration Segment 9-35
Forth or Final Segment.9-35
Second Segment Climb Limitations.9-35
Air Carrier Obstacle Clearance Requirements.9-36
Summary of Takeoff Requirements 9-36
Landing Performance .9-37
Planning the Landing 9-37
Landing Requirements 9-37
Approach Climb Requirements 9-37
Landing Runway Required. 9-37
Summary of Landing Requirements. 9-38
Examples of Performance Charts 9-39

Chapter 10—Weather Theory
Nature of the Atmosphere .10-1
Oxygen and the Human Body 10-2
Significance of Atmospheric Pressure 10-3
Measurement of Atmospheric Pressure 10-3
Effect of Altitude on Atmospheric Pressure 10-4
Effect of Altitude on Flight 10-4
Effect of Differences in Air Density 10-5
Wind .10-5
The Cause of Atmosphere Circulation 10-5
Wind Patterns .10-6
Convective Currents .10-7
Effect of Obstructions on Wind10-8
Low-Level Wind Shear 10-9
Wind and Pressure Representation on Surface Weather Maps 10-11
Atmospheric Stability 10-12
Inversion .10-13
Moisture and Temperature 10-13
Relative Humidity 10-13
Temperature/Dewpoint Relationship 10-13
Methods By Which Air Reaches the Saturation Point .10-14
Dew and Frost 10-14
Ceiling 10-17
Visibility .10-18
Precipitation 10-18
Air Masses .10-18
Fronts .10-18
Warm Front.10-19
Flight Toward an Approaching Warm Front 10-20
Cold Front.10-20
Fast-Moving Cold Front. 10-21
Flight Toward an Approaching Cold Front 10-21
Comparison of Cold and Warm Fronts 10-21
Wind Shifts .10-21
Stationary Front 10-22
Occluded Front .10-22

Chapter 11—Weather Reports, Forecasts, and Charts
Observations 11-1
Surface Aviation Weather Observations .11-1
Upper Air Observations11-1
Radar Observations.11-2
Service Outlets.11-2
FAA Flight Service Station.11-2
Transcribed Information Briefing Service (TIBS).11-2
Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS).11-2
En Route Flight Advisory Service11-2
Hazardous In-Flight Weather Advisory (HIWAS)11-3
Transcribed Weather Broadcast (TWEB) .11-3
Weather Briefings 11-3
Standard Briefing11-3
Abbreviated Briefing 11-4
Outlook Briefing.11-4
Aviation Weather Reports11-4
Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR).11-4
Pilot Weather Reports (PIREPs).11-7
Radar Weather Reports (SD) 11-8
Aviation Forecasts .11-9
Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts.11-9
Area Forecasts 11-10
In-Flight Weather Advisories11-12
Airman’s Meteorological Information (AIRMET) .11-12
Significant Meteorological Information (SIGMET)11-12
Convective Significant Meteorological Information (WST) 11-12
Winds and Temperature Aloft Forecast (FD).11-13
Weather Charts.11-14
Surface Analysis Chart .11-14
Weather Depiction Chart 11-15
Radar Summary Chart 11-16
Significant Weather Prognostic Charts.11-18

Chapter 12—Airport Operations
Types of Airports .12-1
Controlled Airport 12-1
Uncontrolled Airport 12-1
Sources for Airport Data .12-1
Aeronautical Charts 12-1
Airport/Facility Directory.12-1
Notices to Airmen.12-3
Airport Markings and Signs 12-3
Runway Markings 12-3
Taxiway Markings 12-3
Other Markings.12-3
Airport Signs 12-3
Airport Lighting.12-5
Airport Beacon .12-5
Approach Light Systems 12-6
Visual Glideslope Indicators 12-6
Visual Approach Slope Indicator12-6
Other Glidepath Systems12-6
Runway Lighting12-6
Runway End Identifier Lights 12-6
Runway Edge Lights 12-7
In-Runway Lighting .12-7
Control of Airport Lighting 12-7
Taxiway Lights .12-8
Obstruction Lights 12-8
Wind Direction Indicators .12-8
Radio Communications .12-8
Radio License .12-8
Radio Equipment12-8
Lost Communication Procedures .12-9
Air Traffic Control Services 12-10
Primary Radar.12-10
Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System 12-11
Transponder 12-11
Radar Traffic Information Service12-11
Wake Turbulence .12-12
Vortex Generation.12-13
Vortex Strength .12-13
Vortex Behavior12-13
Vortex Avoidance Procedures.12-13
Collision Avoidance.12-14
Clearing Procedures12-14
Runway Incursion Avoidance.12-14

Chapter 13—Airspace
Controlled Airspace .13-1
Class AAirspace.13-1
Class B Airspace.13-1
Class C Airspace.13-1
Class D Airspace 13-3
Class E Airspace.13-3
Uncontrolled Airspace .13-3
Class G Airspace 13-3
Special Use Airspace .13-3
Prohibited Areas .13-3

Restricted Areas13-3
Warning Areas 13-4
Military Operation Areas13-4
Alert Areas13-4
Controlled Firing Areas 13-4
Other Airspace Areas.13-4
Airport Advisory Areas 13-4
Military Training Routes 13-4
Temporary Flight Restrictions13-4
Parachute Jump Areas 13-4
Published VFR Routes .13-4
Terminal Radar Service Areas13-5
National Security Areas13-5

Chapter 14—Navigation
Aeronautical Charts .14-1
Sectional Charts14-1
Visual Flight Rule Terminal Area Charts.14-1
World Aeronautical Charts .14-1
Latitude and Longitude (Meridians and Parallels) .14-2
Time Zones .14-2
Measurement of Direction14-3
Deviation 14-5
Effect of Wind .14-6
Basic Calculations .14-8
Converting Minutes to Equivalent Hours .14-8
Converting Knots to Miles Per Hour .14-8
Fuel Consumption 14-8
Flight Computers 14-8
Pilotage 14-10
Dead Reckoning 14-10
The Wind Triangle or Vector Analysis .14-10
Flight Planning 14-13
Assembling Necessary Material.14-13
Weather Check14-13
Use of the Airport/Facility Directory .14-13
Airplane Flight Manual or Pilot’s Operating Handbook 14-13
Charting the Course.14-14
Steps in Charting the Course14-14
Filing a VFR Flight Plan .14-16
Radio Navigation.14-17
Very High Frequency (VHF) Omnidirectional Range (VOR) .14-18
Using the VOR.14-19
Tracking with VOR14-20
Tips On Using the VOR.14-21
Distance Measuring Equipment 14-21
Automatic Direction Finder 14-22
Loran-C Navigation14-24
Global Position System .14-26
Lost Procedures .14-27
Flight Diversion.14-27

Chapter 15—Aeromedical Factors
Obtaining a Medical Certificate 15-1
Environmental and Health Factors Affecting Pilot Performance.15-2
Hypoxia 15-2
Hypoxic Hypoxia15-2
Hypemic Hypoxia.15-2
Stagnant Hypoxia .15-2
Histotoxic Hypoxia.15-2
Symptoms of Hypoxia15-2
Hyperventilation .15-3
Middle Ear and Sinus Problems.15-3
Spatial Disorientation and Illusions .15-4
Motion Sickness .15-6
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning15-6
Fatigue 15-7
Dehydration and Heatstroke.15-7
Alcohol .15-8
Drugs 15-8
Scuba Diving 15-9
Vision in Flight15-9
Empty-Field Myopia 15-10
Night Vision15-10
Night Vision Illusions.15-11
Autokinesis .15-11
False Horizon15-11
Night Landing Illusions15-12

Chapter 16—Aeronautical Decision Making
Origins of ADM Training16-2
The Decision-Making Process.16-2
Defining the Problem .16-2
Choosing a Course of Action .16-3
Implementing the Decision and Evaluating the Outcome 16-4
Risk Management16-4
Assessing Risk16-5
Factors Affecting Decision Making 16-5
Pilot Self-Assessment.16-5
Recognizing Hazardous Attitudes 16-6
Stress Management.16-6
Use of Resources 16-7
Internal Resources 16-7
External Resources .16-8
Workload Management.16-8
Situational Awareness.16-8
Obstacles to Maintaining Situational Awareness 16-9
Operational Pitfalls16-9

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