CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 26

CFI'S POINT OF VIEW
Consider an airspeed/altitude exercise at a
safe altitude in the local practice area flying
a simulated airport traffic pattern with a
downwind, base, and final leg at the appropriate
speed, landing gear, and flap configuration.
With reference to the airspeed indicator, fly
the pattern paying attention to all the clues
the airplane is providing your brain. Note the
power setting, engine sound, air flow noise, and
outside picture of the airplane's attitude. Let
the airplane become an extension of yourself
with the sensory inputs it is providing you. Your
sensory inputs will let you know what is going
on with the airplane without solely relying on
the instrument panel. Now fly this same pattern
with the airspeed covered from view of the
student, but viewable or partially viewable by
you. See how accurately your student can fly
the desired airspeed by sound, feel, and sight.
You are teaching your student to sense what the
airplane is doing by listening to her body's total
sensory system.
Now go back to the airport traffic pattern to
practice a couple circuits without an airspeed
indicator. You do not have to take the practice

all the way to a landing. Your student's comfort
level should increase dramatically and then she
is ready to touch down having become a better
pilot by learning to receive and interpret all the
sensory inputs the airplane provides. Everything
we have discussed here is applicable to every
airplane a pilot flies, not just a Cessna 172 or
Piper Cherokee. In fact, paying attention to the
sensory inputs the airplane provides will aid
pilots greatly in checking out in larger, faster,
and more complex airplanes.
The concept of using all our body's sensory
systems is about more than landing without a
functioning airspeed indicator. It is about a total
awareness of what the airplane is doing, and if
all the inputs give us a correct picture for where
our airplane is going. It is all too common in
airplane accident reports to read a contributing
factor was "failure to maintain a safe airspeed"-
yet there was no evidence the airspeed indicator
was not functioning. The quick cause in these
cases is failure to recognize and interpret the
sensory information to the brain. The ability to
process this airplane information should be part
of flight training. The review of flight without

Can you fly without the airspeed indicator?

an airspeed indicator is a building block for
increasing pilot awareness of the many variables
required in being ahead of the airplane.
Some new pilots fixate on the airspeed indicator
at the expense of omitting other instruments
from their scan, leading to a lack of situational
awareness in general. This is probably due
to having seen the old phrase "Maintain thy
airspeed lest the earth rise up and smite
thee." There have been many cases where an
instructor-or during the practical test the
DPE-has commented that the pilot is spending a
lot of time staring at the airspeed indicator. This
is usually followed by immediately covering up
the airspeed indicator bringing us back to the
question, "Can you fly the airplane without an
airspeed indicator?"

Ed Helmick has been a flight instructor since
1988. He formerly managed a flight school
in Spanish Fork, Utah, as well as schools in
Scottsdale, Arizona and Honolulu, Hawaii.
Email: ed.helmick@gmail.com

What's been your experience as a flight instructor or pilot? Please share your comments with the author and CFInewsletter@aopa.org.
We may include your comments and opinions in an upcoming newsletter. Thanks!



CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2

CFItoCFI Newsletter—Vol. 11, Issue 2
CFI Notes and Letters
In the Spotlight: COVID-19 and How to Prepare to Fly Again
Rejected Takeoffs—Lessons Learned from a First Solo
Safety Webinars: Hone Your Skills—Be Well-Informed
ASI Message: Fly with Focus—Help Lower Insurance Rates
CFI News
CFI Tips: Share the Joy!
Teaching Technique: Simplifying Airspace with Rocket Science
There I Was... Midair
CFI Tools: Public Benefit Flying—Feed Your Passion
CFI's Point of View: No Airspeed Indicator! Can You Fly the Airplane?
Beyond Proficient: Teach Your Students Well
You Can Fly: Flight Training Experience Project—Lights, Camera, Action!
Safety Quiz: Thunderstorms
Lessons Learned: Onboard Weather Display—What You See May Not Be What You Get
Chief's Corner: New Checklists
Pilot Safety Announcement: Phone Home
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - CFItoCFI Newsletter—Vol. 11, Issue 2
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - CFI Notes and Letters
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 3
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - In the Spotlight: COVID-19 and How to Prepare to Fly Again
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - Rejected Takeoffs—Lessons Learned from a First Solo
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 6
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 7
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 8
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - Safety Webinars: Hone Your Skills—Be Well-Informed
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - ASI Message: Fly with Focus—Help Lower Insurance Rates
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 11
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - CFI News
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 13
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 14
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 15
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - CFI Tips: Share the Joy!
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 17
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 18
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - Teaching Technique: Simplifying Airspace with Rocket Science
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 20
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 21
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 22
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - There I Was... Midair
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - CFI Tools: Public Benefit Flying—Feed Your Passion
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - CFI's Point of View: No Airspeed Indicator! Can You Fly the Airplane?
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 26
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - Beyond Proficient: Teach Your Students Well
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 28
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - You Can Fly: Flight Training Experience Project—Lights, Camera, Action!
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 30
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - Safety Quiz: Thunderstorms
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - Lessons Learned: Onboard Weather Display—What You See May Not Be What You Get
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 33
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - Chief's Corner: New Checklists
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 35
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 36
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - 37
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 11 Issue 2 - Pilot Safety Announcement: Phone Home
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