Exercise 30 - Instrument Flying 3 - Unusual Attitudes



For the student to learn safe recovery procedures from unusual attitudes in instrument flight.


Explain to the student that stress, disorientation or vertigo, and lack of recent practice can lead to insufficient attention or accuracy in instrument flying. This can result in attitudes, airspeeds and power settings falling outside the normal instrument flying envelope. It is vital that the student recognizes instrument indications that this has occurred, and take safe, prompt and effective recovery action.

Teaching Points

    1. Remind the student that it is vital to believe the instruments particularly when other sensory clues suggest otherwise.
    2. Point out that a complete scan of all the instruments is vital when taking recovery action.
    3. Explain that as soon as an unusual attitude is detected, a recovery to level flight must be made as soon as possible, with a minimum loss of attitude.
    4. Describe how unusual attitudes are to be practised during the air lesson:
      1. Instructor takes control and requests the student to come off the controls and to close his eyes.
      2. The instructor manoeuvres the aircraft for 3 or 4 minutes, through turns, climbs and descents, terminating in an attitude other than straight and level cruise. (NOTE - this manoeuvring should not be violent or abrupt).
      3. The instructor requests the student to place hands and feet on the controls, open his eyes and take control of the aircraft.
      4. The student effects a recovery to straight and level cruise flight, carefully monitored by the instructor. Recovery should be made by reference to the airspeed indicator, altimeter, turn and bank, and vertical speed indicator. The attitude indicator can be used in the roll axis but can only be used for the pitch axis in conjunction with the other instruments.



    1. Review earlier exercises.
    2. Practice unusual attitudes, as briefed.