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flying controls

 flying controls

  •  The flying controls are quite simple. In front of us is the main yoke. We push this forward to lower the elevators and nose of the aircraft or pull to raise the nose. We turn the ‘wheel’ to operate the ailerons and bank the aircraft to left or right.
  •  At our feet are the pedals, which are used to operate the rudder, and above the pedals, the toe-operated differential brakes are situated. On a quadrant, in front of us, there is the flap lever and position indicator. On this aircraft, the flaps are electrically operated and so they will not work until the electrical supply is turned on.
  • The engine controls are quite simple. A push-pull throttle control is provided on the dashboard – push forward to increase engine revs. Apart from this, there is a mixture control to compensate for the reduced air density as we climb and a carburetor heat control which we use, particularly at reduced engine speeds, to prevent the carburetor icing up – possibly with disastrous results! As we will only be flying at or below 3000 ft, we will leave the mixture at rich until we eventually want to stop the engine.
  • To complete the story we need to take a quick look at the navigational equipment. On this aircraft, we have a communications radio, a navigational radio (which we shall not use, as we are flying in good visibility and not far from the airfield), and a transponder to allow Air Traffic Control to track our position.
  •  Under the fuel gauges and engine instruments are the key-operated switch for the magnetos and engine starter (rather like the ignition switch on a car), together with the light switches and pitot heater switch. Like the carburetor heater, this prevents the formation of ice but this time on the pitot-static tube, which is vital if we are going to know our correct airspeed.
  •  There is also a master switch, which isolates all the electrical systems apart from the magnetos. These provide the spark at the spark plugs and keep the engine running. If there is an electrical fault and we have to switch off the master, at least the engine will not stop! So far we have spent a long time and the aircraft has not even moved yet. Well, that’s flying! If something goes wrong in a car you can always pull off the road to sort it out. With an airplane, we have to make sure everything is OK before we start off.

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