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What a private pilot needs to know about airmanship

Ever heard about airmanship? What does airmanship mean to the private pilot? According to the aeronautics dictionary, airmanship is the combination of knowledge, skills and attitude required to operate the aircraft safely in all foreseeable situations. So, being a private pilot is basically all about airmanship.

In order to fly safely the pilot has to know about limitations to the performance of the aircraft in a number of flight situations as well as about the so called human factor - the physical and psychological effects that occur in flight and the corresponding limits to the performance of the private pilot.

The following pages cover the area of knowledge about flight planning and flight safety including weight and balance calculations and aircraft checklists as well as knowledge about the human performance factor.

This area splits into a number of specialist sections. See the end of the page for a list of these.

The knowledge areas covered on this page correspond with the area that is subject of the FAA Flight Operations Question bank. If you want to check the knowledge you already possess in this area click on the link a few lines further down.

Clicking on the link will open a new window, so that you can return to this page for further study. Hopefully you will be able tp improve your score after studying these pages. Please note, that the question answer page opening when you click on the link is timed and you might find it easier to try to do this first test in one go, come back to improve your knowledge and then try the test again. There are also a number of smaller tests at the end of each section that you can take and that will help you to retain the knowledge.

Airmanship for the private pilot - Go on and try the FAA Flight Operations test now.

There might be some questions that are not covered on this page. In that case we have moved them to other pages in order to better fit into the hirarchy as we have proposed on the top page. Please refer to the menu of links to the left for other areas. There you should find the answers to these questions.

If you did the test, you might have identified some areas where you would like to improve your knowledge. Check the following list of topics to dig into the areas in detail:



Load factors describe an aircrafts operating limits. These limits and how they apply to different flight situations belong to a concept of which the pilot should have a clear understanding.

Compliance with the weight and balance limits of any airplane is critical to flight safety. The following page will provide background information into some of the reasons why weight and balance conditions are important to the safe flight of an airplane and give a basic understanding of how to do weight and balance calculations.

Aircraft Performance: This page discusses the factors that affect aircraft performance, which includes the airplane weight, atmospheric conditions, runway environment, and the fundamental physical laws governing the forces acting on an airplane.

Flight planning is at center stage of good airmanship. This page compiles the main steps in flight planning.

Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM) is a systematic approach to the mental process used by airplane pilots to consistently determine the best course of action in response to a given set of circumstances.

Aeromedical Factors As a pilot, it is important to stay aware of the mental and physical standards required for the type of flying done. This page provides information on medical certification and on aeromedical factors related to flying activities.


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