When first learning attitude instrument flying, it is very important that two major skills be mastered. Instrument crosscheck and instrument interpretation comprise the foundation for safely maneuvering the aircraft by reference to instruments alone. Without mastering both skills, the pilot is not able to maintain precise control of aircraft attitude.

Instrument Cross-Check

The first fundamental skill is cross-checking (also call “scanning”). Cross-checking is the continuous observation of the indications on the control and performance instruments. It is imperative that the new instrument pilot learn to observe and interpret the various indications in order to control the attitude and performance of the aircraft. Due to the configuration of some glass panel displays, such as the Garmin G1000, one or more of the performance instruments may be located on an MFD installed to the right of the pilot’s direct forward line of sight.

How a pilot gathers the necessary information to control the aircraft varies by individual pilot. No specific method of cross-checking (scanning) is recommended; the pilot must learn to determine which instruments give the most pertinent information for any particular phase of a maneuver. With practice, the pilot is able to observe the primary instruments quickly and cross-check with the supporting instruments in order to maintain the desired attitude. At no time during instrument flying should the pilot stop cross-checking the instrumentation.