To be eligible to fly at night using Visual Flight Rules (VFR), pilots must be able to meet various requirements as dictated by the Federal Aviation Regulations. In this blog, we will discuss a short overview of these requirements and how pilots can meet them to conduct night flight with VFR while carrying passengers.


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If you’ve ever been inside the cockpit of an aircraft, you’ve seen that there are many different aircraft instruments, controls and dials available at the helm, which, to the average person, might seem a tad overwhelming to understand. Thankfully, any pilot sitting in the cockpit has undergone years of training with many flight hours under their belt. Their training has prepared them enough so that they are not only able to understand what the controls can do, but also enough to respond quickly to them. While it can take many months to truly grasp everything there is to know about the controls, you can still understand the basic concept behind the controls. Below is a brief outline of the six most important flight instruments.  


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Removing an aircraft’s engine can be one of the most difficult and complicated procedures in aircraft maintenance. Given the enormous variety in aircraft and engine designs, there is no single list of instructions that can be provided as a guideline, as every airframe and every engine layout will inevitably have a different checklist that must be followed. There are, however, universal requirements that every engine will have that must be fulfilled, such as disconnecting and reconnecting the electrical, hydraulic, and fuel supply lines, the intake and exhaust path components, the engine controls, and the engine mounting connections to the airframe. One should always refer to the engine manufacturer’s instructions when performing any type of engine removal or installation.


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In electronics and electrical engineering, fuses are electrical safety devices that are designed to provide overcurrent protection of an electrical circuit. The most essential component is a metal strip or wire that melts when too much current flows through it, and therefore interrupts the current. Fuses are sacrificial devices, meaning that once a fuse has operated, it must be replaced or rewired.


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The electrical systems within an aircraft are extensive. Steps need to be taken to ensure that the system doesn’t overload causing a power outage on an aircraft. Resistors are electrical components that oppose the flow of electrical current. They are by nature, passive components that only reduce voltage rather than increase them. Wirewound resistors are cylindrical components with resistive wire wrapped around them. The rod is typically made of ceramic or fiberglass and the wire is usually made out of an alloy such as nichrome. An exterior casing insulates the wirewound resistors to help block any heat coming from the circuit interruption.


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Powerful ignition systems are integral to the functioning and efficiency of modern aircraft. Gas turbine engines like those seen on the General Electric CF6, depend on capacitor-type ignition systems for combustion. These systems are powered by a low-voltage DC power supply and utilize the same igniter parts to power the engine’s combustion process. 


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Traditional aircraft instruments include pitot instruments and gyroscopic instruments. These two designations simply categorize the instruments based on the system in which they receive the information. Gyroscopic instruments include the attitude indicator (AI), heading indicator (HI), and the turn coordinator (TC)— also known as the turn and bank (TB) indicator. Having knowledge of the instrument power system, gyroscopic principles, and individual operating principles of each instrument will help you understand how gyroscopic instruments operate.


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It’s pretty easy to understand speed in a ground vehicle: it’s read right off of the speedometer and all the driver is required to do is follow the speed limit. However, this isn’t the case with aircraft— aerodynamics makes it a little more complicated. There are different types of airspeed and they are indicated airspeed (IAS), true airspeed (TAS), groundspeed (GS), calibrated airspeed (CAS), and equivalent airspeed (EAS).


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We often take it for granted, but airplanes are truly one of the most impressive advancements in engineering history. From the Wright Brothers’ first plane made primarily of spruce wood to Airbus’s massive double-deck A380, airplanes have changed quite a bit — especially when you compare the simple design of the Wright Flyer to the double-deck, wide-body, four-engine design of the A380, a plane so massive that it took 1,500 companies from 30 countries to manufacture it’s 4 million individual parts. And yet, despite the obvious difference between the Wright Flyer and the A380, some things haven’t really changed: the basic shape of an airplane. Whether you’re flying in a massive Airbus A380, a regular Boeing 737, or an antique WWII fighter plane, there’s the same basic five sections: the fuselage, wings, engines, cockpit, and landing gear.


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Flying and being thousands of feet in the air can be a thrilling experience. Well, maybe. For a lot of people, the excitement wears out really quick. Especially if you’re on an airplane with no broadband service. At that point, what do you do? Generally, you either sleep or try to look out the window. But, usually, the view isn’t great, and it’s obstructed because instead of square like your car, it’s round. Have you ever wondered why?


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