Pilot - cap1

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Chapter 1

Introduction To Flying
The Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge provides basic knowledge for the student pilot learning to fly, as well as pilots seeking advanced pilot certification. For detailed information on a variety of specialized flight topics, see specific Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) handbooks and Advisory Circulars (ACs). This chapter offers abrief history of flight, introduces the history and role of the FAA in civil aviation, FAA regulations and standards, government references and publications, eligibility for pilot certificates, available routes to flight instruction, the role of the Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) and Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) in flight training, and Practical Test Standards (PTS).


History of FlightFrom prehistoric times, humans have watched the flight of birds, longed to imitate them, but lacked the power to do so. Logic dictated that if the small muscles of birds can lift them into the air and sustain them, then the larger muscles of humans should be able to duplicate the feat. No one knew about the intricate mesh of muscles, sinew, heart, breathing system, and devices not unlike wing flaps,variable-camber and spoilers of the modern airplane that enabled a bird to fly. Still, thousands of years and countless lives were lost in attempts to fly like birds. The identity of the first “bird-men” who fitted themselves with wings and leapt off a cliff in an effort to fly are lost in time, but each failure gave those who wished to fly questions that needed answering. Where had the wing flappersgone wrong? Philosophers, scientists, and inventors offered solutions, but no one could add wings to the human body and soar like a bird. During the 1500s, Leonardo da Vinci filled pages of his notebooks with sketches of proposed flying machines, but most of his ideas were flawed because he clung to the idea of birdlike wings. [Figure 1-1] By 1655, mathematician, physicist, and inventor Robert Hookeconcluded the human body does not possess the strength to power artificial wings. He believed human flight would require some form of artificial propulsion.

Balloons solved the problem of lift, but that was only one of the problems of human flight. The ability to control speed and direction eluded balloonists. The solution to that problem lay in a child’s toy familiar to the East for 2,000 years, butnot introduced to the West until the 13th century. The kite, used by the Chinese manned for aerial observation and to test winds for sailing, and unmanned as a signaling device and as a toy, held many of the answers to lifting a heavier-than-air device into the air. One of the men who believed the study of kites unlocked the secrets of winged flight was Sir George Cayley. Born in England 10 yearsbefore the Mongolfier balloon flight, Cayley spent his 84 years seeking to develop a heavier-thanair vehicle supported by kite-shaped wings. [Figure 1-2] The “Father of Aerial Navigation,” Cayley discovered the basic principles on which the modern science of aeronautics is founded, built what is recognized as the first successful flying model, and tested the first full-size man-carrying airplane. Forthe half-century after Cayley’s death, countless scientists, flying enthusiasts, and inventors worked toward building

Figure 1-1. Leonardo da Vinci’s ornithopter wings.

The quest for human flight led some practitioners in another direction. In 1783, the first manned hot air balloon, crafted by Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier, flew for 23 minutes. Ten days later, Professor Jacques Charles flew thefirst gas balloon. A madness for balloon flight captivated the public’s imagination and for a time flying enthusiasts turned their expertise to the promise of lighter-than-air flight. But for all its majesty in the air, the balloon was little more than a billowing heap of cloth capable of no more than a one-way, downwind journey. 1-2

Figure 1-2. Glider from 1852 by Sir George Cayley, British...
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