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Aviation Learning Center Document Meet Your Aircraft P-8740-29
Author: FAA Date: 1995
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Hitting the Books
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With the question of how should I begin now answered, the next question is, "Where do I begin?" You begin by studying and learning the new aircraft's systems and operating procedures, since the bottom line to all flying is knowing everything that we can about the aircraft in order to operate it safely. You will find this information in the aircraft flight manual (AFM), owner's manual, or pilot's operating handbook (POH). If the aircraft is an older model, it might have a very basic owner's manual. If so, you need to be aware that the older manuals may not have the same information as some of the newer manuals, nor are the older manuals organized like the new POH and AFM. Although the older manuals have less information than the new manuals, they still provide the basic information.

The new publications are similar in format, and have the following sections:

  • General
  • Limitations
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Normal Procedures
  • Performance
  • Weight and Balance / Equipment List
  • Systems Description
  • Handling, Service, and Maintenance
  • Supplements
  • Safety Information

Another good source of information on an aircraft, particularly older models, is magazine articles on the aircraft. Pilot reports are especially helpful.

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