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Attitude indicator

The foundation for all instrument flight, this instrument reflects the airplane’s attitude in relation to the horizon.

Attitude instrument flying

Controlling the aircraft by reference to the instruments rather than by outside visual cues.

Attitude management

The ability to recognize hazardous attitudes in oneself and the willingness to modify them as necessary through the application of an appropriate antidote thought.


Nighttime visual illusion that a stationary light is moving, which becomes apparent after several seconds of staring at the light.

Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS)

Weather reporting system which provides surface observations every minute via digitized voice broadcasts and printed reports.

Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS)

Automated weather reporting system consisting of various sensors, a processor, a computer-generated voice subsystem, and a transmitter to broadcast weather data.

Automatic dependent surveillance—broadcast (ADS–B)

A function on an aircraft or vehicle that periodically broadcasts its state vector (i.e., horizontal and vertical position, horizontal and vertical velocity) and other information.

Automatic direction finder (ADF)

Electronic navigation equipment that operates in the low- and medium-frequency bands. Used in conjunction with the ground-based nondirectional beacon (NDB), the instrument displays the number of degrees clockwise from the nose of the aircraft to the station being received.

Automatic terminal information service (ATIS)

The continuous broadcast of recorded non-control information in selected terminal areas. Its purpose is to improve controller effectiveness and relieve frequency congestion by automating repetitive transmission of essential but routine information.


An automatic flight control system which keeps an aircraft in level flight or on a set course. Automatic pilots can be directed by the pilot, or they may be coupled to a radio navigation signal.

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