Many private pilots fly under what are called visual flight rules or VFR. That means you’re supposed to be able to see the ground at all times as a visual point of reference. But what are you supposed to do if a cloud sneaks up on you and your visibility is cut? You can’t see the ground or the horizon. You are flying blind.
First, you’re not supposed to be flying anywhere near conditions where this could happen. Even so, it would be a good thing to know that you have an attitude-indicator instrument in your cockpit. It tells you whether you’re climbing or descending or banking and by how much, in degrees. Good information!
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Actually, the attitude indicator is very useful in flight because it indicates how much of a pitch up, pitch down, or bank angle you are making as you move about the friendly skies. You don’t have to wait until a cloud envelops you before you use it. For example, you’ll refer to it to climb or descend at a specific pitch angle; not too much and not too little. You’ll also use it to make a shallow (under 20-degree), medium (20- to 45-degree), or steep (over 45-degree) bank or turn. Reading an attitude indicator takes some getting used to, but it’s a valuable tool for pilots.
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide