What is the purpose of the AOA on the external View?

Hi there, What is the purpose of the AOA on the external view? Should have asked this a long time ago. Any information is greatly appreciated. TIA

Quick question: Are you familiar with what “AOA” means? If not, I’d be happy to explain what it is.

I think it means Angle of Attack, but that’s all I know at this time…

Okay, got it.

The wing on your plane is an airfoil. If you were to draw a line from the trailing edge of the wing to the leading edge of the wing, that’s an imaginary line called a chord line.

In a plane moving forward through the air, wind is obviously hitting the wing. The angle between that aforementioned chord line and the relative wind is called the angle of attack.

When you’re flying with wings level, you have a fairly low angle of attack. If you were to pull back on your yoke, that angle of attack would increase as your wings come up. Eventually, if you increase that wing’s angle of attack too high, the aircraft will stall.

In flight school, you learn ways to stall and recover your aircraft. But in day-to-day operations, unless you’re an aerobatics pilot, you generally don’t want to stall your aircraft. Stall too close to the ground and you may be unable to recover in time.

Some (not all) aircraft have an AOA indicator. It gives you your angle of attack to help prevent you from getting into a stall.

As to why it’s among the instruments in the external view…I never use the external view, but I’m guessing that when you have it in external view, you have less of an idea of your AOA, and that instrument is there to give you more situational awareness.

Hope this helps!


Thanks for explaining what the AOA means.

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