Several years ago, I had the opportunity to take a thirty-minute flying lesson and then to actually fly a small Cessna airplane – with the assistance of a trained pilot beside me, of course! When teaching me about the instrument panel, the pilot introduced me to a mechanism that gave the attitude of the plane. I said to the pilot, “I’ve met lots of people with an attitude, but I would have never guessed that an airplane had an attitude!”
The pilot told me that the attitude gauge on the plane serves as an artificial horizon and allows the pilot to know if the plane is in a “nose-up” or a “nose-down” position. He went on to say that “the attitude gauge is very important when you are flying at night, in fog, or in other impaired conditions. If you fly too long in a nose-down position, you will eventually crash.” The pilot certainly had my attention at that point!