November 01, 2004

Being a bat (PPL lesson 5 and a bit)

Just had my last evening lesson of the season. In the plane at 16:30 but were held by Air Traffic Control for nearly 2O mins while a Thompson 737 messed about. The sun set at 16.37 today so at 16:50 it was getting dark v quick. Unfortunately there was also a thick haze a so horizon wasn’t visible. Result was one very unsure student pilot. After one circuit we abandoned lesson although it was a good learning experience cos it shows how flying in low visibility is very disorientating and possible dangerous (imagine flying into low thick cloud with no insturment training)

To recreate conditions in a flight sim – set twilight conditions with haze and then turn down the brightness of the instrument panel (if you can do this) so that its barely visible and there you have it. Now try and land

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  1. Steve Rumsby

    OK, that was horrible. Couldn't see the runway at all when I made the final turn. I guess I was too far away, but I couldn't see it at all on the downwind leg, so I had no idea how far I'd flown! It was only the GPS that got me even close to lined up. I'm glad I wasn't doing it for real.

    And I came down too quickly. Again. I just can't judge distance and height properly from the cockpit.

    03 Nov 2004, 23:22

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