A Good Pilot is Always Learning

Human Performance Visual Illusions Awareness

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Human Performance Visual Illusions Awareness Flight Operations Briefing Notes III III.1 • • • • III.2 • • • • • III.3 • • • IV Visual Illusions – Factors and Conditions The following factors and conditions affect the flight crew ability to accurately perceive the environment, resulting in visual illusions. Airport Environment Ground texture and features; Off-airport light patterns such as brightly lighted parking lots or streets; "Black hole" along the final approach flight path; and/or, Uphill or downhill sloping terrain before the runway threshold or in the approach path environment. Runway Environment Runway dimensions (aspect ratio); Runway uphill or downhill slope; Terrain drop-off at the approach end of the runway; Approach and runway lighting; and/or, Runway condition (e.g., wet runway). Weather Conditions Ceiling; Visibility (i.e., vertical visibility, slant visibility and horizontal visibility); and/or, Cloudiness (e.g., rain, fog or fog patches, haze, mist, smoke, snow, whiteout effect). How do Visual Illusions Affect the Pilot's Perception ? Visual illusions result from the absence of or the alteration of visual references that modifies the pilot perception of his / her position relative to the runway threshold. Visual illusions affect perception of heights, distances and/or intercept angles. Visual illusions are most critical when transitioning from IMC and instrument references to VMC and visual references. Visual illusions (such as the black-hole effect) affect the flight crew vertical and horizontal situational awareness, particularly during the base leg and when turning final (as applicable) and during the final approach. Visual illusions usually induce crew inputs (corrections) that cause the aircraft to deviate from the original and intended vertical or lateral flight path. Page 3 of 15

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