A Good Pilot is Always Learning

Human Performance Visual Illusions Awareness

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Page 8 of 14

Human Performance Visual Illusions Awareness Flight Operations Briefing Notes • − V • • • • • • Runway surface condition (e.g., wet runway): A wet runway does not reflect light, thus affecting depth perception by appearing to be farther away. This visual effect usually results in a late flare and in a firm touchdown. When landing on a wet runway, peripheral vision of runway edge lights should be used to increase the depth perception and determine the flare point. Typical Crew Actions and Results The following crew actions and their consequences often are cited in the analysis of approach-and-landing incidents or accident resulting from visual illusions: Unconscious modification of the aircraft trajectory to keep a constant perception of visual references; Natural tendency to descend below the glide slope or the initial glide path (i.e., "ducking under"); Inability to arrest the rate of descent after descending below the intended glide path (i.e., late recognition of the flattening of runway and runway environment); Absence of reference to instruments to support the visual segment; Failure to detect the deterioration of visual references; and, Failure to monitor the instruments and the flight path, while both crew members are involved in the identification of visual references. The following table provides a summary of the various factors and conditions together with their effects on the pilot's perception and unintended actions that may result in a hazardous situation: Condition Perception Unintended Action Result Narrow / long runway Being too high Push Land short / Land hard Wide or short runway Being too low Pull Land long / overrun Runway or terrain uphill slope Being too high Push Land short / Land hard Page 9 of 15

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