In-flight Visual Illusions
In-flight Visual Illusions
|Type of Illusion||Explaination||Example||Reference|
|False Visual Reference||This happens when a pilot uses a false visual reference to orientate the aircraft, because of the confusing ground and star light. This can commonly happen at night, or when flying over banks of cloud or water.||Image taken from [Aeromedical] on 25/08/09 and (CAA, 2009)|
|Runway Slope||A runway slope can affect a pilots perception of how high they are when approaching to land.||Image taken from [Aeromedical] on 24/08/09|
|Ground Slope||When the ground before a runway is sloping, this can affect a pilots perception of how high they are when approaching to land.||Image taken from [Aeromedical] on 24/08/09|
|Runway Width||Runway width can lead a pilot to thinking they are either too high or too low if they are used to landing on another width.||Image taken from [American Flyers] 24/08/09|
|White-Out||White-out occurs when clouds or snow blend the sky into the ground. It is hard if not impossible to see the horizon||Image taken from [Wikipedia] 24/08/09|
|Blind Spots||Due to the make up of the eye, a pilot will have a blind spot in each eye. If they focus on a particular area they may miss an aircraft approaching from another area. Practice on this image, focus on the cross and move your head forwards. At a certain point the aircraft on the right will disappear.||Image taken from [AVIA 141] 24/08/09|
|Black Hole Effect||This occurs at night when the area surrounding a runway has no lighting or visual cues. The pilot may think the aircraft is at a higher apprach and will tend to fly a lower than normal approach, causing the undershoot on landing.||Image taken from [Orbiter] 24/08/09 and (CAA, 2009)|
|Autokinesis||When looking at a fixed, single light source against a totally dark background, such as a star, the pilot may wrongly think the light is moving towards himself/herself and he/she is going to crash with another plane.||(CAA, 2009)|
1. Aeromedical : Aeromedical Spatial orientation and disorientation during flight: Illusions during the approach and landing. Retrieved from the World Wide Web: http://aeromedical.org/Articles/graphics/a&l3.jpg 24 August 2009
2. Wikipedia : Wikipedia White Out Retrieved from the World Wide Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiteout_(weather) 24 August 2009
3. Orbiter : Orbiter Orbiter Updates Retrieved from the World Wide Web: http://www.gule.it/Orbiter/ 24 August 2009
4. American Flyers : American Flyers Pilots Handbook Retrieved from the World Wide Web http://www.americanflyers.net/aviationlibrary/pilots_handbook/chapter_15.htm 24 August 2009
5. Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand. (2009). Night VFR. New Zealand: New Zealand Government.
Want to know more?
- Wikipedia - Optical Illusions
- General Information about visual illusions
- Wikipedia - Sensory Illusions
- Information relating specifically to all types of illusions present in aviation.
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page revision: 11, last edited: 11 Oct 2012 02:05