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Fred Lewis

One-Half Mile Visibility Is Insufficient

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TOUCHE!!!!!....I mostly agree with skully....are you comfortable with the situation and if it gets worse...well do you want to get trapped in the s$%t....years ago when we didn't have gps my limits were a lot higher...I had to do a flight for some topend suits from a company that will remain nameless...this goes back 20 years or so...gps had just come out...I told the dudes on the phone that the weather was calling for o/c and rain all day long...they said...So...we will be arriving in an hour and so they did...well I had already flown their survey crew out that morning and the weather was crappy but not nerve racking...we will say 1 mile,raining pretty hard with a 500' ceiling...so the plane shows up with 8 passengers all wearing suits ...going to be 2 trips...first 4 get in as fast as they can...I have already told them its raining at the site they want to go to...SO...off we go....not 5 minutes into the flight the front seater says to me are you okay with the weather...I said yes and did they want to go back....NO....if I was okay they were okay...it takes an hour to get to the site...their crew is there to greet them...it is the middle of the summer in the bush in canada...pissing rain and the bugs are...well we all know....I blast off back to pick up the other 4 passengers...get them on...head out....same routine...land out at the site...well the first 4 didn't even have time to say hi to their other 4 buds..they jump in the machine and say follow the river they wanted to look at on the way back to the airport....so off we go....I have the window demisters running with a bit of heat on...well 5 minutes go by and they are all sleeping...beeline it back to the airport...they wake up as I am landing...dito with the second group...what part of the weather is crumpy didn't they get...if I didn't have gps I probably would not have gone as reading a map would have been not impossible but a real pain...I knew the country side very well...flew almost 6 hrs in that crap...didn't bother me in the least...just hope those folks learned something...but probably NOT. :lol:

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What are you guys whining about?

 

You don't comply with the regulations now. What difference does it make if they change the limits that you don't follow anyway?

 

RedDog

 

I'm kind of with RedDog on this one (minus the whining part)... And I know it's been said before, but it drives me nuts when people pile aircraft in when the visibility is zero, and the suggestion is made that we need to increase the current half mile limit. It is sort of like when the guy goes off the corner doing 110 in a 60 zone and the talking heads say they need to lower the speed limit... It is true that some people are more cautious based on lower speed limits or higher visibility requirements, but many more are not... they just do what they do... And hopefully don't hurt anyone doing it...

 

HV

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Bumping into the ground by mistake is only part of the problem: if the viz is poor it could be darned hard to find some place to go when the chip light comes on.

 

DM

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What are you guys whining about?

 

You don't comply with the regulations now. What difference does it make if they change the limits that you don't follow anyway?

 

RedDog

 

This is so, so true. In 10 years i haven't meet one pilot that will stop at 1/2 mile.

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This is so, so true. In 10 years i haven't meet one pilot that will stop at 1/2 mile.

 

How many pilots have actually tried to determine what 1/2 mile really is whilst flying ....

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If you know your aircraft’s groundspeed, you can estimate distance. Look to the

most distant point you can see ahead and then time how long it takes to reach it.

 

If, for example, your ground speed is 105 knots, that’s about 120 mph

and you’ll cover about 2 miles per minute. If you reach the point in less

than 90 seconds, the in-flight visibility is less than 3 miles!

 

A simple variation on this is to use GPS while flying

directly to or from a waypoint. Just look at the beginning and

ending mileage on the GPS to see how far you’ve flown to

reach the farthest point you can see.

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How many pilots have actually tried to determine what 1/2 mile really is whilst flying ....

 

 

Quite often actually while doing seismic in prairies, the aircraft is often flown slow and thus harder to tell than sorching along at 105 knts. But hey they have fences usually every 1/2 mile so is not hard. I try to use landmarks to use prior to takeoff as well.

 

I think most operators train that if you find yourself at 60 you are probably close to 1/2 mile vis.

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If you know your aircraft’s groundspeed, you can estimate distance. Look to the

most distant point you can see ahead and then time how long it takes to reach it.

 

If, for example, your ground speed is 105 knots, that’s about 120 mph

and you’ll cover about 2 miles per minute. If you reach the point in less

than 90 seconds, the in-flight visibility is less than 3 miles!

 

A simple variation on this is to use GPS while flying

directly to or from a waypoint. Just look at the beginning and

ending mileage on the GPS to see how far you’ve flown to

reach the farthest point you can see.

 

This is an example of why some people should NOT fly in reduced visibility. If you do not have the ability to judge your distance by LOOKING where you are going but instead have to start calculating groundspeeds and airspeeds then you are for sure going to fly into danger.

 

Try using a measured distance such as about one half of a 5,000 ft runway. That is about 1/2 mile. That is the distance that you HAVE to be comfortable measuring by the seat of your pants - not by redirecting your brain from flying to some silly mathematics (math is silly in this context). If you can feel comfortable with recognizing that distance in good weather then try it in reduced weather conditions so that you can actually recognize 1/2 mile vis - not by a forecast or a calculation - but FOR REAL! The real world is where we all fly so let's all fly safe!

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This is an example of why some people should NOT fly in reduced visibility. If you do not have the ability to judge your distance by LOOKING where you are going but instead have to start calculating groundspeeds and airspeeds then you are for sure going to fly into danger.

 

Try using a measured distance such as about one half of a 5,000 ft runway. That is about 1/2 mile. That is the distance that you HAVE to be comfortable measuring by the seat of your pants - not by redirecting your brain from flying to some silly mathematics (math is silly in this context). If you can feel comfortable with recognizing that distance in good weather then try it in reduced weather conditions so that you can actually recognize 1/2 mile vis - not by a forecast or a calculation - but FOR REAL! The real world is where we all fly so let's all fly safe!

 

By the way - this is what good training is all about!!

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By the way - this is what good training is all about!!

 

 

Mr.Jim,

 

When I was flying for a living I always used the 99.9% of being able to do the job. Every individual has his/hers own limit. In all the years I was flying, other than an emergency, there was never a job that could not be done the next day or when ever the weather cleared.

 

The three (3) major accidents I was in were all mechanical failures, that was covered by the .01%. The percentage you have no control over. Not one was weather related.

 

Cheers, Don

 

 

 

 

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