Tuesday, 23 May 2017


(Acknowledgements: GOLDI PRODUCTIONS Ltd.)

Most problems related to disorientation can be traced to the inner ear, a sensory organ about the size of an eraser on a pencil.

The inner ear is similar to a three-axis gyro. It detects movement in the roll, pitch, and yaw axes that pilots know so well. When the sensory outputs of the inner ear are integrated with appropriate visual references and spatial orientation cues from our bodies, there is little chance to experience disorientation.

The problem occurs when the outside visual input is obscured, leaving just the output from the inner ear - and that's when trouble can start.

A pilot suffering from spatial disorientation has difficulty in determining how they are flying in relation to the horizon.

Fluid in the inner ear reacts only to rate of change, not a sustained change. For example, when you initiate a banking left turn, your inner ear will detect the roll into the turn, but if you hold the turn constant, your inner ear will compensate and rather quickly, although inaccurately, sense that it has returned to level flight.

As a result, when you finally level the wings, that new change will cause your inner ear to produce signals that make you believe you're banking to the right. This is the crux of the problem you have when flying without instruments in low visibility weather.

Even the best pilots will quickly become disoriented if they attempt to fly without instruments when there are no outside visual references. That's because vision provides the predominant and coordinating sense we rely upon for stability.

The obvious method to prevent disorientation is the instrument rating. But, that rating alone is no automatic guarantee, because there is no such thing as "knowing how to fly on instruments."

So, practice your IFR skills - you are either trained and CURRENT, or you are UNQUALIFIED!



Acknowledgements: FAA Safety Briefing February 2014

Single-pilot resource management is de­fined as managing all resources available to a pilot on-board the aircraft, and from outside sources prior to and during flight to ensure its successful conclusion.

It is about:

Gathering information, analysing it, and taking decisions based upon it.

It requires:

A pilot to perform a number of mental tasks in addition to the physical task of basic aircraft control, including:
·       Situational awareness
·       Task management
·       Automation management
·       Risk management
·       Aeronautical decision-making
·       CFIT (controlled-flight-into-terrain) awareness
This can be a challenge for GA pilots, whose flying experience may be limited, and the incorporation of SRM into GA pilot training is an important step forward in aviation safety.

When a flight is operated by a single pilot, that pilot has various inside and outside resources available to assist with the flight. The key is how to identify and effectively use these resources, which include:

·       Passengers, even those with no flying experience.

Use them to read out checklist items or watch for traffic. With a bit of instruction, they can also help listen for radio calls or assist with switching radio frequencies.

If the aircraft is so equipped, one could teach frequent passengers some basic programming skills for the moving map and multifunction displays

·       Reading the checklist out loud, and touching the appropriate switch or control. Talk to yourself! As a solo flyer nobody’s listening!

·   On-board equipment, both panel-mount­ed and hand-held, is an important internal resource.

Today’s technology offers an incredible range of information to assist with overall situational awareness, navigation, weather information, and much more.

The key to benefiting from this resource is to know your devices: long before you leave the ground, know what information is available and make sure you know how to access it without unduly diverting your attention from essential aircraft control duties.