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Feature Article: Flying With Your Senses
One of the reasons I teach flying with a very limited selection
of power settings, airspeed, configurations, and attitudes is
because I want the student to develop a 'sense' of what makes
given flight conditions. Even the carburation of the engine is
designed for relatively constant rpm. Every flight situation
has a distinctive sound, visual perspective, and feel. You have
a subconscious sense of what these conditions are. I want to
raise these to the conscious level of recognition. All the senses
are in support one to the other. What you hear in a given situation
has an associated feel. What you feel has an associated sight
picture, etc. Initially your learning will be 3/4 developing
a sight picture. Sight dominates the initial learning process.
What you hear must be associated and used as a supplement.
What you hear will often give you advance notice of something
happening. Hearing is on of the best senses you have in anticipating
what you need to do before sight notices anything happening.
Your touch is more a 'butt' feeling. It occurs during the maneuver
or during recovery. Smell is an emergency sense. Learn as quickly
as you can how an airplane operating normally smells. Any difference
in smell is a prelude to an emergency. Oddly enough, smell is
one of your most powerful memory senses. You can identify smells
and associate them with specific situations as well as with sight
or sound. The Swiss Air accident is a classic example.
Speed can be part of every sensory perception. Speed is visually
sensed best close to the ground. However, there are visual illusions
associated with visual changes even at a constant speed. This
is especially true on the landing approach where the ground seems
to balloon into our visual field at a logarithmic rate.
You can feel the aircraft speed through the sensitivity of
control with your fingertips and the vibrations in your bottom.
This is a developed sense in flying. You acquire it gradually
through exposure. This sense of feel can be developed by covering
the airspeed indicator while making the changes are then checking
the accuracy by peeking. You can learn to land without the airspeed
indicator, it is wise to practice it while learning. Someday
you may really need it. Your whole body feels acceleration only
while it is occurring When acceleration stops your body sense
ceases and must change to sense of vibration. Vibration senses
record both frequency and amplitude. Changes in vibration should
never be ignored. The feelings of an airplane are specific to
that airplane. A change in rigging or a new engine will require
a re-education of our sense of feel.
Sound comes to the pilot from the engine, propeller, and wind.
The worst situation is when all there is, is wind noise. Speed
changes are best indicated by wind noise, changes engine sound
comes in second. Small changes in rpm are hard to detect but
important, as in the onset of carburetor ice.
Last Modified June 24, ©2018 TAGE.COM