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How To Prevent Landing Errors Due to Optical Illusions

in Human Factors

To prevent optical illusions and their potentially hazardous consequences, pilots can:

1. Anticipate the possibility of visual illusions during approaches to unfamiliar airports, particularly at night or in adverse weather conditions. Consult airport diagrams and the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) for information on runway slope, terrain, and lighting.

2. Make frequent reference to the altimeter, especially during all approaches, day and night.

3. If possible, conduct aerial visual inspection of unfamiliar airports before landing.

4. Use Visual Approach Slope Indicator (VASI) or Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) systems for a visual reference, or an electronic glide slope, whenever they are available.

5. Utilize the visual descent point (VDP) found on many nonprecision instrument approach procedure charts.

6. Recognize that the chances of being involved in an approach accident increase when some emergency or other activity distracts from usual procedures.

7. Maintain optimum proficiency in landing procedures.

Figure 1-9. Runway Width and Slope Illusions.

Figure 1-9. Runway Width and Slope Illusions.


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