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Is it common to experience a kind of confusion during the transition from breaking out (or removing hood) to visual during instrument training?  Comments, techniques or tips would be appreciated.  

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2 Answers

  1. Wes Beard on Jul 15, 2013

    Yes. Absolutely. Your eyes are focused on the panel 18-24 inches from you and then you look up and try to focus on the runway or something to identify the runway. It takes the eyes a small amount of time to make the transition.

    Professional pilots have the same difficulty. In Canada they have a PMA or pilot monitored approach. The second pilot flies the approach inside on the autopilot and the PIC keeps their eyea outside. With coordination, the PIC takes over and lands or the SIC performs a missed approach.

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  2. RLewis on Jul 17, 2013


    This issue became apparent to me when first starting my CFI Instrument certificate – the reason being, when the instructor (acting as a student and under the hood) was flying approaches, I began to realize how small needle deflections were actually big deviations (visually). This is especially true with non-precision approaches slightly offset to the runway centerline.

    I have two suggestions – one of them is to try flying a few approaches with no hood, either on your own or with an instructor. Do a precision approach, but also make sure you do a non-precision approach with a noticeable offset between the approach and runway centerline. Fly the airplane to the VDP and to the missed approach point at minimums to see what it looks like. When under the hood and reviewing for an approach, try to create the mental imagery of the approach – note the difference between the runway and the angle at which you’re approaching.

    The second suggestion is to try watching a few youtube videos – there are several on there of actual approaches to minimums. Maybe this will give you a more realistic view.


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