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Quiz: Do You Know These 6 Landing Illusions?

Boldmethod

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  1. 1) What affect can a narrower-than-usual runway have on a pilot's sight picture on final approach?

    A narrower-than-usual runway can create an illusion that you are high on approach, causing you to fly a shallower approach. This can be hazardous as your obstruction clearances are reduced. 

    A narrower-than-usual runway can create an illusion that you are high on approach, causing you to fly a shallower approach. This can be hazardous as your obstruction clearances are reduced. 

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  2. 2) Flying into this meteorological phenomenon can create the illusion of pitching up...

    Flying into fog can create the illusion of pitching up. Pilots who are not familiar with this illusion can find themselves making aggressive changes to lower their pitch angle in an attempt to 'correct' for the false change in the sight picture.

    Flying into fog can create the illusion of pitching up. Pilots who are not familiar with this illusion can find themselves making aggressive changes to lower their pitch angle in an attempt to 'correct' for the false change in the sight picture.

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  3. 3) You are planning a cross country to Aspen, CO (KASE), a one way in, one way out airport. The winds are favoring runway 15 (1.9% up). What visual illusion can you expect on final?

    A runway sloping up can create the illusion that you are high on final. Remember to follow the PAPIs or VASIs.

    A runway sloping up can create the illusion that you are high on final. Remember to follow the PAPIs or VASIs.

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  4. 4) You are flying into Denton, AL (4R9) at night. The approach end for runway 12 is over water. What visual illusion can you expect?

    The lack of visual cues can create an illusion called the "black hole approach." This can make you think you are flying higher on final than you actually are, causing you to fly an abnormally low approach.

    The lack of visual cues can create an illusion called the "black hole approach." This can make you think you are flying higher on final than you actually are, causing you to fly an abnormally low approach.

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  5. 5) What is the water refraction illusion?

    The water refraction illusion is created when water on the windscreen creates the false perception of the horizon being lower than it is. This causes the pilot to fly lower than normal on final.

    The water refraction illusion is created when water on the windscreen creates the false perception of the horizon being lower than it is. This causes the pilot to fly lower than normal on final.

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  6. 6) Haze can create the illusion of being __________ the runway and _________ than usual.

    Haze can create the illusion of being at a further distance from the runway and higher than usual.

    Haze can create the illusion of being at a further distance from the runway and higher than usual.

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It wasn't your best flight...

You scored %. It's time to hit the books.

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Not the smoothest flight ever...

You scored %. Time for a little review.

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Nailed it!

You scored %. Well done.

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Want to learn more about landing illusions and landing errors? Sign up for our Mastering Takeoffs and Landings course and get started today.


Corey Komarec

Corey is an Embraer 175 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota, and he's been flying since he was 16. You can reach him at corey@boldmethod.com.

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