Lighting also affects our vision. Glare, usually worse on a sunny day over a cloud deck or
during flight directly into the sun, makes objects hard to see and scanning uncomfortable. Also,
a well-lighted object will have a high degree of contrast and be easy to detect, while one with
low contrast at the same distance may be impossible to see. For instance, when the sun is behind
you, an opposing aircraft will stand out clearly, but when you are looking into the sun, and your
traffic is "backlighted," it is a different story.
A contrast problem exists when trying to see an airplane against a cluttered background. If an
aircraft is between you and terrain that is varied in color or heavily dotted with buildings, it will
blend into the background until quite close.
So what can we do to overcome the vulnerabilities of the eye? The most important thing is to
develop a scan that is both comfortable and workable for your own airplane. In normal flight,
the threat of a midair collision is greatly diminished by scanning an area 60º either side of center
and 10º up and down. Refer again to Figure 4-1. This does not mean that the rest of the area
should be ignored.
Many times the threat of an impending midair collision is evident early enough for the aircrew to
discuss the threat and coordinate a decision regarding deviation from the flight path to avoid it.
However, this will not always be the case. The other aircraft may be sighted at a point which
will prevent discussion with, or even notification of, the other crewmember. This would require
immediate action! In such a situation, students are expected to take the controls and/or initiate a
deviation in either bank, pitch or power (or combination of these) to displace the aircraft from its
current flight path in order to avoid the collision. This concept holds true even if the deviation
involves either high positive or negative "G" loads. Avoiding the collision takes priority over
preventing an overstress! This situation should be addressed during the NATOPS preflight
Naval Aircraft Collision Warning System (NACWS) can enhance a pilot's visual scan by
detecting several aircraft up to 20 NM. Depending upon the mode selected, a series of traffic
advisory symbols (see T-34C NATOPS) may appear, enabling earlier visual detection of
possible conflicting traffic. In this way the NACWS effectively complements but does not
replace the VFR scan, which remains the pilot's primary means to see and avoid conflicting
Of the basic skills required for flight, instrument interpretation requires the most thorough study
and analysis. It begins with your understanding of each instrument's construction and operating
principles. Then you must apply this knowledge to the performance of the aircraft you are
flying, the particular maneuvers to be executed, the scan and control techniques, and the flight
conditions in which you are operating. For each maneuver, you will learn what performance to
expect and the combination of items that you must interpret in order to control aircraft attitude
during the maneuver.
FUNDAMENTAL FLIGHT CONCEPTS