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Pilot departs in fog

Malibuflyer wrote:

Even more interesting, I got the impression that especially these pilots are extremely good at estimating such visibilities from pictures, who at their own VFR flights often pretend it is impossible to know if you are more or less than 1000ft vertically separated from clouds.

I think for takeoff on runway, it is easy to judge visibility, North Weald is 2km long and if I can see the end I have enough visibility, one day it was 10km visibility at 500ft but I barely managed to find the runway as I turned crosswind

For the case of landing after engine failure, that would have been interesting in low IMC, but the marginal risk of weather on EFATO is highly exaggerated by pilots, personally it’s longer a worry 1/ the choice would be as limited as any takeoff in good VMC and 2/ the risk of engine failure is very small

Obviously, to pull up a textbook forced landing back on sub-1km runway you need min 2000ft agl altitude, which needs 3km visibility to make the circuit and 3000ft agl ceiling to keep legal VMC in class D, that would make any SEP IFR ticket worthless and by the way how this risk is mitigated for IFR on 5deg SID/STAR or 3deg IAP when most of the SEP can barely glide 1:10?

At 500ft agl EFATO at VX, you will only make the 200m ahead

Others may have sophisticated or informed opinions on this but I personally no longer care about the defensive SEP engine failures planning (I also fly night, low IMC, gliders), IMO as long as I put enough fuel and manage engine & speed properly, the risk is well mitigated by sub-50kts touchdown speed and wing level rather than what is ahead/bellow (had few off-field landings in Gliders/TMG, one forced landing in SEP in a field, one EFATO in Cub landing on whatever left, so far the only notable mis-shape was glider in 3 feet tall corn field )

Jacko wrote:

Just lift the tail?

Not my aircraft, I was told not to taxi that way…
In low visibility the owner can’t see me

Last Edited by Ibra at 14 Sep 10:38
ESSEX, United Kingdom

Malibuflyer wrote:

There are so many pilots I envy because they are able to judge flight visibility of a flight they haven’t done themselves from a picture/video that was taken significant off the runway in a direction perpendicular to the actual flight direction in weather conditions with patchy ground haze/fog. I would never be able to do such a thing!

I envy pilots able to judge anything less than 8000 m visibility. That’s some serious dynamic range for the mark I eyeball right there.

ESME, ESMS, ESOW

Dimme wrote:

I envy pilots able to judge anything less than 8000 m visibility. That’s some serious dynamic range for the mark I eyeball right there.

Objects at a known distance…?

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Visibility in aviation is always determined (by humans) by looking for objects at a known distance.

One also has to do it along the appropriate axis, because the mist varies from place to place, and because the position of light sources affects how far the observer can see. For example in the video in question there is a light source shining into the camera, while the pilot is looking at about 90 degrees to it.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Visibility in aviation is always determined (by humans) by looking for objects at a known distance.

One also has to do it along the appropriate axis, because the mist varies from place to place, and because the position of light sources affects how far the observer can see. For example in the video in question there is a light source shining into the camera, while the pilot is looking at about 90 degrees to it.

Exactly. Low sun and haze/mist means maybe in one direction 1 km of vis but 10+km the other way…
And in my experience, cameras can make things look better than they or or worse than they are in equal measure…

I wouldnt judge the guy taking off as I wasnt there in his cockpit at the time.
More alarming to me is the guy that sent the footage to a media outlet… not someone Id want on my airfield.

Regards, SD..

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