Flying Blind

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by skunk, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #1
    Great story here :)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/north_yorkshire/7715345.stm
     
  2. macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #2
    Quite an accomplishment
    Thanks for sharing

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  3. macrumors Core

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    #3
    that is an awesome story and i'm glad that it was a safe landing considering the circumstances. requires trust, confidence, and caution.
     
  4. macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

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    #4
    that would suck, but very cool story.
    glad he was safe.
     
  5. macrumors G5

    ucfgrad93

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    #5
    Read this earlier, and it is an amazing story.
     
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    millar876

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    Pixellated

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    Gray-Wolf

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  9. macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #9
    The more I read about this, the more I'm impressed with the people involved.

    Anyone see exactly what kind of airplane was being flown? The articles just say "small Cessna", which to me can be anything from a 150 to a Citation X (yeah, I know it's not a Citation in this case). Anyway, I'm curious.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #10
    A four-seater, apparently. More detail from the Independent:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...tch-after-going-blind-at-15000ft-1001067.html

     
  11. macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #11
    Ah - thanks. That really narrows it down, actually. I'm guessing a turbocharged 182. It's the only Cessna 4-seater I can think of that anyone would bother taking to 15,000'.

    Although really, I can't think of a reason someone flying around the UK would take a non-pressurized airplane that high. Interesting.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #12
    I'm thinking that someone confused metres with feet. 5,500 feet was the earlier version. Someone probably read this as 5,000 metres and then retranslated it to 15,000 feet.
     
  13. macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #13
    That would make a LOT more sense!
     
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    iJohnHenry

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  15. Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #15
    Great life-affirming story, I saw it on the BBC World Service when it broke. Thanks for posting it.

    Cheers
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

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  17. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    Well yes, the airplane needs to be pressurized at 15,000 feet or the pilot on oxygen. Also his altitude tells us he was flying in an easterly direction, if that's of any interest.

    Quite a story. I wonder if the limited vision he did have gave him any sense of the horizon. I take it he did. Without that at least, he'd have gone into a death spiral very quickly, before anyone could help him keep the wings level.
     
  18. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #18
    Interesting story with a great outcome in that he landed okay.

    He might have had an autopilot.

    Or simply let go of the controls. A properly trimmed AC can continue to fly fairly well for a while.

    Of course when help arrived, he could then trust their instructions to keep the wings level.

    Anyhow, he did very well to survive this situation. Hat's off, sir.

    BTW, anybody here fly with Vertigo for an extended time? Very weird sensation -- especially when in the clouds on instruments.
     
  19. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #19
    I suppose an autopilot is a possibility -- even just a simple wing-leveler would help a lot. And assuming the airplane was trimmed, letting go of the controls (a most counterintuitive response!) may help, but I suspect not for long. I mean, the trim would have to be perfect. Then if the airplane started to descend or climb, assuming you could tell, some control input would be required. Now you're at great risk of dropping a wing, pulling back on the yoke to correct... you know the rest.

    I've never experienced vertigo in the airplane, probably because I'm not instrument rated and stay out of those clouds. Without reference to the horizon or any instruments (which the pilot reported he could not read), you're going to be screwed in a hurry. I'm going to guess that the limited vision he had out of one eye gave him a reference to the horizon. Whatever visual facility he did have, he kept his cool and did not panic. That alone is a great credit. I've been on that hairy edge a couple of times, so I can really appreciate the difficulty of keeping your head about you in bad situations.
     
  20. macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #20
    It might depend on exactly how much the instruments blurred - it's possible he could no longer read the numbers but could still see enough to interpret the attitude indicator.

    I'd love to know more about this, but the media tends to break a story, and then completely forget about it.
     

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