Weeeellll - Isn't THAT Spatial?!?!

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

So, last night, my instructor and I flew down to SRQ, which is on the west coast of FL to shoot some approaches.

First one went fine. Shot the ILS for RWY 32, went missed.

Second one went fine too. Shot the VOR for RWY 32, did a touch & go, followed the missed instructions for a climbing turn to 270 and 1800. Got to 1800, trimmed it out, reduced power to cruise....... and KaPLOW!!

Suddenly my world was all frigged up.

My body was telling me "you're in a STEEP climbing turn to the left! You're in a STEEEEEEP climbing turn to the left!! DO SOMETHING!!!"

So, I did - I remembered, from my studies, from my instructor(s) and from other pilots - to FIRST... say it with me now....

TRUST THE INSTRUMENTS

So, I look at the attitude indicator, the Altitude indicator, the ASI and the HI and it reads straight and level. No increase or decrease in speed.

The engine sounds fine too.

BUT, my body is still screaming "CLIMBING LEFT TURN - CORRECT! CLIMBING LEFT TURN - CORRECT!"

So, I say to my instructor - "just want to let you know that I'm spinnin' here. But my instruments tell me I'm fine"

He calmly says "you're fine. Watch your instruments."

So, after about 20 -30 seconds - Zzzzzzzzzip! I'm back.

Glad I got to experience Spatial Disorientation. Hope that NEVER happens again! But, if it does, I'll trust what I see and not what I feel.

R2F
 

racemey

Well-Known Member
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

Weird, Huh? I got exactly that sensation one day during my accelerated course last month. We were in actual and my body was telling me that we were in a climbing left turn and I cross-checked and the instruments told me we were straight an level.

When reading the training materials, I thought this won't be a problem, "I'll just trust the instruments". Its a whole lot different in the plane when your body is giving you these screwed up signals. It was good to see how easy it would be to lose it by not trusting those instruments. Nice to have someone experienced with you when that happens the first time
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

Happened to me once, but not quite so bad.

We were out shooting partial pannel, single engine approaches at night (no hood). And It kept feeling like the airplane was out of trim in the roll axis - I thought maybe the fule tanks were un even - and they may have been. But I suspect it was more likely disorentation.

I just kept my scan going and eventually it worked itself out.

I have shot approaches with uneven fuel tanks and man - that SUCKS.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

Try flying an approach to minimums with a nasty crosswind, it can get real nasty too.
 

Brandon

New Member
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

[ QUOTE ]
I have shot approaches with uneven fuel tanks and man - that SUCKS.

[/ QUOTE ]

It does suck...my arm gets tired holding the airplane straight and level.
I've never had bad spatial disorientation, but I find that I get messed up after doing long constant rate turns. After a little while my body says I am straight and level, and then when I actually level my wings I feel like I am turning the opposite way.
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

Wow R2F, that's quite a story!!

In a way, I kind of hope I experience spatial disoriantation with an instructor before I go at it alone...

Thanks for sharing!
 

ScorpionStinger

Well-Known Member
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

During my PPL training; my CFI did something while i was under the hood, that really got me disoriented..
" cough cough... " i mean....




j/k
 

CaliforniaSurfer

Well-Known Member
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

Good story,

I experienced a slight case of SD. Recently after obtaining my instrument ticket, I rented a Tomahawk and flew over to Santa Barbara, solo, to surf with a buddy. As we're sitting out in the water a fog bank rolls in within 10 minutes. I'm thinking, no problem, the Tomahawk can fly IFR (legally anyway). I filed IFR and took off. I entered the clouds at about 400' and didn't clear until 1,400' and I swear my body was telling me I was turning left so I was correcting to the right, but I'll be darned if my instruments weren't telling me S&L. I was incorrectly banking to the right for no good reason. That's when I had to battle my mind and rely on the panel. It all turned out ok, but then after passing the mountains my alternator took a dump and so did my battery as I was landing at BFL, at night. Thank goodness for my handheld.

What's that quote....You start with two bags, one filled with luck the other is empty of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before the bag of luck is empty...something like that.

Surf
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

Or a saying my dad is always quoting:

Experience is really just the screw-ups you got away with and won't ever do again.
 

drumminpilot

Well-Known Member
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

[ QUOTE ]
I kind of hope I experience spatial disoriantation with an instructor before I go at it alone...


[/ QUOTE ]

You will.......trust me.....
 

SUSPilot

Well-Known Member
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

Not only will you experience it during your training, you will experience it at times after you get your instrument rating. You just have to remember to trust what your instruments are telling you, and not what your body is telling you.
 

davetheflyer

New Member
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

It still happens to me occasionally. Especially after a long spell of good VFR weather. You are right, trust the gages unless you have a very good reason not to (determined by cross check, of course).
 

flying_ME

New Member
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

[ QUOTE ]

I experienced a slight case of SD... after passing the mountains my alternator took a dump and so did my battery as I was landing at BFL, at night.


[/ QUOTE ]
As a pilot wanna be (hope to start training end of summer/fall), it's things like disorientation, mechanical failures, etc that tend to make me wonder why I have to be drawn to something so potentially dangerous. But then I see how your training prepares you for life's little flying emergencies... strange, but for me that level discipline and professionalism makes it all worthwhile again. Now if we can only do something about those CFI and regional salaries
 

BoDEAN

New Member
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

The better trained you and, and the more aware of how to identify and how to react when an emergency occur's is key.
Don't let this get in your way of your dreams.

I have 400+ hrs, and so far I've gone through 2 radio failures. Knowing WHAT to do made the situation that much easier. All you do is take a deep breathe, and go through what you've learned, and you are one step closer to being that much better
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Re: Weeeellll - Isn\'t THAT Spatial?!?!

flying_ME,
I'd say that every safety oriented pilot is reasonably apprehensive of getting into an emergency situation. It's that apprehension, however, that keeps people training for emergencies, and it forces people to stay on top of EVERYTHING at ALL times. Good luck in your training when you start.
 
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