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Night visual black Hole approaches. Skybrary article.

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Night visual black Hole approaches. Skybrary article.

Old 10th Dec 2018, 11:51
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Night visual black Hole approaches. Skybrary article.

https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/...216d-276530305

Another well written article on the airmanship aspects of flying black hole approaches.
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Old 10th Dec 2018, 21:46
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Originally Posted by Centaurus View Post
https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/...216d-276530305

Another well written article on the airmanship aspects of flying black hole approaches.
That's a timely reminder Centy for pilots out there that chose to fly at night & make Viz App's:-) With todays modern onboard techno stuff and a well trained pilot the illusion can be mostly overcome but sadly the human mind is a very powerful processor with the eyes feeding it inaccurate info, not always right with the right outcome! Even though I have all the gear at my disposal I still use the old 320ft per NM & 5x GS for my ROD, I even do a puff check in my jet....lolol
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Old 10th Dec 2018, 22:38
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Even though I have all the gear at my disposal I still use the old 320ft per NM & 5x GS for my ROD,
Very true. It was called good airmanship. Now an obsolete term replaced by NTS's. More's the pity. One also becomes wary when flying into some of the Pacific islands especially at night. Nauru was a classic in the 1980's where it was important to keep a close eye on IRS ground speeds on final approach for unwanted tailwinds.
Local vandals were known to occasionally smash the lights over the windsocks so you couldn't overfly to have a look. Pilots relied on the flight service officer to give you the wind. Except his anemometer was long since u/s so the FSO would give you the forecast wind but wouldn't say it was a forecast wind as he was doing his best to keep you happy with whatever Met info he had on his desk. Which was often out of date.

In those days the T-VASIS was unreliable either due power outages, long grass covering the boxes or worse still several u/s light bulbs that could give you erroneous visual information. Sometimes large kids sitting on a T-VASIS box could unknowingly tilt the box slightly and change its angle from the pilots viewpoint on final.
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Old 10th Dec 2018, 22:42
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Hang on, what's all this about runways, lights, windsocks, FSOs etc? A black hole approach is one where there aren't any of those things.
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Old 11th Dec 2018, 01:47
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'Centy' I still fly into the Pacific Islands & the biggest concern at night is whether the Rwy lights will be on at all! Sometimes an Alt is just the same, it's a huge risk to turn up at places like Tonga or Niue in the middle of the night in poor WX.
The wind vector on the ND is the biggest help of all, am always trying to get the F/O's to watch it like a hawk & make adjustments to speed position & height as required.
While I am on a roll here I hate HF....grrrrr in today's world we still use antiquated R/T technology!
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Old 11th Dec 2018, 03:59
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Hang on, what's all this about runways, lights, windsocks, FSOs etc? A black hole approach is one where there aren't any of those things.
A black-hole approach illusion can happen during a final approach at night (with no stars or moonlight) over water or unlit terrain to a lighted runway, in which the horizon is not visible.
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Old 11th Dec 2018, 04:53
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A black-hole approach illusion can happen during a final approach at night (with no stars or moonlight) over water or unlit terrain to a lighted runway, in which the horizon is not visible.
Hang on, Centy. Isn't this illusion named after the "black hole" appearance of a runway that has ground lighting (sometimes extensive) around the outside of the airport, but the interior region is devoid of lighting - thus making the runway appear to be sited in the middle of a "black hole"? Those words must mean something related to a "black hole".

I've had a bee in my bonnet about the use of this expression for a while now. I believe that, nowadays, out of ignorance, everybody uses it for exactly the opposite situation that it was originally coined for. Everybody seems to be using it for runways where the entire region is devoid of ground lighting (e.g. small towns where the runway is a great distance from the town).

I started this thread in 2012 in complaint of this misuse:

"Black hole" approach - a misnomer
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Old 11th Dec 2018, 05:39
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Whether that was what it was intended to mean originally, I think (?) It is pretty universally now accepted to be what Centaurus describes and has certainly been cited in quite a number of accidents over the years. Regarding your old thread I would argue the situation of an unlit aerodrome surrounded by lights would be more accurately just described as "dark". The dangers of flying by attempted visual reference, without any external visual cues are very well understood and appreciated by pretty well everyone nowadays, but the dangers of a very well illuminated aerodrome surrounded by darkness is a much less obvious hazard. Just my 2c.
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Old 11th Dec 2018, 07:43
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I think the term "Black Hole Illusion" always was as per Centaurus's and NZFK's description, (where it refers to the lack of features of the surrounding environment, not of the runway itself).

see:

http://www.academia.edu/1650553/Visual_misperception_in_aviation_Glide_path_performance_in_a _black_hole_environment

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a462899.pdf

References in those indicate the illusion that results in thinking you are higher than you actually are was described from at least the early 1950s and that the actual term "black hole illusion" seems to start being used to describe it in the 1970s.
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Old 12th Dec 2018, 00:32
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I believe it's universally accepted that a black hole is just that, devoid of lights whether that be the Rwy itself (other than edge lighting) & or the surrounding area.
The whole concept whether it be either of the two diff interpretations here is that's its an illusion, dangerous & one can be sucked into that hole. At the end of the day the end result is the same if not taken seriously. The eyes often overrides common sense so hence the use of other tools such as what's been mentioned above is paramount to making a successful App/Ldg:-).

To me a black hole App is something not to be taken lightly (no pun intended):-) Its good to discuss it, having a one eyed view on it achieves nothing:-(
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Old 12th Dec 2018, 03:45
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As someone who does quite a bit of NVFR flying I found this article really interesting and thought provoking
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