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Pilots rely more on vision than on any other sense to orient themselves in flight. The following visual factors contribute to flying performance: good depth perception for safe landings, good visual acuity to identify terrain features and obstacles in the flightpath, and good color vision. Although vision is the most accurate and reliable sense, visual cues can be misleading, contributing to incidents occurring within the flight environment. Pilots should be aware of and know how to compensate effectively for the following:
- Physical deficiency or self-imposed stress, such as smoking, which limits night-vision capability
- Visual cue deficiencies
- Limitations in visual acuity, dark adaptation, and color and depth perception
For example, at night, the unaided eye has degraded visual acuity. For more information on night operations, reference Chapter 17, Aeromedical Factors, of the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25, as revised).
- Visual Deficiencies and Vision in Flight
- Night Vision
- Helicopter Night Flight (Part One)
- Helicopter Night Flight (Part Two)
- Helicopter Night VFR Operations
Flight Literacy Recommends
This section is based on the FAA Helicopter Flying Handbook FAA-H-8083-21B 2019.