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Old 02-10-2020, 10:24 PM
Magiver is offline
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Dayton Ohio USA
Posts: 29,030
Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
From that site: Radar/ADS-B data indicate the aircraft was climbing along a course aligned with Highway 101 just east of the Las Virgenes exit. Between Las Virgenes and Lost Hills Road, the aircraft reached 2,300 feet msl (approximately 1,500 feet above the highway, which lies below the surrounding terrain) and began a left turn.

Again, if he intended to turn on Lost Hills Rd as a safety margin to clear the mountains and instead turned on Las Virgenes (which ran along the base of the mountains) then he lost the terrain advantage. Not sure it mattered if it was a case of disorientation but it would have given him more altitude to to work with. Had he kept climbing he would have cleared the mountains. whatever climb rate was established became an accelerated descent as the aircraft rolled over.

If an aircraft is climbing at 2400 feet per minute and it's rolled with the same control input then the descent rate is much greater. If you're looking at the artificial horizon it's quite obvious but if you're only looking out the window and visibility is lost then things go bad VERY quickly.

It's hard to describe disorientation but it's a result of the instruments showing one thing and your inner ear telling you something else. I briefly experienced this once at night with an old style artificial horizon. "Up" was white, and "down" was black. I was flying to an airport to pick up a friend and forgot what type of airspace I was entering so I looped around until I got permission to enter. The artificial horizon locked sideways and for a brief moment I couldn't tell which way was up. It was made worse by the lights from a highway billboard illuminating the plane. It never occurred to me those old style billboards had lights powerful enough to do that. I thought someone was climbing up from a nearby airport into a collision. It didn't take much time to work things out but the initial disorientation made me dizzy and scared. It was like zero to wildly drunk in 1 second.

Last edited by Magiver; 02-10-2020 at 10:26 PM.