EFFECTS OF APPROACH LIGHTING AND VARIATION IN VISIBLE RUNWAY LENGTH ON PERCEPTION OF APPROACH ANGLE IN SIMULATED NIGHT LANDINGS

Previous experiments have demonstrated illusions due to variations in both length and width of runways in nighttime "black hole" approaches. Even though approach lighting is not designed to provide vertical guidance, it is possible that cues from approach lights could interact with cues from runway lighting to reduce illusions due to variation in runway size. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of approach lighting on perception of approach angle in simulated night approaches. In the first experiment, 40 pilots made simulated visual approaches to a 150-by-6,000-ft runway with and without a 3,000-ft approach light system. Pilots controlled a moving runway model to produce a constant "normal" angle of approach over the distance range of 23,000 ft to 8,000 ft from threshold. In the second experiment, 24 pilots made simulated approaches to a 150-by-6,000-ft runway which was either fully visible or which had lights of the upwind half occluded. In addition, a 1,400-ft abbreviated approach light system was used at three intensities. Decreasing the visible length of the runway by occulting lights of the far half increased mean generated approach angles from 2.2 to 2.7 deg. Neither the presence of equal intensity approach lights nor uncomfortable glare from approach lights 20 times brighter than runway lights had an effect of practical significance on responses. These findings reinforce previous experimental demonstrations of the importance of runway size cues related to varying runway length, and also show that potential size cues provided by approach lights do not prevent illusions due to variations in runway size.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 19 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00964710
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FAA-AM-82-6
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 18 2003 12:00AM