Spacial disorientation

by Had Robinson

Where does the sky and sea meet?  Below is a photo taken by yours truly at a seawall and on the eastern shore of Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts, about 20 miles from the infamous and tragic crash of John F. Kennedy Jr's airplane.

It is late in the day and you are a 1,000' above the ocean in a fixed wing aircraft trying to figure out whether you are flying straight and level?  Just look down?  The air and the ocean, near sea level, are almost indistinguishable.  In the is photo, if you look carefully you may be able to discern where they meet.

As it darkens, you can understand what the view from the cockpit was for Mr. Kennedy.

The main things we should learn is that Visual Flight Rules always apply to ultralights.  It is tempting to break the rules and fly when it's dark but it can be exceedingly dangerous.  E.g., the weather can be changing rapidly and a fog like what we see in this photo can set in in mere minutes.  Powerlines and other hazards can become invisible.  I hope we all get the picture about taking on unnecessary risk.  We already have enough of it already....

Spacial disorientation - ocean and sky