Oddly chilling Transport Canada posters

Transport Canada has a series of posters promoting aviation safety. Some of them are surprisingly chilling. Here are a few:

VFR flight into adverse weather
VFR flight into adverse weather

“VFR flight into adverse weather can be deadly – It’s better to arrive a little late in this world, than early in the next!”

Okay this one is awesome. The giant cloud-skull is perfect. Nice spiritual touch about the next life.

The context: VFR refers to visual flight rules. This is the mode of flying where you can see the ground and tell which way is up. When you start flying into clouds and you can’t see the ground you are now in IMC (instrument meteorological conditions) where to fly you must refer to your instruments to tell which way is up. You cannot trust your senses because they only sense acceleration. (i.e.: Once you are in a steady turn your ears will tell your brain you are level) In addition if raining and windy in the cloud you will be confronted with the pelting rain and constant turbulence to distract your from your instrument scan. William Langewiesche wrote a great short article on the development of instrument flying.

The average private pilot licence takes about 70 hours to obtain, of which maybe 5 hours are devoted to learning to fly using instruments alone. (This is done by wearing a hood to obstruct the view outside.) The full instrument rating is another 40 hours or so, minimum. Instrument flying is taxing. You are constantly dividing your attention between the various instruments, focusing mainly on the artificial horizon. The real horizon outside is enormous so it’s easy to detect small changes in the airplane’s attitude. (i.e.: Has it pitched up, down, or banked). The gyroscope horizon is tiny. A small movement on the gyroscope is actually a large actual movement of the airplane. A light touch is essential.

The point of the poster is, if you are only a VFR pilot and you fly into IMC, you will probably die. So don’t push the weather (i.e.: Do not continue flying into weather past your skills)

Here’s a video from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association warning of the same thing. It’s called “178 seconds to live.”

The walk from A to B
The walk from A to B

I like the graphics on this one but I’m not sure what the message is, unless it’s just “avoid spinning propellers.” I’m not sure what the significance of “A” to “B” is. Still the spatter of red around the propeller gets a general point across.

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