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While flying VFR "wings level" on top of clouds at 10 000 feet, your artificial horizon indicates a 20 degree bank.

  • A
    You pull the circuit breaker to the artificial horizon knowing that perceptional illusions called “leans” might severely impair your control of the aircraft.
  • B
    You trust the instrument and level off according to the instrument read-out.
  • C
    You take the proper action by “leaning” toward the lower end of the artificial horizon, thus compensating for the perceptional illusion.
  • D
    No attitude correction is needed since you know that your vision is more reliable than the instrument with regards to spatial orientation.

Refer to figure.

FALSE HORIZON. A visual illusion that occurs when flying between two cloud layers that are not horizontal when there is no natural horizon. In this case, there is the tendency to use a cloud base or the cloud top as the horizon and fly with a corresponding bank. Other conditions conducive to causing this illusion are sloping cloud formations, an obscured horizon, a dark spread with ground lights and stars, and certain geometric patterns of ground lights.

  • If the "real" horizon is not visible, only the artificial horizon is a safe reference.

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