Meatservo wrote: ↑Thu May 02, 2019 9:26 am
It's all very well to boast of your prowess at recognizing and correcting unusual attitudes with your turn&bank indicator, but the distracting presence of a dead horizon rolling around like Sammy Davis jr's left eye, maybe an unusual attitude to start things off, I don't know, sounds shitty. I was stuck in thick forest-fire smoke in a beaver many years ago, and the D.G. stopped working. The horizon, turn and bank, everything else worked fine, but that damn D.G. slowly turning this way and that, and not turning when I was trying to turn, contributed to a powerful vertigo that I had trouble with. I had nothing to cover it with. Nowhere near as debilitating as a horizon going tits-up, which has also happened to me and is really no fun.
Of course, best to follow the regs and not depart but a situation could arise anyways with a dual failure after takeoff.
You have brought up what is one of the most critical items in a situation like this. While I have never had an artificial horizon failure when actual instrument flying was required, one need only be hand flying an aircraft(like we used to do all the time up north when no autopilot was provided) when the northern lights are out at a funny angle to the horizon on a dark night. It has a very powerful effect and the best solution was to turn the interior lights on bright so the lights in the sky could no longer be seen. A faulty artificial horizon no doubt has a much more powerful effect. That is why they need to be immediately covered over.
In the case of the accident flight, it was already known that the right side artificial horizon was no good. Of course, we don't know exact details of what the pilots did, but the right side horizon should have been covered up, such as by a piece of paper placed over it. Perhaps the design of the panel will allow the piece of paper to stay in place or it can be held in place by tape or even a piece of gum(sounds odd but it will work). Now the faulty horizon is out of view.
Then, just like when flying a general aviation airplane on instruments with only one artificial horizon, one can be ready if there is a failure of your one usable artificial horizon. As soon as a flag appears, I would suggest to cover it right away, as fast as possible. And yes, you do have something to immediately use to cover it up.....your hand. Use your hand initially to block its view and then get something else to cover it(and don't peek at it). Then just concentrate 100% on the remaining instruments for a few minutes to ensure that the aircraft is stable and that you have gotten a bit used to the partial panel stuff after all these years, then start considering what to do next. Maybe later on, once used to straight and level flight, a peek can be made to see if the flag is still there or maybe not.
You can see how quickly these guys lost control....80 seconds to crash from 12000 feet. Cover the faulty horizon immediately.
Going from memory, it seems to me that some of these artificial horizons freeze in their last position when power is lost while others go to an unusual attitude. Either case is bad and either distracting or misleading. I suspect that if the horizon had been covered right away, they would have been able to maintain straight and level for a while and figure things out.