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Cant see my damn airplane !

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Old 07-22-2012, 02:07 PM
  #1
turnnburn
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Default Cant see my damn airplane !

I went out and flew my silver/gray 60" BVM F-86 today for the first time in 6 or 8 months. The sky was mostly void of clouds and it was one of those hazy blue/gray skies that are typical around here this time of year. I will first of admit I dont fly as often as I probably should and I am a little bit rusty but I fly other airplanes often enough that Im not a danger, provided I can see the airplane that is. This has always been an airplane that depending upon the sky can be difficult to see but today was espeially bad. My vision uncorrected is a weak or slightly shaky 20-20 and I fly without corrective glasses or any sort of sun glasses.

At the very least I need to give some differnt types/brands of sunglasses a try and see if I cant find something where I can see the airplane better. I also own a TAM F-18 which is gray and a good bit larger and often have troubles seeing it as well as I would like to.

I guess I need some suggestions on what brand or type sunglasses to try. I may also go to the eye Dr and get some corrective glasses to bring me to a solid 20-20 or 20-15 if need be.

I'm open to suggestions as it was not enjoyable flying my airplane today, infact it was pretty scary a couple times. Especailly during the first flight. Totally lost sight of it for 1 to 2 seconds at one point. Fortunatly it was going more or less straight up and was still going vertical when I reaquired sight of it. It was probably less than 2 full seconds but felt like an eternity.
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:02 PM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Brian, before I had Lasik I was seen a lot worse than 20/20 corrected, which is about the time I started with turbines ( with you :-).
I remember not seeing my high gloss Maverick very well, hence I painted my BARF un high contrast scheme, otherwise I would have not been able to see it.
After Lasik I see bit better than 20/20 and now colors on my models are not an issue.
I think you may not have 20/20 anymore, and it may just be a matter of wearing prescription sunglasses, with minor correction.

In any case, 20/20 or not, your F86 is a tiny bullet. I'm sure the average Sunday pilot would also struggle with it. Dial it down ;-)

David
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:08 PM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Polarized sunglasses..... they make a huge difference. I don't fly without them.

On cloudy and dark days I use a yellow lens that make things more sharp.

Still go to the eye dr. for a check


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Old 07-22-2012, 04:19 PM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Brian,

The sport glasses that Jerry Thomas of Zurich sells are superb. I use them not just for flying but every single day - I know Buck tried them a year ago at KY and he got a pair also - he swears by them and drives his flying bus with them too! They make lines straighter, your eyes relax and a whole bunch of other scientific junk I don't really care about - they just work.

http://extremeglaresunglasses.com/

Todd carries them at Dreamworks - you're welcome to try mine first if you want. They run about $70 and you have a couple of choices.
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:50 PM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Yeah, I was thinking on the way home I wish I had asked to borrow your sun glasses. I didnt say anything but I was really wasnt seeing the airplane very well today. I know I see it alot better on days where we have bright white clouds for a background. I'm known for being a guy who flies way far out but I was keeping it in a lot closer today than I normally do. I hope to come out again next sat and or sunday. If you are there maybe I can give your glasses a try. More likely it will be on sunday. Thanks for the offer.

As for you Mr David aka Falcon Wings I say........................dial it down my ass ! ! ! LOL. Im thinking about putting about 40% more thrust in it ! ! ! That way it will give me more time to reaquire it visually while its going straight up.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:08 PM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Definitely try the Zurich's. I have prescription sunglasses done by Zurich and non prescription that fit over my Rx glasses. They are great.

Marty
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Brian,

I have flown for years with a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. Mine are prescription glasses but if you don't need corrective lens their stock sunglasses are very good. I have two different pairs I wear with my contacts. They are polarized which makes a big difference. The Maui Jim's are much better than the Zurichs in my opinion.

David Reid
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:00 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Slightly shakey vision, hazy day, no sunglasses & a small fast silver/grey or grey models?

You seem to have ticked all the boxes for not seeing your plane!

I have the same model as you, currently in grey primer, & I struggle a little to see it to,
for me I think it's the tiny tailplane making orientation difficult.

With this in mind I'm going for a high viz scheme. Time for a repaint perhaps? - John.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:50 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Excellent advice..


Having a solid visual link with your jet is a must for safety and fun.







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Old 07-23-2012, 03:52 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Berkley makes excellent polarized sun glasses. You can get them at Walmart for under $15.00
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:53 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Brian, in your advanced years maybe you need to get a bigger airplane. It worked for me!
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:34 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Gee thanks Bob, like I need another reminder of my advancing years. I get one every time I look in the mirror ! And if that isnt enough I keep having passengers tell me how reassuring it is to see a pilot with gray hair, which I dont get since my hair AIN"T gray ! ! Its just not as blonde as it once was. The good news there arent any trees at the TMS parking lot, so I didnt have to worry about straining it thru a tree. I have a quite a bit bigger airplane, Tam F-18, also predominatly gray in color, have always had troubles seeing it too. I dug out a couple pair of sunglasses and will give them a try today and wil keep trying differnt ones till I can see MY DAMN AIRPLANE once again ! ! LOL.

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Old 07-23-2012, 05:53 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

In the meanwhile you can fly lower, it always works
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:57 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

The first thing you MUST do is to get an eye examination.
Go to an ophthalmologist.
If everything is OK, then follow the others recommendations.



ENT
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:17 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Brian, just as long as you can tell 36L from 36R you are ok!

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Old 07-23-2012, 07:26 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

First off silver has to be the worst color to see at distance. I speak from experience after seeing my 1/5 scale P51D dissappear right after takeoff. The best color is yellow but I realize that doesn't go well with a jet model. It all comes down to your piloting skills coupled to the orientation of the airframe in-flight. I can say this beacuse I fly both fixed and rotary wing models.
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:46 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Hi
Loosing sight of a plane does happen from time to time depending on the sky in a given day
Good sunglasses can help but most of all you should have a feel for were the plane should be ,based on your TX inputs just prior to your loss of sight
Over the years i have lost sight of my plane for two seconds a lot of times
Marking the plane accordingly can help but not for scale warbirds and markings
Do not fly GRAY planes in a cloudy sky would help a bit here
Regards Tony
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:51 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Many of us have this seeing problem, I am one of them, I was not enjoying the hobby as much as before, this is what I did, first a visit to the eye doctor to find out the state of my eyes ( in really good shape now for my age, 47 [8D] 20/20 ).

Sun glasses, I tested many pairs to find the right ones for me, polarized are a big help here, I have two sets of the Zurich brand, pink ones for the hazy days and the silver ones for the very sunny days also a set of dark Yellow ones for when the light intensity is low like during sunset times.

A hat, cap, something to cover your head, black is good, Navy blue works also, those colors absorb the light so it won't reflect back to your face.

Colors on your jets, here it can be somewhat limited but if you fly sport jets then you have choices, experiment with a small prop plane, try diferent colors to see what works for you.

How you fly, some of the guys here suggested to fly low, that is part of it, fly low, close and my favorite one vertical, going vertical gives you time and room to ply, if you loose sight of your airplane, no problem you got altitude and that gives you time to find it.

Time of the day I fly, I get to the field and start flying when the light hits my flying airplane at the best intensity and the sunglasses amplifeds it.

A good night rest ( who gets those now days ) and having a meal before I fly is also of big help to me and improves my vision.

And my last one is stress, I always read about it and heard about it but didn't know exactly how much it affected me 'till I took two weeks off then I went to see my eye doctor, my vision improved a lot just by taking two weeks off of stress from work, so I changed my responsibilities at work to get rid of that stress and now I'm happier and flying more comfortable.

These are my 0.2 cents hope they help.

Happy flying and may you see then better.
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:32 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Most Jet Guys fly so far away that almost no one can see the plane.
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:37 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Once I flew pattern, I got out soon after, I did not like to fly a space shuttle pattern like.
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:38 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Lots of good suggestions here.
Check with your eye doc. I went from no glasses and was nearly blind and never new I had a problem, till the doc asked how I got to his office, he was shocked when I said I drove.

GOOD sunglasses make a big difference in being able to see the plane.

Your work can make a big difference in your eyesight.
I work at a computer most of the day, If I go to the shooting range on a Friday after work my best gun will only shoot 1.5 inch groups at 100 yds, if go on Sunday that same gun and ammo will shoot less than 1/2 inch groups, all the difference in is how relaxed my eyes are from not staring a a computer screen.

The military put those colors on the plane in the first place so that they would not be easy to see and shoot down.
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:57 AM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Just this year, I'm trying a new pair of prescription lenses from Rapid Eyeware. It's got my prescription in the back part of them, and I change out the lens on the outside.

[link]http://www.rapideyewear.co.uk/section.php/2/1/sports_sunglasses[/link]

They have a lens set of 4 different ones that range from light enhancing, to heavy blocking of bright sun, that you can change quickly.
Be sure to get the R/C version... they even had a difference with full size aviation ones, as they were taking into account looking up, versus the need for looking down (direct light versus reflected light from below).

Flying an all black plane in overcast weather.... it helps a ton. I'm finding I like the yellow, (light enhancing) lens the best. I think it's often used by hunters at dusk as well.
I got turned on to them by a fellow pilot last fall, as he was flying a BVM F-100 in primer on a overcast day, and I could not see it at all, and I asked him how he was doing it. He said, 'here, look through these', and I was stunned how much it helped.

Lance
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:01 PM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Old eyes arn't usually as good as young eyes and silver or grey airplanes are usually harder to see than most colors (at least for me).

All the suggestions mentioned above (the serious ones anyway) are valuable and most will help.

One other thing that I think is important that I always try to do, especally when flying my jets is to fly with a spotter. That extra pair of eyes can really help in poor visibality situations and also to detirmine perspective when setting up an approach in less than perfect conditions.
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:48 PM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !



We flew in Plano Sunday and there was a serious haze (ozone or just the ever rising smog from Dallas) in the air.  It made it hard as hell to see orientation if you got out any decent distance for sure.  Not that quarantees you aren't getting too old or too blind to fly lol!  We both had the same problem so part of your issue was the air conditions here.  It was dead air Saturday at 106 and Sunday early had a little breeze but if you flew anytime early Sunday, you were seeing horrible visibiity here in this area. 

They are right about which kind of sunglasses work best.  I always wear safety glasses bought from Home Depot or Lowes as a rule of thumb but they are NOT RC flying friendly for long distant vision.  The recommendations for the safety glasses worn with good filtration by experienced pilots above are perfect.  Whatever they cost is well worth the safe flying experience. 

My flying buddy and an amber pair and they made a huge difference yet I opted for my safety glasses because I've seen props turn into ginsu knives and  have had glow fuel splash in my eyes once and that convinced me to wear them throughout the flying day.  The major problem with the style I wear is they are pretty much wrap around and get hot and steamy quick which is worse than the haze. 

A little breeze here blows that ozone up to Oklahoma so if the air is still, you're going to feel/see it more here.



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Old 07-23-2012, 02:30 PM
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Default RE: Cant see my damn airplane !

Quote:
On cloudy and dark days I use a yellow lens that make things more sharp.  
Ditto! I use yellow Ray-Ban 'shooter's glasses' when I fly and bowl. At the alley, it's like the lane is 10' shorter. Really helps with contrast.
The Zurichs are excellent, also. I won a grey pair in a club drawing, they work well and go over my trifocals.
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