Sat May 18, 2019 3:19 pm
Ill throw my observation in as a low time pilot, I passed my skills test in November and received my licence mid December. A couple of days ago was my first flight (Gamston to Turweston) where I used my PAW.
On the trip, the device picked a number of aircraft up that neither I nor my passenger had seen. None of them were a danger to us, but they were white aircraft against a white sky so were very inconspicuous. Once I had noticed them on SD and seen where to look, we acquired them quite quickly, so to me at least the small cost of the device is well worth it for the additional help in acquiring targets. I can understand people not wanting to be forced to fit EC, but I don't understand those who claim their eyes are all that's needed and don't think the additional help is worth having, on a normal trip in a car, I don't need ABS or my seatbelts, but I am glad they are fitted just in case.
The downside was the number of gliders that it didn't pick up, including the one that circled above us about 200 ft above for quite a while, that wasn't pleasant especially as for much of the time we couldn't see him.
An interesting anecdote about the MK1 eyeball. A few year ago we were providing some catering services to a venue in London where a medical company was conducting some psychology experiments. In the room we were in was a large landscape painting, with 2 squares joined together painted in the middle of the picture, one facing the sky and one the ground. I asked the doctor in charge what it was about and he asked me the colour of these squares, "The top one is white the bottom black". He asked if I was sure and my colleague with me confirmed he saw the same. When the guy placed his hand across where the 2 squares were joined, they both instantly became grey, when he removed it they went back to black and white.
The explanation given, was that the eyes transmitted the picture to the brain, which then used its experience and the billions of images it had already processed in the past, to show what it thought should be there as the top square facing the sun should be brighter than the bottom one facing the shadows. He went on to say that much of what we saw, was not what was actually there, but what the brain perceived as should be there.
Just made me think that no matter how good my eyes are, I am relying on my grey matter to interpret it correctly.