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Aviation Learning Center Document How to Avoid a Mid Air Collision - P-8740-51
Author: Federal Aviation Administration Date: Unknown
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The Time Sharing Plan
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External scanning is just part of the pilot's total eyeball job. To achieve maximum efficiency in flight, one has to establish a good internal (panel) scan as well and learn to give each instrument its proper share of time. The amount of time one spends eyeballing outside the cockpit in relation to what is spent inside depends, to some extent, on the workload inside the cockpit and the density of traffic outside. Generally, the external scan will take about three to four times as long as a look around the instrument panel.

A major company conducted an experimental scan training course, using military pilots ranging in experience from 350 to over 4,000 hours. They discovered that the average time needed to maintain a flight situation status quo was three seconds for panel scan and 17 seconds for outside. (Since military pilots are most likely flying a more consistent schedule than most general aviation pilots, we should allow six or seven seconds on the panel.)

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