Relevant Regulations / Policy / Background

Piloting and rating requirements

CAR 43 General Operational Rules

Operational requirements for Day/Night VFR/IFR

Night Flying

At the time of this accident, there were no FAA regulations in effect that addressed night flying except for recency of experience. It wasn’t until 1989 that FAR 91.507 restricted night VFR flying to an aircraft possessing the equipment for instrument flight and later that a commercial pilot without an instrument rating was restricted to 50 nm and could not fly at night. {CFR 61.133 (b) (1)}.  This emphasizes the fact that night flying is very similar to instrument flying as even scattered clouds can block the natural horizon. With the advent of higher performance aircraft in the mid-1960s the accident rate for pilots flying into unanticipated weather conditions increased and resulted in the new regulations.

The pilot in this accident locked (caged) the confusing artificial horizon to a straight and level position to remove it from his scan. However, without a natural horizon the pilot was forced to fly with only the basic set of flight instruments, utilizing the turn and bank and pitot-static instruments to maintain control. This is a difficult task and as the accident report detailed, resulted in the pilot’s disorientation and loss of control.

CAR 60 Air Traffic Rules (Note: This is a link only to the relevant portions of CAR 60)

Airplane Instrumentation Requirements

The certification of the Beech Model 35 Bonanza predated the "modern" FAA aircraft design requirements, generally established in 1949. Relative to airplane instrumentation, the existing requirements specified how an airspeed indicator was to be marked, and that certain other instruments (airplane heading and engine-related information) must be supplied. An attitude indicator was not required, and therefore the means by which such an indicator would provide attitude information to the pilot was not explicitly defined. As the requirements developed, based on technological advances and service and accident experience, various advances in cockpit instrumentation would come under the umbrella of the newly developing regulations, but explicit requirements for attitude indicators were not developed until much later.

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