Flying and taxiing towards the sun can be a dangerous for pilots as two accident reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reprinted in General Aviation News illustrate.
In the first accident report dated July 2010, a CFI was taxiing a Cessna 152 in Ephrata, Washington, to an active runway. After he taxied around a hangar, he noted that the sun was extremely bright as it was just on the horizon. He then taxied the aircraft into a fire hydrant which resulted in substantial damage to the right horizontal stabilizer.
The second accident report involved a Taylorcraft BC-12-65 in College Place, Washington, and led to substantial damage to the aircraft and one serious injury. Apparently, the pilot departed for a short flight and about 20 minutes later, he returned to land.
However, the sun was low on the horizon. When the pilot turned onto the final approach leg of the traffic pattern, his view was completely obscured by the sun’s glare – causing the aircraft to hit trees about 250 feet to the right of the runway.
In other words, investing in a pair of potentially expensive sun glasses might turn out to be a better value than having to invest in a new aircraft.