spatial disorientation


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spatial disorientation

A state of confusion concerning the subject's true position in space in relation to the surface of the earth. A disoriented pilot is thus uncertain or unaware of his position or the attitude of his aircraft. In flight, the problem of disorientation is much greater than it is on the ground, as the pilot lacks physical contact with the ground to orient himself. In the air, there are other accelerations, which add to sensory confusion. This is mainly because of the lack of visual clues. This is a very common situation at night, in clouds, and in poor visibility conditions, especially when the pilot is not relying totally on instruments.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
References in periodicals archive ?
The researcher says that the first step is to understand the factors leading to spatial disorientation, which tends to occur in poor visibility conditions.
Many Class A mishaps are ultimately determined--or strongly suspected--to be attributable to some form of spatial disorientation.
Spatial disorientation in flight usually results from misperception of visual, vestibular, or proprioceptive cues.
The safety board is not expected to make any sweeping safety recommendations, except more publicity about spatial disorientation and the need for training to cope with it, one source said.
The continued increase in spatial disorientation accidents was primarily driven by the rapid expansion of the entire GA sector, which produced more accidents of every description.
A probable cause found by the NTSB pointed to the "pilot's failure to maintain a positive climb rate after takeoff due to spatial disorientation (somatogravic illusion).
The use of night-vision devices (NVDs) restricts fields of view, diminishes depth perception and can cause spatial disorientation. NVDs also can cause the loss of situational awareness, even in entire flights.
The US inquiry, which concluded just months after the crash south of the Kuwaiti border on the first day of war in March 2003, reported that the US Marine Corps Sea Knight pilots suffered spatial disorientation.
The AAIB report added: 'The control loss may have resulted from spatial disorientation and mishandling of the controls but the possibility that aircraft malfunction contributed could not be eliminated
The photographs' laconic titles evoke an expert's shorthand evaluations of the black-box tapes from these accidents: Spatial Disorientation (pilot error, induced); Touchdown (premature); Wind Shear (unforeseeable) (all works 2000).
The report shows that by 9.38pm, Kennedy may have experienced a problem known as spatial disorientation - where pilots cannot see the horizon and do not know in which direction they are flying.
Some aviators said Kennedy could have been experiencing a common problem among less experienced pilots - spatial disorientation.

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