DISORIENTATION AND FLYING

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Authors
  1. Cheung, B.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN)
Abstract
Spatial disorientation (SD) in flight occurs when a pilot fails to sense or senses incorrectly the position, motion, or attitude of a the aircraft within a fixed coordinate system. This coordinating system is provided by the surface to the Earth and the gravitational vertical. SD is a subset of situation awareness, which involves the correct appreciation of a large group of factors that are important in keeping the aircraft safe from hazardous situations. The ability of humans to perceive orientation in three-dimensional space depends on the learned ability to interpret the continuous input of signals from the visual, vestibular, and somatosensory systems. The visual and vestibular systems play dominant roles in spatial orientation, and the somatosensory system generally supports those outputs derived from vestibular information processing. There are fundamental inadequacies and ambiguities in our sensory systems. For example, the semi-circular canals only detect angular acceleration, and once constant velocity is achieved, a blindfolded subject will feel motionless. The effect of a horizontal linear acceleration acting on the plane of the utricular otolith is indistinguishable from the effect of tilting the head through an angle whose sine value is equivalent to the magnitude of this linear acceleration. TRUNCATED
Keywords
G-LOC;G-induced loss of consciousness;Vestibulo Ocular Reflex;Sensory physiology
Report Number
DCIEM-96-P-27 — Reprint
Date of publication
03 Sep 1996
Number of Pages
2
Reprinted from
Canadian Aeronautics and Space Journal, vol 42, no 3, 1996, 2p
DSTKIM No
97-00212
CANDIS No
500390
Format(s):
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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