Unrecognized spatial disorientation is caused by some combination
of channeled attention, distraction and target fixation. These
most often occur in conjunction with loss of situational awareness
due to excessive workload. A 10-degree bank with only the approach
lights visible can cause an illusion that the lights are sloping
from above. The future microwave landing system flown mostly with
curved approaches is going to require special illusion training.
Recognized spatial disorientation is when the pilot is aware
of his disorientation and should be able to work through a recovery
sequence by establishing recommended power and attitude changes.
Pilots have, over the radio, acknowledged their vertigo and inability
to overcome it prior to crashing.
Incapacitating spatial disorientation occurs when the motion
of aircraft is so severe that pilot may be incapable of rationally
perceiving and processing information and making decisions. May
cause nystagmus (trembling of the eyes) which makes reading of
instruments impossible. Rare but can occur in extremes of weather
or flight conditions. Other types of spatial disorientation are
illusions such as caused by runway/cloud sizes, shapes, or slope.
Vertigo is the #1 cause of Air Force fatal accidents. Vision
is the pre-installed vertigo preventative. A moments glance out-the-window
is all it takes. This will overcome any sensations from other
sources. However, without vision, the organs of balance in the
inner ear take over. The semicircular canals approximate the three
axes. They contain a fluid that stimulates our senses of angular
acceleration in these axes. The otolith organs establish our sense
of uprightness. Tiny stones affect hair sensors in reaction to
"gravity". Otoliths sense linear accelerations, not
angular accelerations, and regardless of the direction interpret
such accelerations as gravity. In our muscles and joints we have
sensors which give additional information about push or pull.
Unless one or all of these sensors are confirmed by vision we
are on our way to vertigo.
Last Modified August 24, ©2019 TAGE.COM