Accession Number : ADA290944

Title :   A Review of Civil Aviation Fatal Accidents in Which 'Lost/Disoriented' Was a Cause/Factor: 1981-1990.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF AVIATION MEDICINE

Personal Author(s) : Collins, William E.

PDF Url : ADA290944

Report Date : JAN 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 10

Abstract : The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) analyzes circumstances and data from civil aviation accidents and ascribes one or more causes and/or related factors to help explain each accident. Among the formally accepted NTSB categories of accident causation is one termed "lost/disoriented;" that term generally differs from "spatial disorientation" and refers more to a loss of geographic awareness and, perhaps, resulting confusion on the part of the pilot. The present study was undertaken to provide information regarding the circumstances surrounding these fatal general aviation accidents in recent years, and to define demographic and behavioral characteristics of the "lost/disoriented" pilots. Those reports were examined and analyzed in terms of type of accident, age and experience of pilots, actions of pilots, night or day, and other conditions. The computer search yielded a total of 120 accidents in which "lost/disoriented" was among the findings noted by investigators of general aviation accidents for the 10 - year period. Those accidents resulted in 169 fatalities. Related causes and circumstances associated with the accidents were analyzed and categorized. "Lost/disoriented" accident frequency for the 1981-90 period peaked at 22 fatal accidents in 1985 and declined steadily thereafter, 75% of the pilots had no instrument rating, 64% of the accidents were associated with adverse weather, and just over half occurred at night. Other analyses suggest that educational efforts should continue to emphasize proper flight planning and the flight hazards of adverse weather conditions so that the recently lowered rates of "lost/disoriented" accidents can be maintained or improved.

Descriptors :   *AVIATION ACCIDENTS, *CIVIL AVIATION, *PHYSIOLOGICAL DISORIENTATION, *ACCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS, FREQUENCY, WEATHER, HAZARDS, PILOTS, DEMOGRAPHY, SEARCHING, ADVERSE CONDITIONS, FLIGHT INSTRUMENTS, RATINGS, LOSSES, BEHAVIOR, AVIATION SAFETY, NIGHT FLIGHT, GEOGRAPHY, AWARENESS.

Subject Categories : Commercial and General Aviation
      Safety Engineering
      Human Factors Engineering & Man Machine System

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE