Accession Number : ADA298147

Title :   Spatial Disorientation: A Survey of U.S. Army Helicopter Accidents 1987-1992.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL

Personal Author(s) : Durnford, Simon J. ; Crowley, John S. ; Rosado, Norberto R. ; Harper, Jennifer ; DeRoche, Shannon

PDF Url : ADA298147

Report Date : JUN 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 47

Abstract : All class A-C U.S. Army rotary wing accidents for the period May 87 - Apr 92 were reviewed by three flight surgeons acting independently. Those accidents in which spatial disorientation was considered to have played a major role were identified and compared to those in which spatial disorientation played no part. In addition, an attempt was made to identify the factors behind each spatial disorientation accident together with potential solutions. Of the 583 accidents entered into the study, 32 percent were considered to have had spatial disorientation as the major factor (by which it was meant that there would have been no accident if there had been no spatial disorientation). This is a higher figure than has been reported before, possibly because of differences in definitions. Spatial disorientation cost the U.S. Army $308,887,000 and 78 lives during this period. A distinct trend between various types of night flying and spatial disorientation was evident, the maximum risk being associated with the use of NVG and FLIR (the risk was 10-15 times higher than for ordinary daytime flight). The rate of spatial disorientation accidents was also particularly high during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Descriptors :   *SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION, *HELICOPTERS, *AVIATION ACCIDENTS, *PHYSIOLOGICAL DISORIENTATION, MILITARY OPERATIONS, IRAQ, KUWAIT, RISK, FORWARD LOOKING INFRARED SYSTEMS, TRAINING, COSTS, SOLUTIONS(GENERAL), FLIGHT, DAY, AVIATION SAFETY, FLIGHT PATHS, NIGHT FLIGHT, ROTARY WING AIRCRAFT, ARMY AIRCRAFT, VESTIBULAR APPARATUS, FLIGHT SURGEONS, ILLUSIONS.

Subject Categories : Helicopters
      Psychology
      Stress Physiology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE