Accession Number : ADA313864

Title :   Fatal General Aviation Accidents Involving Spatial Disorientation: 1976-1992.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROMEDICAL INST

Personal Author(s) : Collins, William E. ; Dollar, Carolyn S.

PDF Url : ADA313864

Report Date : AUG 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 15

Abstract : The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) analyzes circumstances and data from general aviation accidents and ascribes one or more causes and/or related factors to help explain each accident. The present study was undertaken to (a) provide information regarding the circumstances surrounding fatal general aviation accidents involving spatial disorientation, and (b) define demographic and behavioral characteristics of the spatially- disoriented pilot. Computer retrievals of NTSB brief reports of all spatial disorientation accidents from 1976-92 were analyzed in terms of age and experience of pilots, actions of pilots, night or day, weather, and other conditions. The computer search yielded 1,022 reports of spatial disorientation accidents, which for the 17-year period, resulted in 2,355 fatalities. Related causes and circumstances associated with the accidents were analyzed and categorized. The frequency of spatial disorientation accidents during 1976-92 peaked at 97 fatal accidents in 1977 and generally declined thereafter. The proportion of involved pilots who held an instrument rating about doubled when comparing 1976-83 to 1984-92, over 70% of the accidents were associated with instrument meteorological conditions, and about half of the accidents occurred at night. The proportion of fatal general aviation accidents associated with spatial disorientation has declined significantly since an earlier study (1970-75).

Descriptors :   *SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION, *HISTORY, *AVIATION ACCIDENTS, *MORTALITY RATE, *PHYSIOLOGICAL DISORIENTATION, DECISION MAKING, WEATHER, FLIGHT TRAINING, COMPUTERS, PILOTS, DEMOGRAPHY, AGING(PHYSIOLOGY), INFORMATION RETRIEVAL, ADVERSE CONDITIONS, DAY, TABLES(DATA), NIGHT, BEHAVIOR, AVIATION SAFETY, WORK MEASUREMENT, GENERAL AVIATION AIRCRAFT.

Subject Categories : Commercial and General Aviation
      Humanities and History
      Anatomy and Physiology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE