Accession Number : ADA328486

Title :   A Helicopter Simulator Assessment of Pilot Head Movement During Various Phases of Flight

Descriptive Note : Final rept.

Corporate Author : ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL

Personal Author(s) : Braithwaite, Malcolm G. ; Alvarez, Eduardo A. ; Jones, Heber D. ; Higdon, Alford A. ; Groh, Shannon L.

PDF Url : ADA328486

Report Date : JUL 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 65

Abstract : The opto-kinetic cervico reflex (OKCR) is a recently hypothesized visually driven reflex that serves to stabilize the image of the external horizon on the retina during high performance aircraft roll maneuvers. Although anecdotally reported as occurring, head tilt during helicopter flight has not been formally studied. Such research is required to determine the full impact and significance it may have on a rotary wing aviator's flying performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between horizon position and perception of orientation, and thus generate vital information to assess whether this reflex plays an important role in spatial disorientation. Twenty volunteer pilots participated in a UH-60 flight simulator study to examine the effects of this reflex. The results confirm that the OKCR occurs during simulated helicopter flight, both with and without night vision goggles. As with previous studies, head roll increased during flight under visual meteorological conditions in relation to increasing aircraft roll angle up to a maximum sustainable level and then remained constant. Head roll did not occur during flight under instrument meteorological conditions. Various aspects that impact rotary-wing operations are discussed, and recommendations made for future research.

Descriptors :   *PSYCHOMOTOR FUNCTION, *HELICOPTERS, *FLIGHT SIMULATION, *PHYSIOLOGICAL DISORIENTATION, *REFLEXES, SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION, ROLL, PERFORMANCE(HUMAN), PILOTS, BEARING(DIRECTION), HUMAN FACTORS ENGINEERING, NIGHT VISION DEVICES, AVIATION GOGGLES, RETINA, VISUAL PERCEPTION, HORIZONTAL ORIENTATION, FLIGHT SIMULATORS, PERCEPTION, HORIZON, POSITIONING REACTIONS.

Subject Categories : Helicopters
      Human Factors Engineering & Man Machine System

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE