We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

The Affects of Spatial Disorientation Essay Sample

essay
The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC
  • Pages:
  • Word count: 1098
  • Category: airline

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

The Affects of Spatial Disorientation Essay Sample

Each day millions of people put their lives in the hands of pilots. Whether they are civilians or military personnel, these individuals depend on the pilot to get them to their destination safely. What they often overlook is that there are various aeromedical factors that are essential features in the lives of pilots. These aeromedical factors can surface at any given time and can ultimately affect how a pilot carries out his day-to-day responsibilities.

While there are many aeromedical factors that are essential features in the lives of pilots, including but not limited to, hypoxia, hyperventilation, and dehydration, one of the most common aeromedical factors that pilots often experience is spatial disorientation. In dealing with this aeromedical factor, it is important for a pilot to be able to recognize the symptoms of this factor and its causes. In addition, it is vital that the pilots possess knowledge on ways to avoid spatial disorientation and corrective actions that can be used in the event that he experiences same. This will enable a pilot to continue to carry out his job responsibilities in a safe and efficient manner and make the flight a more pleasurable one.

Spatial orientation, “the mistaken perception of one’s position and motion relative to the earth” is a common aeromedical factor experienced by pilots. (Retrieved January 9, 2010, http://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/sa17.pdf). Spatial disorientation is caused when the visual system, the vestibular system, and the somatosensory system, the three sensory systems which provide individuals with the information to maintain their equilibrium, supply conflicting information to the brain. This conflicting information
in turn, will provide pilots with an inaccurate mental image of his position in relation to what is actually occurring to the aircraft or what one refers to as illusions. The major illusions that have been identified as leading to spatial disorientation include the graveyard spiral, the coriolis illusion, leans, false horizons, flicker vertigo, and runaways. (Retrieved January 9, 2010, http://www.aviatorthings.com/cfi-lesson-plans/aeromedical-factors.php#illusions).

Spatial orientation has been deemed one of the most contributing factors to fatal aircraft accidents by the Aeronautical Information Manual. (Retrieved January 9, 2010, http://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/sa17.pdf). With this, it is important that pilots know that spatial orientation can be caused by any condition that will deprive them of visual references that will enable them to maintain orientation, such as clouds, haze, and darkness. In order to avoid experiencing spatial orientation, pilots should apply a safety approach, such as the following: (1) maintain visual flight rules (VFRs) by avoiding entering instrument meteorological conditions (IMC); (2) fly within their capabilities by establishing personal minimums and resisting any pressures to go beyond them; and (3) get an instrument rating in order to prevent themselves from being misled by illusions. In the event that a pilot enters IMC conditions and begins to experience symptoms related to spatial disorientation, he should remain calm. Thereafter, he should trust his instruments and scan them prior to making control inputs, remain alert for altitude changes, and if his aircraft is equipped with such a feature, he should use autopilot. (Retrieved January 9, 2010, http://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/sa17.pdf). Further, in addition to the above, in order to ensure that pilots continue to maintain knowledge of spatial orientation, training requirements in relation to spatial orientation can be enforced.

The affects that spatial orientation can have on a pilot and the importance of safety approach were displayed on July 16, 1999, when John F. Kennedy, Jr., who was flying a Piper Saratoga, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing himself, his wife, and sister-in-law. The aircraft departed from Essex County Airport in Essex County, New Jersey, and was destined for Barnstable Municipal-Boardman/Polando Field (HYA), Hyannis, Massachusetts, with a scheduled stop at Martha’s Vineyard Airport (MVY), Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. An official statement released by the National Transportation Safety Board stated that the accident was determined to occur at night and that other pilots who were flying the vicinity at the time of the accident reported that there was no visible horizon over the water because of haze. John F. Kennedy, Jr., who was a non-instrument rated pilot, was determined to have failed to maintain control of the aircraft during a descent over the water, due to spatial orientation. (Retrieved on January 9, 2010, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy,_Jr._airplane_crash ).

In analyzing the above tragedy, one can assume that John F. Kennedy, Jr. did not apply an effective safety approach for that flight. Although the flight was initially scheduled to occur during the day, since Kennedy’s sister-in-law was delayed at work, it was postponed and did not actually depart until dark due to heavy traffic. In addition, as noted earlier, John F. Kennedy, Jr. was a non-instrument rated pilot, and an investigation revealed that he never received a weather briefing or filed a flight plan with any Flight Service Station. In relation to night flying and spatial orientation, the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-3, chapter 10, states “Night flying requires that pilots be aware of, and operate within, their abilities and limitations… During poor visibility conditions over water, the horizon will become obscure, and may result in a loss of orientation. Even on clear nights, the stars may be reflected on the water surface, which could appear as a continuous array of lights, thus making the horizon difficult to identify.” (Retrieved January 10, 2010, http://ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20001212X19354&ntsbno=NYC99MA178&akey=1 . Kennedy, knowing that the flight was delayed too long to depart during light hours, knowing that he did not possess an instrument rating, and knowing that he had little experience flying at night and never received a weather brief, should have postponed the flight to, at the earliest, the following day. In the event that he would have done so, he and his two passengers may have still been alive today.

Overall, spatial orientation has been deemed a contributing aeromedical factor in various airplane crashes. As exhibited in the real life example set forth above, it is important that pilots be able to recognize the symptoms of this factor and its causes. In addition, it is vital that pilots apply a safety approach in relation to spatial orientation and have knowledge of corrective actions that can be used in the event that he experiences same. In doing so, pilots in actuality, may avoid situations which may result in his life and the lives of his passengers being lost.

References:
Certified Flight Instructor. (2009). Aeromedical Factors. Retrieved from http://www.aviatorthings.com/cfi-lesson-plans/aeromedical-actors.php#illusions National Transportation Safety Board. (December 12, 2000). Accident Report NYC99MA178. Retrieved from

http://ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20001212X19354&ntsbno=NYC99MA178&akey=1 Wikimedia Foundation Inc. (Modified January 3, 2010). “John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Airplane Crash.” Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy,_Jr._airplane_crash Wynbrandt, James (2004). Spatial Disorientation: Confusion That Kills. Retrieved from
http://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/sa17.pdf.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Airline with a strong reputatation

Jetblu’s was thriving young airline with a strong reputatation for outstanding service . But it was previously considered bankrupt by some incidents. But then Jetblu\'s h as determined its course and it has grown to be strong, Jetblue found out some information about customer needs, wants and demands . Human needs are state of felts deprivation with Jetblu the customer needs is food ,to sit...

A low-fare airline company

JetBlue is a low-fare airline company which main base in John F. Kennedy International Airport. In this case study illustrates that JetBlue Airline has reached a goal since 1999. They has 1. 1 million followers on Twitter as the strongest U. S brand, even beating Apple. Valentine’s Day in 2007, they had trouble which was hit by a typhoon. Some people think that the airline...

Historical Snapshot: Boeing 747

In the past of 100 years after the Wright kin for the first into history ,the creating of air transportation industry are persevere through creating desolations .On 2003 ,1.7 billion was cross the sky .If the example continue with ,it likely can fabricate the astonishing from 1.7 billion up to 3 billion by 2030 .But it will relates with the budgetary preferences since a couple...

Ups and downs of the flying busines

As we probably am aware, the flying business is fundamental interest for transporter on the planets, since it is will fix between nations on the planet. Not unusual we can perceived what number of aircrafts in this world, for the case we can saw Malaysia did has more than three carriers, for example, Malaysia Airline Berhad, Air Asia, Malindo Air, FireFly, Berjaya Air, MASwing, and...

The Crash of Korean Air Lines

On September 1, 1983, Korean Airlines (KAL) flight 007 was on the last leg of a flight from New York City to Seoul, with a stopover in Anchorage, Alaska. As it advanced toward its last approach, the plane began to veer far away its conventional course. In just a short traverse, the plane flew into Russian airspace and navigated the Kamchatka Peninsula, where some best...

Get Access To The Full Essay
icon
300+
Materials Daily
icon
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
icon
Free Plagiarism
Checker
icon
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access
immediately?

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!

logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Couldn't Find What You Looking For?

Get access to our huge knowledge base which is continuously updated

Next Update Will Be About:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member