Due to the imperfect nature of human beings, those in this field face a number of things that may make them commit errors as they practice their profession.The present paper aims at highlighting spatial disorientation of pilots. It further elaborates on the different types of disorientation, causes, and solutions…
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Three types of spatial disorientation occur in the field of aviation. Type I disorientation relates to when the pilots do not sense any unusual occurrence. The pilots tend to be in a state that makes them believe in the normalcy of the aircraft’s response to the required inputs. This results from the pilot’s lack of concentration on the primary flight instruments. Lack of concentration can be due to distractions that make the pilot shift attention to another source for a considerable amount of time. Type II disorientation occurs when the pilot senses the existence of conflicting orientation cues. The pilot becomes unsure of what the flight instruments depict in relation to their personal interpretation, as well as what the out-the-window view signals. Such cases arise when the pilots shift their attention from the flight instruments for a substantial period, or when they break from a cloud in an unusual position. In most of these cases, the pilot gets to control the aircraft or manages to access the help of another pilot. On the other hand, if the pilots fail to control type II spatial disorientation, the problem becomes more risky, leading to an incapacitating spatial disorientation, or type III spatial disorientation. This involves the awareness of the pilot of the conflicting cues. However, the state of the aircraft confuses the professionals, leading to incorrect adjustments. Making changes to the incorrect actions usually poses great difficulty, which makes recovery impossible in most cases. Research by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center further illustrates the prevalence of accidents caused by these three types of disorientation. Type I disorientation poses the highest amount of risk, compared to the other two.This follows the fact that the pilots do not get to realize the potential danger, which means that no precautions take place to counter the hazard. Type III disorientation poses a minimal risk, which means that most pilots gather the courage to correct anomalies, while a small percentage fails to gather such confidence (Webb, Estrada & Kelley, 225).
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