Aviation Spatial Orientation in Relationship to Head Position, Attitude Interpretation, and Control
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH
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Aircraft instrument design theory assumes pilots maintain head alignment with the aircraft during turn and bank maneuvers. As a result, the outside view through the windscreen is thought to be of a moving horizon. The attitude indicator used in todays aircraft, displays moving horizon symbology thought to accurately represent pilot spatial orientation. Recently, an optokinetic collic neck reflex was documented which indicates that pilots align their heads with the horizon rather than the axis of the aircraft while manually flying the aircraft. if this is the case, then pilots orient about a fixed rather than moving horizon, implying current attitude instruments inaccurately present spatial information. The purpose of this study was to determine if the optokinetic collic neck reflex has an affect upon pilots while monitoring the autopilot and if so, what that affect is in relation to manual flight. Findings will help determine if the optokinetic collic reflex is transferable to other flight crewmembers.
- Flight Control and Instrumentation