Aviator Performance during Local Area, Low Level and Nap-of-the-Earth Flight,
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL
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Because of the threat environment in which helicopters will operate, if deployed tactically, there exists the requirement to fly close to the earth. This type of flight has been segmented into three primary profiles. The most demanding of these profiles is NOE flight because of its unique control and navigation requirements. The aviator who is flying NOE must maintain a high level of altertness to detect and avoid obstacles while maintaining maximum concealment and desired flight path. The aviator acting as navigator has the difficult task of determining aircraft position and giving navigation instructions based on recognition of land marks and terrain feature, in a highly accelerated perceptual world. In many cases he also has the responsibility for monitoring instruments and making necessary radio contacts. Though research has been conducted to demonstrate the capabilities of aviators to perform such flight and the US Army Aviation School conducts NOE training in accordance with appropriate regulations to include Training Circular 1-15, much yet remains to be known performance in these profiles.