Disorientation in Helicopter Flight,
GERMAN ARMY AVIATION SCHOOL BUECKEBURG (GERMANY F R)
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The term disorientation is usually confined to disturbances of the pilots perception of his position in space. In this paper the term is used in a broader sense, i.e. for any incapacity of the pilot to maintain a safe path of flight due to inadequate, erroneous or disregarded visual cues. The psychological process of visual perception will be discussed especially with regard to the differences between optical stimuli from the surroundings and their subjective perception by the individual. Special emphasis will be placed on the fact that the human brain is an active organ and not just a mirror reflecting the visual stimuli from outside. To minimize disorientation the aviator should have in mind the basic programs according to which the brain processes visual stimuli, visual configurations which are proner to elicit visual illusions, and means to prevent the onset of disorientation.