Use of Simulator Spatial Disorientation Awareness Training Scenarios by the U.S. Army and National Guard
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL
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Every year the U.S. Army loses aviation assets due to spatial disorientation SD. All aircrew members, regardless of flight experience, are vulnerable to SD. Despite academic training and new technologies, SD accident rates are not improving. In 1997, the United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory USAARL developed a method of simulator training to provide experience with factors leading to potentially disorienting events. Actual SD accident summaries were reviewed and those accidents which could reasonably be replicated in a visual flight simulator were selected for the training scenarios. The published scenarios were distributed and were available for use by units on a voluntary basis for three years. Although touted as excellent by Army aviation leaders, this training is not required at any aviator training level. The primary purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which the USAARL SD awareness scenarios are used and are thought to benefit those receiving the training, and whether there is a desire to make the scenarios mandatory in aviators annual simulator training requirements. A survey evaluating aviator SD experiences, and knowledge, use and opinions of the scenarios was distributed to U.S. ArmyNational Guard NG aviation units worldwide. The responses were used to produce descriptive statistics to determine relationships between flight experience levels and SD experience, experience levelsduty positions and exposure to SD scenario training, and to ultimately determine the level of acceptance of the USAARL SD awareness scenarios in the U.S. ArmyNG. The findings revealed that the National Guard has been more aggressive in its voluntary integration of this training than the active Army.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Stress Physiology