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Naval Medical Research
and Development
Enterprise Laboratories

Spatial Disorientation

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The Spatial Disorientation (SD) Problem
· Spatial Disorientation (SD) remains a leading cause of catastrophic flight mishaps across DoD in all manned platforms.
· Between 1980 & 2008, SD was causal in 28.6% of Naval Aviation Class A Mishaps.  The Naval Safety Center cites SD as the number one       
 Aeromedical causal factor in Aviation Class A mishaps between 1991-2011.
· US Army FY 2002-2011:  56 SD related Class A* mishaps
· US Air Force FY 1993-2010:  62 Class A* mishaps with SD as causal or contributory, 86 fatalities, $2.0B
 
*Class A Mishap:  $2 Million in material property damage, fatality or permanent total disability.
 
In-House and Collaborative SD Research
· Existing flight simulator training programs do not adequately teach    pilots how to recognize & recover from SD.
o Development and validation of seven SD simulator training scenarios
· Collaboration with Army and USAF on improved SD models
· Collaboration with Army and USAF on SD in Rotary Wing DVE
· Collaboration with USAF and University of Iowa
o In-Flight HMD research
 
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