Looking for an Accident: Glider Pilots’ Visual Management and Potentially Dangerous Final Turns
Abstract:Jarvis S, Harris D. Looking for an accident: glider pilots’ visual management and potentially dangerous final turns. Aviat Space Environ Med 2007; 78:597600.
Introduction: Accidents caused by spinning from low turns continue to kill glider pilots despite the introduction of specific exercises aimed at increasing pilot awareness and recognition of this issue. Method: In-cockpit video cameras were used to analyze flying accuracy and log the areas of visual interest of 36 qualified glider pilots performing final turns in a training glider. Results: Pilots were found to divide their attention between four areas of interest: the view directly ahead; the landing area (right); the airspeed indicator; and an area between the direct ahead view and the landing area. The mean fixation rate was 85 shifts per minute. Significant correlations were found between over-use of rudder and a lack of attention to the view ahead, as well as between the overall fixation rate and poorer coordination in the turn. Discussion: The results provide some evidence that a relationship exists between pilots’ visual management and making turns in a potentially dangerous manner. Pilots who monitor the view ahead for reasonable periods during the final turn while not allowing their scan to become over-busy are those who are most likely to prevent a potential spin.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2007
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- The peer-reviewed monthly journal, Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine (ASEM) provides contact with physicians, life scientists, bioengineers, and medical specialists working in both basic medical research and in its clinical applications. It is the most used and cited journal in its field. ASEM is distributed to more than 80 nations.
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