To incorporate the understanding of spatial disorientation
into the safety training of an aviation unit.
You will be familiar with the body mechanisms that
determine balance and motion; the common disorientations
created by visual illusions, vestibular illusions and
proprioceptive illusions; and what can be done to prevent
and treat spatial disorientation.
You may use the text and reference to complete the review
You must correctly answer at least 8 of 10 review exercise
FM 1-301 (Mar 83).
Standing still is easy. You know you are standing still because all
your senses indicate you are standing still. Start moving and a whole new
set of sensations come into play. You can see that you are moving and other
body senses detect movement. Still there is no problem, thousands of years
of evolution have adapted man's senses to deal with movement (up to 8 miles
per hour). In the last century man has created machines that allow him to
move faster and into environments never before experienced. Man's bodily
senses, however, have not adjusted to the faster speeds or the differing
environments created by losing visual contact with an earthly reference.
Our bodies were never intended to be able to detect climbing and descending
turns or to be able to tell the difference between standing still and moving
without earthly reference. Therefore, anytime (regardless whether it is the
first or the hundredth time) a person operates in an environment where he
cannot correctly perceive his position, attitude or movement with respect to
the earth he is spatially disoriented.
a. Adapting to Earthly Referenced Senses. How do we adapt our 5 to 8
miles per hour earthly referenced senses to new environments? We do not.
Instead, we learn our limitations and we learn how to deal with them. We
learn to trust artificial senses (aircraft instruments) and to disregard our
natural senses when operating in alien environments.