Flashcards in Airsickness and Disorientation - ATP Flight School Deck (18)
What causes motion sickness/airsickness?
The brain receiving conflicting messages fabout the state of the body from the eyes versus the inner ear.
What are common symptoms of motion sickness?
General discomfort, nausea, dizziness, paleness, sweating, vomiting.
If a new student pilot experiences motion sickness, is this cause for concern?
Generally, no. Motion sickness usually goes away within the first few lessons.
How can pilots avoid motion sickness?
Avoid flights in turbulent conditions. Start with short lessons and work up to longer flights.
What can pilots do to treat motion sickness if it occurs in flight?
Open fresh air vents, focus on objects outside the airplane, avoid unneccessary head movements, terminate the flight.
What is spatial disorientation?
A lack of orientation with regard to the position, attitude, or movement of the airplane in space.
What three systems provide the brain with information on the body's orientation and movement?
Visual (eyes), vestibular (inner ear), somatosensory (nerves in skin/muscles/joints - "seat of the pants")
Which system is the body's primary orientation source?
The visual system, which is why spatial disorientation is much more likely in IMC than in VMC.
List some ways to prevent spatial disorientation.
Understand why illusions occur and remain alert for them. Obtain a preflight weather briefing and use it to avoid poor visibility. Avoid sudden head movements. If intending to fly at night, remain night current and proficient. If flying in marginal visibility or IMC, remain instrument proficient. Remain physically fit for flight. Place your trust in the flight instruments and disregard your sensory perceptions.
What are some examples of illusions that can lead to spatial disorientation?
The leans, Coriolis illusion, graveyard spiral, somatogravic illusion, inversion illusion, elevator illusion, false horizon, autokinesis.
Describe the leans.
Vestibular system cannot detect slow roll rates. Slow, undetectable roll to one side followed by quick, detectable roll to wings level creates illusion of bank in the opposite direction. (Pilots tend to lean to what feels like vertical until the feeling goes away.)
Describe the Coriolis illusion.
In an extended constant-rate turn, fluid in ear canal eventually moves at same speed as the canal, and sensation of turning stops. Moving the head in a different plane can start fluid moving again and create illusion of turn on a totally different axis. Avoid by not making sudden head movements.
Describe the graveyard spiral.
Pilot unwittingly enters a shallow turn (often due to a case of the leans). Pilot notices the loss of altitude but not the turn, and adds back pressure to correct. This tightens the turn and increases the loss of altitude. Unless pilot corrects to wings level, spiral will continue to tighten until control is lost or aircraft hits ground.
Describe the somatogravic illusion.
Rapid forwards acceleration creates the illusion of being in a nose-high attitude. (Both push you back in your seat.) Disoriented pilot reacts by pushing the nose down. The same can happen in reverse when the aircraft decelerates.
Describe the inversion illusion.
Abrupt change from climb to straight-and-level flight causes the illusion of tumbling backwards.
Describe the elevator illusion.
Abrupt vertical accelerations (from updrafts and downdrafts) can feel like pitch changes. A pilot in an updraft may react by pushing the nose down and vice versa.
Describe a false horizon.
Sloping cloud formations or geometric patterns of lights on the ground can look like the horizon, leading the pilot to "level" the wings relative to the wrong reference.