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Navy Using New Simulations/Training to Counter Pilot Disorientation.

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posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 05:00 PM
The Navy has found that new flight simulations and training techniques to help combat what is known as BHI or Black Hole Illusion. A condition where the pilot, while landing at night misjudges the approach altitude. This type of spatial disorientation is one of the leading cause of Class A mishaps, not only in the military but in commercial flight as well.

The phenomena include Black Hole Illusion, or BHI – when a pilot on a nighttime runway approach in a poorly lit area perceives he is higher than he should be and descends to a lower approach.
“If unlit high terrain or obstacles are near the approach path the results can be fatal,” Henry P. Williams, a researcher with the Naval Medical Research Unit-Dayton, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, reported.
The unit tested a team of 38 pilots in day– and nighttime simulation landings, finding that they all flew near perfect approaching in the daylight. But 92 percent made “significantly low BHI approaches” in the nighttime simulation, the report said. On average, they were 148 feet too low when 1.5 nautical miles from the runaway, it said.
But after viewing a training video on BHI the pilots were, on average, just three feet too low at the same distance from the runway.

Researchers also found that these new methods were effective in countering CRE or Control Reversal Error, when a pilot losses visual contact with a lead aircraft while making banking turns.

posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 06:30 PM
Talk about timing.

A319 crash caused by BHI

posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 06:40 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Wow, thankfully there were no fatalities. Could have been bad.
Simple programs like these are excellent examples of how very little up front effort/development funds can really payoff big time in saved lives and expensive hardware.

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