A Review of Civil Aviation Fatal Accidents in Which “Lost/Disoriented” was a Cause/Factor: 1981–1990
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A Review of Civil Aviation Fatal Accidents in Which “Lost/Disoriented” was a Cause/Factor: 1981–1990

  • 1995-01-01

Filetype[PDF-522.69 KB]

  • English

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      The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) analyzes circumstances and data from civil aviation accidents and ascribes one or more causes and/or related factors to help explain each accident. Among the formally accepted NTSB categories of accident causation is one termed "lost/disoriented;" that term generally differs from "spatial disorientation" and refers more to a loss of geographic awareness and, perhaps, resulting confusion on the part of the pilot. The present study was undertaken to provide information regarding the circumstances surrounding these fatal general aviation accidents in recent years, and to define demographic and behavioral characteristics of the "lost/disoriented" pilots. Those reports were examined and analyzed in terms of type of accident, age and experience of pilots, actions of pilots, night or day, and other conditions. The computer search yielded a total of 120 accidents in which "lost/disoriented" was among the findings noted by investigators of general aviation accidents for the 10 year period. Those accidents resulted in 240 fatalities. Related causes and circumstances associated with the accidents were analyzed and categorized.
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