Spatial Disorientation Kills – Episode 149
Spatial disorientation can happen to any pilot. It led to the fatal crashes that killed John F Kennedy Jr and Kobe Bryant. John, Greg and Todd are joined by expert Andy Watson to talk about ways pilots can avoid a deadly air crash.
Andy Watson is a professional air traffic controller, pilot, and author of the book, The Pilot’s Guide to Air Traffic Control. He describes the FAA accident briefing that led him to research spatial disorientation and develop practical recommendations to help avoid it.
Spatial disorientation can happen when pilot is in IFR conditions, banking left or right, and moving their head. This phenomenon is especially challenging for single pilots. Spatial disorientation is the contributing factor in many air crashes.
Hear practical advice for all pilots. The discussion covers how to avoid spatial disorientation and how to work with air traffic control to get help when needed. Learn why the responses “standby” or “unable” are acceptable and could save your life.
- FAA Spatial Disorientation brochure (PDF)
- 2017 Pilatus PC12 accident report (PDF)
- Public Docket for the Pilatus PC12 accident
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