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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Austrian Safety Workshop Addresses Spatial Disorientation

By Andrew Drwiega, Military Editor

The 3rd Spatial Disorientation & Night Vision Training Workshop took place last week in Salzburg, Austria. Hosted by specialist training company AMST, the theme of the two-day conference was Accident Prevention and the Role of Synthetic Training Devices.
Safety has become a growing concern for many in the military as budget cuts begin to restrict the number of actual flight hours pilots can spend in the cockpit (away from operational deployments) and force an increased pressure on synthetic training to deliver the necessary skills. More than 100 delegates from 23 countries are attending the conference, which was chaired by AMST’s Douglas Vine, a retired Squadron Leader from the UK’s Royal Air Force.

The sessions began with an examination of the subject of spatial disorientation. Professor Dr. Wolfgang Kallus discussed, “Does Experience Change Perceptual Motion Illusions?” Following this Dr. Bill Ercoline, co-chair at this event two years ago, outlined the risks that special disorientation brings.

Throughout the day a succession of speakers highlighted individual national approaches, not only to special disorientation but also to night vision training. Countries represented in the speaker panel include the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Canada, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden and the U.S. Delegates include those from Poland, Australia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia among others.

AMST at its base in Ranshofen, Austria, has developed specialist training simulators which allow pilots to experience high altitude, special disorientation and ‘G’ forces. The Desdemona simulator is the company’s dynamic motion device alongside the Airfox spatial disorientation simulator. Both fixed wings and rotary pilots can be trained through one of the courses run by AMST.

The company’s night vision training is computer-based and interactive, with the course addressing how every pilot’s Night Vision Goggles should be optimized then exercises involving both static and dynamic flight simulation.
Related: Training News

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