Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Protecting Your Freedom to Fly

Safety Quiz

AOPA Air Safety Foundation

ASI Safety Quiz

Spatial Disorientation

We humans are VFR-only creatures. The senses we use to maintain our balance and figure out "which end is up" are completely unreliable when our bodies are in motion without visual reference to the world around us -- as when flying in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Spatial disorientation has claimed the lives of many pilots, instrument- and noninstrument-rated alike. Take this quiz to learn more.

1. Spatial disorientation is the ____.

2. According to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), illusions such as those that lead to spatial disorientation are among the most common contributing factors in fatal aircraft accidents.

3. Humans use three sensory systems for spatial orientation. They are the ____.

4. Our visual system accounts for ____ percent of the information we use to orient ourselves to our surroundings.

5. An abrupt change from a climb attitude to straight-and-level flight can create the illusion of ____.

6. Which of the following is defined as a high-speed, tight descending turn caused by the failure to recognize a rolling motion?

7. Spatial disorientation accidents are the result of ____.

8. On average, approximately what percentage of spatial disorientation accidents result in fatalities?

9. On average, noninstrument-rated pilots are responsible for ____ percent of VFR-into-IMC accidents.

10. How can a pilot best overcome spatial disorientation?