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The approach and landing phase of flight is widely recognized as one of the most difficult phases of flight. More specifically, professionals in aviation training report difficulty in training inexperienced pilots on execution of visual approaches. The current paper focuses on our efforts to develop a perceptual skill trainer using a static image discrimination task. From a perceptual standpoint there are a number of documented visual environmental cues that have been found to impact one’s ability to judge distances. These distracting cues can cause individuals to misjudge distance to landing surfaces, and subsequently result in an unstable or unsafe approach. For this study we chose to examine how individual differences in spatial orientation ability predict performance in a visual approach static image discrimination task. As expected, individuals high in spatial orientation ability outperformed those with low spatial orientation ability. More importantly we examine how distracter cues have a differing effect on low and high spatial orientation ability individuals. The results from this study have implications for development of tailored training in aviation training.