Pilots’ inability to recover from unusual attitudes (UA) is a major factor in loss of control in-flight (LOCIF) accidents, the largest cause of commercial aviation fatalities (Boeing, 2008). One study found 58% of professional pilots and 72% of general aviation pilots were unable to recover from LOCIF upsets (Regional Aviation News, 2008). Statistics also show that LOCIF is the only fatal aviation accident type not to appreciably decrease over a 21 year period ending in 2002 (Sumwalt, 2003a). A revision of the attitude indicator (AI) is proposed to examine if this would reduce the problem by keeping pilots from flying into UA, accelerate UA identification and enhance recovery. The proposed modifications are: add triangles filled with graduated colors to indicate horizon position, roll and pitch indicators that inform pilots of UAs and corrective procedures, and a thrust indicator that indicates throttle action to maintain adequate energy for aircraft recovery.
Maertens, N. B.
(2009). Proposing Attitude Indicator Modifications to Aid in Unusual Attitude Recovery. 2009 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 349-354.