Passer au contenu


OTAN/NATO - Current Aeromedical Issues in Rotary Wing Operations (1998)

€0,00 - €0,00
€0,00 - €0,00

Current Aeromedical Issues in Rotary Wing Operations (1998)


331 pages – in English

The Human Factors and Medicine Panel of the Research and Technology Organization of NATO held a Symposium on current aeromedical problems arising from helicopter operations, in San Diego, in the United States from 19th to 21st October 1998.

The use of helicopters is not restricted to a single branch of the armed forces, as they are deployed by Navies, Armies and Air Forces. Their use may be specific to one of the Services but many of the problems encountered are common to all users. Moreover, there has been an expansion of the civilian helicopter fleet, which means that military users will increasingly be able to benefit from the experience acquired in this domain. We can summarise this type of use as follows: standard means of transport, or for medical evacuation, land or sea surveillance, ground attack and, more recently, for air defence. However, the performances achieved by helicopters and their flight control equipment enable crews to operate in more hostile conditions (poor weather) or to carry out low-level night combat operations (use of night vision goggles or helmet mounted displays). Given its characteristics and the complexity of its use and its environment, the helicopter is exposed to damage and a whole series of measures can be previewed to alienate this risk. The presentations concentrated on five main topics: 1) Crew training, 2) The different conditions of use, 3) The psycho-physiological component, 4) Survival equipment and methods, 5) Accidents and their prevention.

This symposium was of great interest to the military, owing to the inclusion of the following subjects:

  • a summary assessment of the constraints specific to missions carried out by helicopter crews and the means of dealing with them,
  • crew selection and training,
  • the highlighting of accident-producing factors such as spatial disorientation and the usefulness of preventive measures such as tactile stimulators and simulators,
  • the use of CRM (crew resource management) for dealing with critical situations,
  • indications as to the use of the helicopter, its equipment and the type of crew, depending on the type of evacuation to be performed as part of integrated medical relief operations and the measures to be taken in the event of accidents involving large numbers of wounded and, as a result, varied and complementary evacuation facilities,
  • the complexity of combat RESCO,
  • dynamic (vibration) and psycho-physiological stress and the pathological consequences such as fear and dorsalgia,
  • the use of new head-mounted equipment (visor display) or NBC equipment with their benefits but also the additional constraints which they impose,
  • the limits of personal flight and safety equipment, the need to improve it and to train aircrew in its use,
  • the epidemiological analysis of accidents, of their causes and of the ways of limiting injuries (absorbent structure, fuel tank protection systems, anti-crash seats) "airbags" or even special devices for use when the helmet is weighted by equipment).