1996-10-01

Vertical Flight in an Obstacle-Rich Environment 965614

Over the last several years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the rotorcraft industry have maintained a dialogue regarding minimum airspace requirements at visual flight rule (VFR) heliports. The industry is anxious to locate heliports in strategic downtown city-center areas and wants to size heliport airspace to fit these constrained geometries. The FAA, on the other hand, is concerned that the minimum recommended airspace for VFR heliports or vertiports must be sufficient to ensure safety of operations.Prior FAA studies and testing on this issue have been concerned with a very limited number of obstacles in the vicinity of a specific heliport. No consideration has been given to the psychological effect of a large number of obstacles, or an obstacle-rich environment (ORE), in the vicinity of a heliport or vertiport on pilot performance. This research project is designed to explore and investigate what part obstacles play in pilot performance and perception.

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