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Postural Considerations – “Seat of the Pants” Flying

in Human Factors

The postural system sends signals from the skin, joints, and muscles to the brain that are interpreted in relation to the Earth’s gravitational pull. These signals determine posture.  Inputs from each movement update the body’s position to the brain on a constant basis. “Seat of the pants” flying is largely dependent upon these signals. Used in conjunction with visual and vestibular clues, these sensations can be fairly reliable. However, because of the forces acting upon the body in certain flight situations, many false sensations can occur due to acceleration forces overpowering gravity.  [Figure 1-8]   These situations include uncoordinated turns, climbing turns, and turbulence.

Figure 1-8. Sensations From Centrifugal Force.

Figure 1-8. Sensations From Centrifugal Force.


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