Are Cockpit Electromagnetic Fields Killing Pilots?

  • DARPA is investigating whether electronic noise can interfere with military pilots.
  • The concern is that radio and electromagnetic fields could impair cognitive performance, causing momentary confusion.
  • More than 100 pilots have died in accidents attributed to spatial disorientation.

    The Pentagon’s research and development arm is investigating whether the very equipment meant to save military pilots’ lives on the battlefield is causing them to become disoriented and crash.

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    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding an effort to study the relationship between military electronics and spatial disorientation—a pilot’s ability to determine his or her correct altitude, attitude, or airspeed. In one incident, spatial disorientation caused a Japanese F-35 pilot to slam into the Pacific Ocean at nearly 700 miles per hour.

    By most accounts, U.S. military aircraft are the most advanced in

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