Flicker vertigo is "an imbalance in brain-cell activity caused by exposure to low-frequency flickering (or flashing) of a relatively bright light"
Flicker vertigo is a phenomenon that is more often observed during helicopter flight. Flicker vertigo in a helicopter occurs when the pilot or front passenger looks up through the blades of the main rotor as it turns in the sun causing the light to strobe. The strobe light effect causes persons who are vulnerable to flicker vertigo to become disoriented, lose control of the aircraft or have a seizure. A similar situation can occur in fixed wing flight whenever flickering light conditions exist. An example would be looking through a slowly spinning propeller while the airplane is landing facing the sun.
According to The US Naval Flight Surgeons Manual, flicker vertigo is a rare occurrence .