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Dutch pilots warn their fatigue may threaten safety

Posted Oct 06 2009 10:02pm

Yesterday Dutch pilots warned passengers that fatigue because of their long working hours might threaten safety in flying. They mentioned scientific evidence and so I checked some sources. I guess they have a point. Some sources:

Pilot Fatigue in Short-Haul Operations: Effects of Number of Sectors, Duty Length, and Time of Day:
David M. C. Powell, Mick B. Spencer, David Holland, Elizabeth Broadbent, and Keith J Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine • Vol. 78, No. 7 • July 2007
“The most important influences on fatigue were the number of sectors and duty length. These were associated with fatigue in a linear fashion. Time of day had a weaker influence, with lower levels at midday and increased fatigue later in the day. Fatigue was also higher during duties originating from an airport where pilots needed to position the night before and spend the night in a hotel.”

Prevalence of fatigue among commercial pilots
Craig A. Jackson and Laurie Earl
Occupational Medicine 2006 56(4):263-268
“Data were collected from 162 short-haul pilots: 75% reported severe fatigue and 81% reported the fatigue to be worse than 2 years ago. 80% considered their thought processes were reduced while flying. Severe fatigue was reported more frequently by low-cost airline pilots than scheduled airline pilots (P = 0.05) and fatigue ratings were higher in this group (P = 0.03). Pilots who reported regularly flying into their ‘discretion’ hours had lower physical and psychological health, and overall fatigue scores, and poorer self-rated general health.”

Pilot fatigue by Samuel Strauss

Guest Editorial:
The Effects Of Fatigue On Performance And Safety
by Mark Brandon in AirlineSafety.com

Posted in Occupational exposure Tagged: Fatigue, Flying, Pilots
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