PILOT HEART RATE DURING IN-FLIGHT SIMULATED INSTRUMENT APPROACHES IN A GENERAL AVIATION AIRCRAFT
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF AVIATION MEDICINE
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Eight instrument rated pilots with flying experience ranging from 600 to 12,271 hours each flew 10 simulated ILS instrument approaches in a single engine, general aviation aircraft equipped with a primary flight display arranged in conventional T configuration. Continuous heart rate data were recorded during each approach. Approaches were flown consecutively at approximate 10-minute intervals, with a 1-minute in-flight rest period prior to each approach. Principal findings were heart rate increased significantly during each approach mean increase in heart rate during the approaches was 5.2 beats per minute BPM and was of a relatively constant magnitude for each of the 10 approaches and the overall mean heart rate level decreased on successive approaches for a total of 11.0 BPM for the 10 approaches. The results are discussed in terms of responses to stress introduced by the demands of the task.
- Stress Physiology