Comparison Of Physiological And Cognitive Performance In F-22 Pilots During The Transition From Day To Night Flying Operations
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA MONTEREY United States
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This thesis investigated the changes in physiological and cognitive performance as F-22 pilots transitioned short-term to night-flying weeks using salivary markers of stress, cortisol and alpha amylase, wrist activity monitors, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index NASA-TLX, and a gono-go GNG developed by Naval Medical Research Unit at Dayton. Seventeen fully qualified F-22 pilots took part in the two-week study. We found no differences in GNG reaction time or accuracy, NASA-TLX scores, or sleep quantity as participants transitioned to night-flying weeks. Sample cortisol levels were significantly higher than civilian levels in all experimental conditions and control days. Researchers fitted a unique participant cortisol curve and found higher-than-predicted participant cortisol levels post-flight in the day-flying condition and lower than predicted participant levels post-flight in the night-flying condition. Two negative relationships, F-22 experience by the magnitude of cortisol change pre- to post-flight in the day-flying condition and age by Perceived Stress Survey scores suggested stress adaptation in the F-22 community. We thought that the night-flying environment would be more stressful on the aviator. While more research is required to support the results found in this study, it appeared that day-flying is more stressful.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Stress Physiology