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Stress and Simulation in Pilot Training.

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Final rept. May-Dec 77,

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Catecholemine excretion for 20 USAF student pilots and 13 instructor pilots was determined during daily activities, during sorties performed in high realism simulators, and during actual flight. High realism simulation resulted in a measurable stress response in both students and instructors the response was not related to previous flight experience. One group of students experimental, n10 experienced power-on stalls and spin recoveries in the simulator prior to their introduction in the aircraft. A second group of students control, n-10 experienced power-on stalls and spin recoveries in the aircraft prior to their introduction in the simulator. Catecholamine excretion during simulation was not different for the two groups, thus aircraft exposure to the spin series did not alter the stress response of the students attempting a similar maneuver in a high realism simulator. Catecholamine excretion during the aircraft spin was also similar for the experimental and control groups however, the relative proportions of epinephrine and norepinephrine were different for the experimental and control groups. Thus, task-specific high realism simulation introduced prior to exposure to related stressful in-flight tasks results in similar total stress response, but somewhat lower arousal and greater mental activity. A comparison of superior and inferior students within each groups suggested that the simulator pretraining had the greatest effect on the inferior students. A comparison of student and instructor catecholamine excretion from the aircraft power-on stall and spin recovery lesson unit showed a lack of significant relationship.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods

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