A Review of the Pilot Backache Problem in the CH113 Labrador Helicopter
DEFENCE AND CIVIL INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE DOWNSVIEW (ONTARIO)
Pagination or Media Count:
In response to an Unsatisfactory Condition Report, complaints of back pain and discomfort induced by the pilots seat of the CH113 Labrador helicopter were investigated. Several published reports dealing with the problem are reviewed and summarized in terms of incidence and prevalence rates, frequency, intensity, duration, location and time to pain onset. A questionnaire was developed and distributed to CH113 Labrador helicopter pilots in order to determine how closely the backache characteristics of the pilots match the characteristics reported by the general population. In addition, an evaluation of the size and shape of the Labrador seat was conducted and results were compared to published seat design guidelines and recommendations. Questionnaire results indicate that the typical backache reported by Labrador pilots is similar to the backache reported by other helicopter pilots. It is usually a dull pain in the lumbar area, most often experienced during flight and usually lasting after the mission ends. Subjective results also indicate that backache may be negatively correlated with regular exercise. Based on the symptoms identified in the questionnaire and the causes identified by other investigators, design principles for an improved seat incorporating an inflatable lumbar support and a more effective load bearing seat cushion were established.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology