Is Fatigue a Problem in Army Aviation: The Results of a Survey of Aviators and Aircrews
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL
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Recently published data on military aviation mishaps suggest aircrew fatigue remains a flight safety problem. The current study, in which the responses from 241 Army aviators and 120 Army enlisted crew members were analyzed, indicates that inadequate sleep andor insufficient sleep quality is adversely affecting on-the-job alertness. The requirements to work a variety of schedules and to travelwork away from home are likely contributing to less than optimal sleep quality however, a number of personnel may be suffering from sleep deprivation due to intentional sleep restriction as well. The personnel surveyed in this study indicated they were sleeping less than 7 hours per night which is 1 hour less than the amount recommended by sleep specialists. This insufficient sleep, combined with rotating schedules and other work demands, no doubt contributed to the perceptions of three-quarters of the present sample that fatigue is a widespread problem in the military aviation community. These results indicate the importance of continuing to stress fatigue-reduction strategies in training and operational environments.
- Stress Physiology