Fatigue and Use of Go/Nogo Pills in F-16 Pilots Subjected to Extraordinarily Long Combat Sorties
Interim rept. Dec 2001-Jun 2002
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB BROOKS AFB TX HUMAN EFFECTIVENESS DIR/BIODYNAMICS ANDPROTECTION DIV
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We lack knowledge of real world pilot fatigue and use of GONOGO pills. To analyze this, a forward-deployed flight surgeon studied fighter pilots subjected to combat sorties often longer than 8 hours in duration. Methods A 49-question survey on fatigue and GONOGO USAF terms for stimulantssleep aids use was distributed to 19 deployedtwo permanent party fighter pilots during the end of a 3-month deployment. The data was analyzed at the USAF Warfighter Fatigue Countermeasures Research Laboratory. Results The pilots flew an average of 149.0 hours over 3-months. To enhance crew rest, the flight surgeon made the sleep aids zolpidem Ambien and temazepam Restoril readily available to pilots. Fifteen pilots reported using zolpidem. Sleep aids were reported as being effective, but pilots had varied perceptions about their relative effectiveness. There was a statistically significant negative trend for sleep aid use frequency as a function of pilot age. Dextroamphetamine was available for pilot use during long sorties longer than 8 hours. Pilots each flew an average of 4.3 long sorties per month. Sixteen pilots reported using dextroamphetamine and all used it when returning to base andor prior to landing. Overall, the alertness aid was perceived as being effective. Seven of 16 dextroamphetamine users reported difficulty sleeping after their use. ConclusionsRecommendations Fatigne is a significant safety threat in sustained fighter combat operations. Proper use of GONOGO pills can help mitigate this risk.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics