Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Aeronautical Science


Aeronautical Science

Committee Chair

Thomas Weitzel

Committee Member

Dr. Steven Hampton

Committee Member

Donald Hunt


This study analyzed the causes of regional airline pilot fatigue and the impact on pilot performance. An instrument was developed and refined through a field study validation by a panel of experts. The final instrument was distributed to three groups of regional airline pilots. The data supported the literature review, which revealed many causes of pilot fatigue, including flight crew schedules that are not compatible with human limitations; Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) that have not evolved with the advancement of aircraft performance and the public demand for 24 hour availability of flights; and poor personal habits. An analysis of the data and literature led to the following conclusions: (a) the existing flight crew schedules and FARs pertaining to flight time limitations and rest requirements are not compatible with human limitations, (b) fatigue has a negative impact on pilot performance, and (c) pilot fatigue has been a contributing factor in many aircraft accidents and incidents.