Date of Award

Spring 1995

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Aeronautical Science


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

John A. Wise

Committee Member

David W. Abbott

Committee Member

V. David Hopkin

Committee Member

Gerald D. Gibb

Committee Member

Jefferson M. Koonce


The purpose of this study was to examine a pilot's sensitivity to a change in angular motion after alcohol ingestion and determine the duration of effect after the time the blood alcohol content (BAC) reached zero. An earlier study determined that a pilot's threshold for detecting angular motion was affected by 30% with low doses of alcohol ingestion. An important question remaining is whether the pilot's sensitivity to angular motion will continue to be significantly affected after the time BAC reaches zero. Twelve instrument-rated pilots flew a partial panel rotating simulator under an in-flight scenario, and thresholds were measured before and after alcohol administration. As expected the pilot's sensitivity to angular motion (at BAC < 0.04%) registered a higher (> 30%) threshold and remained elevated when BAC returned to zero. However, within one hour after BAC reached zero, the mean thresholds had returned to their initial prealcohol level.

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