•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate collegiate aviation students’ self-awareness of their fatigue issues; to investigate possible causes of fatigue afflicting collegiate aviation students; and to investigate the collegiate aviation students’ lifestyle and perceptions of personal solutions to fatigue.

Background: Pilot fatigue is a significant safety hazard in aviation operations. Several factors can contribute to fatigue, including inadequate sleep, long work hours, and inadequate nutritional habits. Some factors, such as social and academic activities, could be unique for Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 141 collegiate aviation pilots. Previous studies have addressed fatigue in commercial and military aviation. However, few studies have targeted collegiate aviation students.

Method: An online survey questionnaire was utilized to investigate collegiate aviation students’ self-awareness of their fatigue issues; the possible causes of fatigue afflicting those students; their lifestyle as well as their perceptions of personal solutions to fatigue. The population for this study consisted of a subset of the GA community, flight instructors and students from an accredited 14 CFR Part 141 four-year degree-awarding university in the Midwestern region of the United States. Additionally, participants were recruited from a local fixed based operator.

Results: Findings indicated that fatigue has played a role during flight training. Pilots had, for example overlooked mistakes because of fatigue. Responses also suggested decrements in alertness and cognitive functions as a result of fatigue.

Conclusion: Fatigue is a safety hazard in a collegiate environment that needs addressing. Systematic fatigue education and training, better lifestyle practices, effective workload management, and even a prescriptive approach could significantly enhance aviation safety and the well-being of student pilots.

Acknowledgements

Thanks for the great comments and suggestions!

Share

COinS