Airline Pilot Fatigue Essay

2071 words - 9 pages

A businessman who just landed at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport one morning rushed to the bathroom after a red eye flight from Los Angeles. Passing the sink in the bathroom, he noticed a man who looked like he had just woken up and was shaving. He appeared to the businessman as a fellow businessman who must have spent the night at the airport in hopes to catch an early morning flight to where ever he was going. As he was washing his hands, the man from Los Angeles struck up a conversation and said, “You had to sleep here to make your flight? They should refund your ticket!” The man shaving had just finished and seemed to be in a rush to get somewhere, but he stopped and turned to look at him. He replied to the businessman, “I’m actually the pilot...”
This joke may be exaggerated a little bit, but in all reality, many commercial pilots who are flying thousands of people every day are not getting adequate sleep and are facing fatigue. This may be a scary thought to some who fly regularly. Passengers may doze off during flights but have you ever thought about your pilot nodding his head? Well, it happens, maybe more than we think. However, blame cannot be put fully on the pilots. There are many psychological reasons that explain why pilots can show up to work sleep deprived and fatigued. The articles I have chosen look at these reasons more clearly and give some solutions to combat fatigue as an airline pilot. They also look at some real life examples of the results of fatigued airline pilots.
The first article I read was from Psychology Today and starts out with the story of the Jet Blue pilot who had a breakdown in the middle of a flight in 2012. This story hit the news headlines describing a senior pilot who ran through the cabin of the plane shouting about a possible crash and the threat of a terrorist attack. As you can imagine, this scared many passengers as they watched their pilot scream disturbing statements. The co-pilot locked the captain out of the cockpit and requested for passengers to tackle him to the ground and restrain him. The passengers did just that and the copilot made an emergency landing. As soon as they made it on the ground, the pilot was arrested. While this very interesting and bizarre behavior by the pilot could be evaluated in its own psychological paper, research found that one of the main contributing causes to the outburst was fatigue.
The article contributed the constantly changing shift schedules, long hours, and short rest periods (8 hours currently, 10 hours in 2014) of pilots to be the three most contributing factors to sleep deprivation. The article also stated that these factors could lead to sleep disorders and future health risks such as depression and anxiety, which are associated with chronic sleep problems. In a survey among U.S. pilots, 23% were affected by sleepiness while flying in the past week while 20% said they made a “serious” error at one point in their career because they were...

Find Another Essay On Airline Pilot Fatigue

How Safe Is Our Sky? Essay

1575 words - 7 pages Recent aviation incidents such as the crash of Asiana Airlines flight 214 and disappearance of MH370 cause people to wonder if aviation is still safe. Some say that the taxi ride to the airport is more dangerous than the flight; however, others fear the dangers flying may bring. Although pilot error, pilot fatigue, and mechanical failures contribute to the danger of aviation, new aircraft systems and improved safety measures continue to sustain

Deliberate Decision Making by Aircraft Pilots: A Simple Reminder to Avoid Decision Making Under Panic” by Stephen R. Murray

948 words - 4 pages new type. Stress can have two different effects. It can increase performance or it can be interfering and decrease performance. Fatigue is another factor that can decrease pilot decision making performance. Fixation on a single task such as “get-home-itis” can also cause other important cues to be missed. During pilot training there has always been an emphasis on the dangers of pilot attitudes. The five hazards attitudes a pilot can have are

The Crossair Flight 3597 Crash

1595 words - 7 pages that time, Crossair are in need of pilots due to the rapid expansion of the airline. Thus, some pilot tests and basic skills are neglected. Moreover, due to Crossair’s poor crew rostering. Crew rostering is an important contribution to airline safety as sufficient rest of flight crew is required. However, as reported, the commander had been awake for 15 hours, clearly exceeding the permitted maximum duty times. Fatigue increased due to the

Crew Resource Management Airline industry Aviation Safety

4739 words - 19 pages safely and effectively operate an aircraft. It is used in nearly every facet of aviation from the smallest regional airline, to the largest major carrier, to the various crew operated military aircraft. One aspect of aviation missing from the fold is the general aviation (GA) community, such as the private pilot. This has become a growing concern as many future air carrier pilots and military pilots begin as private pilots. The need for CRM

The Importance of Airline Safety

1335 words - 5 pages The Importance of Airline Safety Many people travel by airplane all around the world. For some people it is the only way they can get to where they are going. On a daily basis, averages of 28 to 30,000 seats are filled on airplanes (Bear, Stearns Co. URL At each airport, there are hundreds of arrivals and departures worldwide. Even though airline officials say flying is safe, accidents kill many people

Complete Aviation Discrimination Act

10125 words - 41 pages 60 to fly as part of a two-pilot crew when the other crewmember is under age 60. The change will harmonize U.S. rules with international regulations. In November the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) instituted a rule that a pilot can fly until reaching age 65 if the other required pilot is under age 60.As a member of ICAO, the FAA has to allow foreign airline pilots older than 60 to fly into and out of the U.S., although U.S

Ethics in Aerospace

2245 words - 9 pages advancements in technology. If compared to automobile driving however, airline safety is a far cry from dangerous. It is a well-known fact that flying is much safer than driving. But without a doubt there is much more dependency on safety when flying. Passengers in any aircraft put their trust in both the pilot and the builders of the airplane. In non-terrorist related situations, this is where the burden rests, and the ethics must come into

"Airline Safety" will describe some of the modern problems with American Air Transportation and compare it to other forms of transportation

1447 words - 6 pages this incident didn't end in tragedy, like many others do. Pilot fatigue is one of the issues being examined by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) for the Little Rock crash. The pilots of that plane are believed to have been flying for thirteen and half-hours before the plane crashed. The Miami Herald also reported that human error, which includes drowsy and fatigued pilots, is responsible for up to 70% of all airline accidents."Falling

Aircraft Maintainence

1524 words - 6 pages Aircraft maintenance AVIATION REGULATION AND SAFETY Question 1 A good safety record is a judgment of past performance but does not guarantee the future (PARLIAMENT of AUSTRALIA 2004) [ref.3]. Airline operators, pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, government regulators and makers all have a stake in making aviation as safe as possible. Howbeit, they are still many aircraft had been crash due to many other reasons, such as the pilot’s

Crossair Flight 3597

1610 words - 7 pages Done by: Ang Ching Yang (1303571B) 1. Introduction 1.1 About the assignment In international air transportation, airline flight operations play a critical part in ensuring passengers and cargo arrive at their destinations safely and on time. Having seen Crossair flight 3597’s crash, the objective of this assignment is to analyse the factual information, causes of the crash and thus learn valuable lessons from the errors committed that led to

"HUMAN FACTORS IN AVIATION MAINTENANCE" The purpose of this study was to find how human factors in aviation maintenance affect the aircraft

2296 words - 9 pages of the aircraft. This paper touches on how human factors in aviation maintenance seriously affect the performance of an aircraft. For example, a pilot experienced a vibration while cruising at 8,000 feet; he shutdown the engine after noticing the oil pressure fall to zero, flames coming from the engine cowling, and smoke in the cockpit. The pilot miraculously makes a forced landing at a nearby airport. This accident was caused from an

Similar Essays

Pilot Fatigue Essay

1574 words - 6 pages challenges that face this career. The challenges that pilot face revolve around being rested during long flights, performing unexpected, simultaneous tasks, and passing the medical examination in order to remain qualified. When combined with fatigue due to long flight hours, these different aspects can be crucial and play a vital role in the airlines pilot’s lifestyle. Long Flights and fatigue on Airline Pilots Pilot

Pilot Fatigue Essay

1334 words - 5 pages issue.” But one thing to keep in mind is an airline pilot is responsible for many times the lives compared with a truck driver. Therefore, more stringent aviation policies should be implemented. (Wald, 2008) The fact that fatigue is not being addressed fully is astounding because it is the pilots themselves that are flagging the Board about the issue. However, no changes are being made due to the fact that money is essentially the only

Major And Regional Airlines Essay

2244 words - 9 pages all airlines have risen dramatically due, in part, to fuel cost. These rising costs have brought the regional airlines to the mercy of the major airlines. Because of the lack of revenue for training, regional airline safety has become questionable in recent years because of accidents caused by lack of experience, proper training and pilot fatigue. While regional airlines offer lower cost of flying to passengers, there can be a significant cost

Pilot Fatigue Essay

1776 words - 7 pages have irrevocable schedules, therefore a need to give more comprehensive fatigue management strategies that are in harmony with their schedules. It is also very important to note that most of the pilot fatigues are greatly attributable to: the flight and duty time limitations that are mostly imposed by the airline regulators (Mohler, 1998). According to Smith (2008), it is important to also consider that pilots have “Outside” and “During” flight