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Pilot Fatigue The Causes, Effects And Consequences

10532 words - 42 pages

Pilot FatigueThe Causes, Effects and ConsequencesBy jeffstrioIntroductionNo one ever said air travel was easy. Major traffic delays getting into the airport, lack of parking spaces once you are in, long, seemingly endless ticket counter lines, security checkpoints and screenings, cancelled flights, and general airport congestion can make departure trips to any airport an adventure. Conversely, cramped seating arrangements, late arrivals, missed connections, and lost luggage contributes to arriving passenger fiascos and issues. While most of these issues focus on the physical problems associated with air travel within the confines of an airport, there are psychological and emotional problems that every potential passenger face. For anyone who has ever traveled by air, we have all felt a touch of anxiety to some degree, at one time or another, when preparing to board an aircraft for a flight. Weather, flight delays, mechanical problems and the like can all contribute to passenger uneasiness, even for a veteran of air travel. Whether the travel is planned for business, vacation or otherwise, there are certainly many people with serious trepidations towards flying, both realistic and unrealistic. Then again, after the events of September 11th, nothing that relates to aviation safety or the fears of the flying public will ever be classified as unrealistic ever again. Many people associated with the aviation industry have heard the adage that is jokingly repeated when in terminals and automobiles: "It's not flying that I'm afraid of - it's crashing that I'm afraid of!". Obviously, this is the greatest fear of every airline passenger and their respective friends and family, and is a rather broad fear that is usually the result of a combination of factors. Wide ranging exposure to extensive media coverage of accidents, continued coverage of the recoveries and investigations, audio and video footage, and peer opinion and influence all contribute to people's fears of flying. Some people are simply afraid of not being in control of the aircraft, such as the way they would be in an automobile; some fear their own unfamiliarity with every bump, bang, noise, hiss, and mechanical whirl. For others, it's simply a fear of heights. Whatever the reason, the fact is that an estimated 7% of the general population of all Americans will not board an aircraft voluntarily, while 20% of all travelers suffer some degree from fear of flying (21). This equates to roughly about 25 million people. Statistics will show that commercial aviation is by far the safest mode of transportation, resulting in far fewer deaths annually then car accidents, murders, AIDS, cancer or the other top 10 leading causes of death in America. In fact, it has been statistically shown that the death rate for airline passengers in 0.03 deaths per one million passengers, with approximately one accident per one million trips (and this accident is not necessarily one where a fatality occurs)(22). While...

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