The Effects Of Alcohol On Pilots During Flight

1376 words - 6 pages

Alcohol is something that has been part of human nature for thousands of years. It has been used by means of medical, social, religious, and cultural settings (Information about Alcohol, n.d.). Alcohol is going to be a product that will be a part of our lives for many years to come, definitely past our lifetime. A problem that we see today is the use of drinking and driving. This is one of life’s more dangerous and stupid activities, but people still decide to do it. People like to push their abilities to the edge, which could end up causing death to themselves and others. When we watch the news, there always seems to be at least one crash that involved a drunk driver. You have to remember that one incident happened in our city, but it’s actually happening in almost every city in the United States and the world. If it happens this often in a car, alcohol is bound to creep itself into other dangerous scenarios. Aviation is an extremely dangerous as it is, but when alcohol is thrown into the mix, flying becomes nearly impossible. Throughout this paper, I will be describing what alcohol is actually doing to your body, along with the effects it has on a pilot while they are flying.
When a person first drinks a drink with alcohol in it, their central nervous system is going to be affected. While you are not impaired, the central nervous system receives sensory details from different organs in your body. Some of these organs include the eyes and ears. From the information that is collected, the central nervous system then analyzes it and sends a response to conduct a certain contraction in a muscle. All of these normal circumstances are severely different when a person is intoxicated with alcohol. The intoxication inhibits the central nervous system’s ability to interpret the sensory details that it is receiving from the different organs throughout the body. This then starts to create the sensation that someone is drunk by having the symptoms that include: slurred speech, blurred vision, uncoordinated balance, heavy sweating, and the dullness of pain. When you are flying, you definitely need some of those senses to be at their peak performance (News, 2001).
Along with the central nervous system, the outer layer of the brain is also affected by alcohol. The main part of the brain that is affected is the frontal cortex. This part of the brain is in charge of conscious thought. When people drink alcohol, they tend to lose their conscious thought, or otherwise known as their inhibitions. Alcohol disturbs many parts of the brain, but another important area that is affected is the cerebellum. The cerebellum is located towards the back of your brain, and is in charge of controlling your balance, coordination, and your eye movements. When alcohol is consumed, the brain can misread the judgment of distances and heights. Throughout the course of a flight, the pilot is going to constantly be looking out the window to judge the...

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