App Warns of Crew Fatigue

 - April 30, 2011, 4:40 AM

Identifying traditionally covert symptoms of fatigue has always been difficult. But Boeing and Jeppesen have developed an iPhone app–CrewAlert–designed to function as a human fatigue early-warning system of sorts before fatigue-induced inattention causes an accident.

CrewAlert allows flight and cabin crew to build scenarios based on a planned or actual flight and duty schedule. After the user enters a few key pieces of information, such as departure and arrival time, number of legs and total time-zone shifts, CrewAlert allows crewmembers to visualize the impact of planned schedule on future alertness. CrewAlert also collects sleep and alertness data for individual use so crews can discover what strategies work best.

Crew Alertness is a great idea, but I found the tutorial somewhat confusing, as if I’d joined a conversation already in progress. The tutorial uses acronyms–such as KSS, SP and PVT–that are never fully explained; neither was how to interpret the overall results the program delivers. The app is available on iTunes for $19.95.