NTSB Calls on FAA To Address Pilot Fatigue

 - June 12, 2008, 12:31 PM

The NTSB cited three accidents and an incident involving a regional airline as the basis for a pair of recommendations issued Tuesday to the FAA related to pilot fatigue. Specifically, the Board called on the FAA to develop guidance for operators to establish fatigue management systems and methodology to assess their effectiveness, including their ability to improve sleep and alertness, mitigate performance errors and prevent incidents and accidents. “The Safety Board is extremely concerned about the risk and the unnecessary danger that is caused by fatigue in aviation,” said NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker. “We have seen too many accidents and incidents where human fatigue is a cause or contributing factor.” The most recent case cited by the NTSB involved a Mesa Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 that flew past its destination airport, General Lyman Field in Hilo, Hawaii, after its pilots fell asleep at the controls on February 18. “It is imperative that the FAA take action to reduce human fatigue in airline operations,” Rosenker added. “Addressing this safety-related measure is long overdue. We must and can correct this serious concern.”