Despite improved crew rest stations on airline and business aviation aircraft today, concerns about pilot fatigue will never disappear entirely. In association with NBAA, California-based fatigue specialists Alertness Solutions has developed for flight departments a downloadable guide called The Alert Crew. It outlines the top issues time-zone-jumping crewmembers should regularly consider to remain at peak performance.
Jeppesen introduced an improved version of its CrewAlert mobile app that helps aircraft crewmembers deal with fatigue risk management. The updated app can instantly calculate a strategy from up to 900,000 sleep patterns and light exposure combinations to increase crew alertness and overall flight safety. It also contains built-in scientific mitigation strategies automatically calculated to fit to the roster and individual settings such as individual sleep requirements and commute times, among others.
The threat of food-borne illness at 41,000 feet is all too real, and one the business aviation industry takes all too lightly, says Paula Kraft, a principal with Aviation Catering Consultants (ACC) of Atlanta.
According to in-flight medical emergency services specialist MedAire, 60 percent of its calls are related to gastrointestinal illnesses. That number leaves no doubt that food-handling standards should be just as rigorous as those that apply to aircraft maintenance, asserts Kraft.
International flight crews share a never-ending need for a good night’s rest. Now there’s a proven link between exercise in moderation and sleep quality. A new report from the National Sleep Foundation studied 1,000 adults between ages 23 and 60 and found that those who exercised in the seven days before the survey reported better quality of sleep than those who did not. Surprisingly, both groups averaged about the same number of hours of total rest–just short of seven.
This month, I’m turning my blog space over to the reader who submitted the following letter to our magazine.—Jeff Burger, editor of AIN sister publication Business Jet Traveler
An Open Letter to the Editors of Business Jet Traveler:
Jeppesen plans to conduct an industry-wide survey in April to collect airline pilot and cabin crew fatigue data. The study will be conducted in collaboration with sleep and performance scientists, using the Jeppesen CrewAlert iPhone app to collect data directly from crewmembers. The study will advance understanding on how crew fatigue issues develop in an operational setting, Jeppesen said.
FOCUS on…SAFETY “Fatigue in the aviation industry has been on the NTSB’s Top 10 Most-Wanted list for two decades,” Mark Rosekind told a Heli-Expo audience on Saturday morning. “It still makes up six of our top 10 fears today.”
London-based RDT, a telemedicine products specialist, has introduced its new Tempus IC, a small, lightweight remote medical “assistant” that RDT claims will transmit information doctors need to identify up to 90 percent of conditions remotely.
Forget the drugs. Pzizz has a new way to help you through those long flights–a set of unique audio soundtracks that will not only induce sleep but also awaken and re-energize you afterward. The “neural-linguistic” soundtracks from the UK-based company are programmable and can be customized for the individual and contain billions of sound combinations so the user never hears the same thing twice.
As a 9,000-hour ATP-rated pilot and a former senior manager in Allegheny Airlines’ flight operations and safety department, RAA senior vice president of operations and safety Scott Foose perhaps brings as balanced a perspective as one could expect when it comes to the issue of fatigue in the cockpit.