Sleep Deprivation and Aircrew Performance

bertengineer

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I am doing a paper on sleep deprivation and how it has a factor on aircrew performance. I am looking for any information that may be utilized. I have some sources from the search engines already, but I need more input. Any help is greatly appreciated.

:eek: bertengineer
 

Twotter76

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enough
I've got to show at 3:20am tomorrow morning. PM me when I get done with my 8 leg day at 4:30pm.
 

rjcap

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zip
There is a recent study that was done that determined being awake 16 hours was the equivalent of a blood alcohol level of ( I think) of .04 %. This is in terms of an individuals alertness and performance. Unfortunately I can't recall where I saw this.
 

TurboS7

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This is a very big issue. The problem is that you may have a good layover but still suffer from sleep deprivation. If you have to sleep during the day you will fight noise from housekeepers, other daytime people and just plain sunlight. At night you fight other flight crews getting up at 0400 and slaming doors as they leave their rooms. Then you also fight having to put up with the room party down the hall next door or kids running up and down the hall. Then just when you are really just starting to sleep the phone rings from a crewmember wanting to get something to eat, or the front desk telling you a fax has just arrived, or your wife calling to say the dog is lost. The list goes on and on, so how do you get enought sleep to be able to command an aircraft.
First I remind myself that I have 174+ people depending on my skill and my body to drive the jet safely. Reconize that my fellow crewmembers and struggling with the same problems, so they may be in the same shape that I am. Without sleep we will make a lot of mistakes and one of them could kill all of us. Mistakes mean trips to the FAA and the chief pilot office which causes additional stress, we don't want any of that. The worse factor is that lack of sleep usually doesn't catch you the next day but a couple of days later. Here are some rules that I follow to try and coup with the problems on the road. It doesn't mean that I follow them all the time, but when I do it makes all the diffrence.
1) Don't drink unless you have more than a 24 hour layover. For me usually if I drink even 1 beer or glass of wine I wake up after 3 hard hours of sleep and can't get back to sleep. I miss my REM sleep which is very important.
2)I take the phone in the room off the hook, if there is an emergency someone can bang on the door and wake me up.
3)I use a mechanical alarm in addition to all other alarms availiable-cell phone, beeper, in case of power failure.
4)I try to scedule 8 hours in my bed.
5)From experience I know that 8 hours is good sleep, 5 hours is sufficent sleep, with 3 hours of sleep I can do my job for one 16 hour period, but I need a long layover the next day.
6)Use earplugs and if I am sleeping during the day a "sleep mask."
7)I never use a chemical sleeping pill but I will use meletonane or St. Johns Wart to relax my brain.
8)Drink a lot of water, I sleep with a water jug right next to me, especially in the winter. I try to crack a window to keep fresh air in the room.
9)Pack everything the night before, including ironing my shirts.
10)Get up with good soothing music to get me in a good mood.
11)Always have a goal to be downstairs 15 minutes before show time to reduce stress.
12) I have found that the night I get excellent sleep I am more prone to errors, especially early in the morning, my body just does't want to wak up. When I have a lot of sleep I am very alert at the end of a long duty day then when I don't get enough sleep.
FAR121 Supplemental has no duty time restriction, only flight time, the company can fly you till you drop. JAR's are a lot more restrictive but more realistic and safer.
13)Last if you are being bothered by external noise call the front desk pack up your stuff and change rooms, better to do that than toss and turn all night wishing that things would quiet down.
 

de727ups

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Huh?
Night freight...

Not sure what you're looking for. I fly for a major overnight package delivery company with mostly brown airplanes. There have been times when I'm the only one awake in a three man cockpit....doesn't happen too often. I'm the one who could never sleep in a plane in a million years so I always volunteer to watch the autopilot if the captain wants to sleep a little. Some of our F/E's...especially the retreads....sleep a lot....hope no important lights come on back there....hehe. I'm very senior so I don't work too hard...and I'm on a fleet which usually does short legs....so I'm not the best guy to comment. Some of our 757 schedules would force me to retire at 40...that's for sure. I did an Ontario-San Deigo (sit for two hours)-Rockford (sit for four hours)-Providence thing over Christmas and it was really bad. Asking a guy to fly an ILS to minimums after a night like that is crazy....but that's the way it is. Sometimes you have min rest for several days in a row and the fatigue really adds up. Another thing that ticks me off is you are in legal rest 15 minutes after you block in. That's crap.....legal rest shouldn't start until you get to the hotel. E-mail me if you want more....DE727UPS@hotmail.com
 

chperplt

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Let's see...

Today is day one of 3 after 4 days off..

0330 wake up, 0400 departure for a 0500 show. 7 legs in a non autopilot equipped airplane going into small and large airports in the northeast. Today the weather was good, and aside from a short groundstop into BOS for a security breech, everything went smoothly. Last leg arrived at the base at 1400, and I arrived home at 1500.

Same thing is repeated for the next two days. Generally tomorrow will be the toughest day as last nights 3 hours of sleep combined with today's early wake-up, will make tomorrows wake-up difficult. If I don't fall asleep this afternoon I may be ok..
 

TurboS7

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You know the diffrence between a good FE and a good dog,,,, the dog sleeps under the table. That's for Browntail and I am sure he has heard it a hundred times.
 

LR25

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Yea, I was flying one time and the controllers gave us a bad descent, well the FE was sleeping with his feet propted up, chair stretched out as the Capt. deployed the inboard reversers
(DC-8) and the FE sprung into action as the airplane was buffeting (alot) and as soon as he saw the handles up, he calmly put his feet back up and closed his eyes.

I about busted a gut. I guess he was thinking the airplane was coming apart until he saw the TR handles up, and then everything was OK.

LR25
 

bertengineer

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FE on C-130

There have been times when I, the FE, have been the only one awake monitoring the autopliot from Okinawa to Hawaii, or some trip like that. I appreciate all of the info you all have given me. I think it is a good start.
As a member of the USMC, I have to ask "What kind of jobs are available to a PFE with a Comm SE and ME Inst rating. I only have 350 hrs, but I am working on the CFI rating. Personally, I think I will only be able to get into the commuters, not that I don't mind that in any way, but what are the chances of a PFE on 727's?:confused: Rick
 

chperplt

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Continuation from above....Days 2 and 3

Were to begin... Day two started with a 0300 wake up and 0330 departure for the airport. 0430 arrival at the airport to find no airplane. Get in a taxi, DH to another podunk airport and hop in the back of that flight to DH to BOS. It's not 0730. Wait in BOS until 1030 for an airplane to arrive and leave for our first round trip an hour late. Fly the round trip back to BOS and then hurry up and head back out for the last leg before crew change..

Today... another 0300 wake up with the same drive to that podunk airport to get in the back again to DH back to BOS where an airplane is supposedly waiting for us again. Get to BOS at 0730 and first round trip in scrubbed because no airplane. Airplane shows up and the weather goes down. Weather up in Maine for most of the day was hovering between 1/4 and 1/2.. Next round trip comes due and is CX due to weather.. 3 more hours to sit on my already sore as@ until the next trip. 3 hours go by and it's time to go. The release shows the weather is up to 1/2 FG OVR 100.. I think cool, we get to go fly.. The weather in the region is overall crap, so I call the AWOS and sure enough, it's down to 1/4 again.. Trip is CX.. But wait.. Dispatch wants us to do another trip. We get the wx and it's 1/2 FG VV100.. We launch with 10 people for what should be a quick flight to the cape.. We get there and the rvr is at 2000.. The winds on the ground were being reported as 250@12G22.. Not to bad since we're on the ILS 24. I start to wonder when I'm actually going to see those winds, since I'm holding about a 180 heading to maintain the loc.. Still holding the 180 correction till about 300 feet when the loc starts to go bye bye.. 200 feet we see nothing but white clouds and it's time to go try again... until approach tells us that the rvr had dropped to 500.. we went elsewhere. Back in BOS now and we've been up 15 hours now, on duty 13 or so.. Load up to for the get home leg, and the snow starts coming down. After an hour de-ice delay we start home.. 2 approaches later and we're back at the home base 15 1/2 hours after we started..

The babbling above should show how fatigued I am.. sorry
 
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