Pilot Fatigue: A Problem Not Easily Conquered

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Running Head: PILOT FATIGUE: A PROBLEM NOT EASILY CONQUERED Pilot Fatigue: A Problem Not Easily Conquered Marshall E Wright Liberty University - AVIA 300 Abstract Pilot fatigue is a major headline issue in the United States. There has been much research and study on fatigue as it relates to the human body. Unfortunately, little has been done in terms of regulations to fix the problem. Pilot Fatigue: A Problem Not Easily Conquered In the last fifty years, every area of aviation has been examined through the safety microscope. The industry successfully made changes that has made airplanes much safer. Specifically, cockpit interaction has been the focus of aviation safety over the last twenty years. How pilots react to the airplane and each other came under great scrutiny. Crew Resource Management (CRM) was just one of the many results. However, one area continues to looms over aviation safety like a dark cloud: Pilot fatigue. It does not matter how advanced aviation technology becomes or whether pilots get along; if the pilots is asleep at the wheel, the aircraft and the people on board are in grave danger. For as long as the pilot fatigue problem is left unresolved, aviation safety will be compromised. The first regulation of pilot fatigue was released in the 1930's. The Air Commerce Act which was amended in 1934 dealt with the area of pilot fatigue by instituting flight hour limit regulations. This regulation limited the pilot to flying 1000 hours a year; 100 hours per month; 30 hours in a seven day period; eight hours in a 24 hour period; and 24 hours of rest for every seven day period. Essentially, these are the same rules that are in place today. This was the first time that pilot fatigue was addressed in the form of regulations for preventive measure purposes. But more importantly is that the accident rate experienced a 50% decrease as

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