Airline Crew Fatigue An Airline Term Paper

Length: 9 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Transportation Type: Term Paper Paper: #85694001 Related Topics: Sleep Deprivation, Nasa, Aviation Security, Aviation
Excerpt from Term Paper :

While the industry appears to be heading to a less prescriptive approach to fatigue management there is still a place for traditional regulations that limit the number of hours worked vs. The new thoughts of "comprehensive plans" that help identify fatigue and mitigate risks. It is possible that a flight attendant error, due to fatigue, could possibly result in the death or serious injury to some of our passengers. (Battelle,1998)

Therefore, it is crucial that we be just as concerned with flight attendant fatigue as pilot and mechanic fatigue if we hope to achieve the aviation goal of preventing accidents and saving lives.

The Acme Air Planned Solutions

Acme's first step was to gather crew input. Categories of the changes recommended by crews and adopted by Acme Air to reduce fatigue include:



Rest Eliminate scheduled reduced rest

Eliminate reduced rest

Longer rest periods

Shorter duty Shorter duty days

Limit number of duty hours allowed

CDOs Eliminate CDOs

No consecutive CDOs

Fewer legs Schedule fewer flight legs

Limit number of flight legs

Consistent scheduling Schedule for days or nights, no alternating

Do not mix CDOs & morning report times

Minimize multiple scheduling changes

Breaks Schedule turnaround times to allow for break/meal/bathroom

Do not schedule long (several hour) breaks between flights

Food/bev Provide food and beverage on flight

Schedule enough time between flight legs for meals

Transport/rest Start rest period upon arrival at hotel (do not count transport)

Reserve Consider time on reserve as duty time

Shorter reserve periods (limit to either a.m. Or p.m.)

Acme Air's plan started with the finding that fatigue can be prevented by individuals taking preemptive measures. First, it formally identified the problem in a company directive:

"Symptoms of fatigue include a feeling of indifference to one's performance, increased reaction time, a decreased ability to concentrate on multiple tasks, fixation, short-term memory loss, impaired judgment, impaired decision-making ability, distractibility, sloppy flying skills, reduced visual perception, loss of initiative, personality changes and depression." (Company literature, 2010)

Acme issued this further directive to all personnel: "Pilots take great pride in their skills and abilities, yet they let their performance degrade needlessly due to fatigue. It is in their hands to take the necessary steps to remain safe and alert, even when the government and their employers are allowing them to work irrational and dangerous schedules. Planning to get enough sleep before a trip is the most obvious step. Using earplugs and eye masks can help in this endeavor.

"Another step would be to eat properly. Everyone should exercise often, but remember to do so well before the start of a trip. This will make the pilot healthier and more alert. Pilots...


They can wear noise-reducing headsets if the cockpit is loud.

"Finally, all crew personnel must stay home when they are ill, for their own sake and for their fellow crew members."

The company's literature was amended to state that fatigue was closely interrelated to other problems in that it can be a symptom of them, or it can be the cause. The most obvious cause of fatigue would be a lack of sleep, but other factors would include stress, anxiety and poor health. It can also be a cause of these problems. Furthermore, fatigue can be the symptom of other problems such as hypoxia and dehydration.

Next, Acme Air formally redefined the scheduled "rest period." Under current FAA guidelines, flight attendants must be allowed nine hours of "rest" between flights. Under certain conditions, such as a longer rest period of 10 hours after the second flight, that initial time can be cut to eight hours.

Added to that is the actual amount of rest that a flight attendant gets between flights when one adds in the time needed to clear the airport, travel to a hotel, eat, prepare for the next day's flight, then try to get to sleep in a strange city while plagued by jetlag. These other activities no longer count as rest at Acme Air, for pilots and attendants.

The management found that lack of sleep can cause the flight attendants to be slow to respond to emergencies in the cabin as well as be less sensitive to potentially dangers conditions, such as the ever growing problem of cabin rage. "And with the increased need for security, there is an ever greater need for awareness of security situational integrity of the cabin," read the company directive.

Lastly, management changed the company's sick leave policy to "unlimited days." It became no longer financially disadvantageous for crew members to report their malady. Antihistamines help by alleviating the symptoms of illness but by their nature they also increase fatigue. Regardless, making these people work does their fellow crew members a disfavor by exposing them to their illness and further increasing the possibility of an operational error due to fatigue.

Management then agreed to revisit the issue with more decisions in 18 months.


Battelle Memorial Institute. (1998) A Review of Issues Concerning Duty Period Limitations,

Flight Time Limitations, and Rest Requirements. Federal Aviation Administration (AAR-100). Washington, D.C.

Caldwell, J.A. (1997) Fatigue in the Aviation Environment: An Overview of the Causes and Effects As Well As Recommended Countermeasures, Aviat Space and Environ Med 1997, 68:932-8.

Co, E.L., Gregory, K.B., Johnson, J.M., and Rosekind, M.R., Crew Factors in Flight Operation

XI: A Survey of Fatigue Factors in Regional Airline Operations (1999) NASA

Colquhoun, P. (1976). Psychological and Psycho physiological Aspects of Work and Fatigue

Activitas Nervosa Superior, 18, 257-263.

Commercial Aviation. NASA Tech Memorandum 110404. Moffett Field, CA: NASA Ames

Research Center.

Nelms, D.W., Flight Attendant Fatigue Study; Overnight News Service (May 22, 2009)

Reinhart, Richard O. Basic Flight Physiology. Blue Ridge Summit: TAB Books, 1992.

Rosenthal, L. et al. (1991)…

Sources Used in Documents:


Battelle Memorial Institute. (1998) A Review of Issues Concerning Duty Period Limitations,

Flight Time Limitations, and Rest Requirements. Federal Aviation Administration (AAR-100). Washington, D.C.

Caldwell, J.A. (1997) Fatigue in the Aviation Environment: An Overview of the Causes and Effects As Well As Recommended Countermeasures, Aviat Space and Environ Med 1997, 68:932-8.

Co, E.L., Gregory, K.B., Johnson, J.M., and Rosekind, M.R., Crew Factors in Flight Operation

Cite this Document:

"Airline Crew Fatigue An Airline" (2010, March 27) Retrieved June 30, 2022, from

"Airline Crew Fatigue An Airline" 27 March 2010. Web.30 June. 2022. <>

"Airline Crew Fatigue An Airline", 27 March 2010, Accessed.30 June. 2022,

Related Documents
Crew Resource Management Over the
Words: 3336 Length: 12 Pages Topic: Transportation Paper #: 49865214

(Kanki, 2010, pp. 452-460) ("Air Crew Training Manual," 2007) In 2006, the guidelines were revised even further with the introduction of Air Crew Coordination Training Enhanced (ACT-E). Under this approach all aviators are given this kind of training from the start of the program. Once they are assigned to a squadron, is when they will have this training further augmented. The way that this takes place, they will have an

Fatigue Management in Aviation Many Documented Incidents
Words: 1604 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Transportation Paper #: 48656662

Fatigue Management in Aviation Many documented incidents can be linked to pilot fatigue. A case in kind occurred on August 18, 1993, where a Connie Kalitta DC-8 crashed whilst completing its 1/4-mile base leg. The flight crew had flown for 9 hours and been on duty for 18 hours, accordingly disrupting their circadian rhythm and experiencing sleep loss (National Transportation Safety Board, 1993). Showing how fatigue was determined to be a contributing

Chronic Fatigue
Words: 5257 Length: 17 Pages Topic: Physics Paper #: 64165288

Chronic Fatigue in the Aviation Industry Chronic Fatigue Fatigue is the mental and/or physical state of being weak and tired. Mental and physical fatigue is different, but the two will often exist together. A person becomes mentally tired if they are physically exhausted for a long period. A person being unable to function physically at their normal levels manifests physical fatigue Jackson & Earl, 2006. Mental fatigue will manifest itself by a sleepy

Flight Attendant Fatigue and Working
Words: 3969 Length: 15 Pages Topic: Transportation Paper #: 8062076

The "fatigue summit " was held in 2005 and hosted by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, representing flight attendants at American Airlines, and Transport Workers Union Local 556, representing flight attendants at Southwest Airlines. The meeting was held at American Association of Flight Attendants-CWA headquarters outside Dallas. (Flight Attendants Hold Summit on Job Fatigue, Hours) One of the central issues on the table was a critique of the Federal Aviation

Pacific Southwest Airlines PSA Flight
Words: 3262 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Transportation Paper #: 73454523

Hans Wendt, a staff photographer with the San Diego County's public relations office, who was covering an outdoor press event in North Park at the time of the accident, took two dramatic post collision still color photographs of the falling Boeing-727 trailing blue-and-white smoke streaking from its right wing while plunging towards the ground. They appeared in several publications around the world including the cover of Time magazine. Another television

Crew Resource Management CRM Is
Words: 2748 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Transportation Paper #: 55133236

The study made a comparison of the performance of the crew in two types of equipment.CRM failures were note to lead to a general increase in the number of mishaps (56% due to CRM failure). Discussion The development of Crew Resource Management came as response to the new revelations on the causes of aircraft accidents that followed the introduction of flight and cockpit voice recorders into the modern aircraft jets. Information