Aircraft and transport: almost 90% of the pilots confessed to suffer of extreme sleepiness

Rome, Italy – The second day of “ANPAC Safety Day” emerged it

(WAPA) – “Almost 90% of aircraft pilots sustained to suffer of extreme sleepiness. It emerged at the second day of the ‘ANPAC Safety Day’ promoted by Italian Pilots Association (Anpac) at Rome-Fiumicino airport with the collaboration of the Fondazione per la ricerca e la cura dei disturbi del sonno Onlus, to increase the air transport safey and to analyze the risks connected to the Pilot fatigue. Experts and delegates of the civil and military aviation took part at the conference.

The scientific director of the Foundation, Prof. Francesco Peverini reminded that ‘70% of the pilots confessed errors in the cabin for the excessive tiredness and that almost nine out of ten have recognized to nod off in the cockpit without to warn the colleague, because night-work, to suffer long activity shifts and the jet lag cause excessive and indirect somnolence, with fall asleep suddenly, and to have a less and short attention and wakefulness span’.

The expert underlined that ‘The Pilot fatigue is a reality in Europe. The pilot’s tiredness contributes for 15/20% of the fatal flight accident caused from the human factor and the scientists have informed that the effects of serious weariness in the cockpit are comparable to those provoked by the alchool. Don’t sleep for 24 hours is the same as to drink a litre of wine without food’.

He highlights that ‘The highly intensive nature of air transport is able to generate elevated levels of fatigue provoked from deprivation of sleep, acute or chronic, expressed during the work in the cockpit. Crews at medium and long range are susceptible of an increase of sleepiness and of reduced performance during the flight. The improper management of the ‘Fatigue’ of a crew, that compromises the competence to take the best decisions in a specific moment, can seriously reduce the performance, the speed and the safety of a complex operating context as that of the flight’.

Among the causes of the ‘Fatigue’ there is the sleepiness generated from the nocturnal respiratory aches, much more important of that regarding the acute stress. And the OSAS is the most significant. More in general, the Prof. Francesco Peverini reminded that ‘At least two million of Italians are affected from it, with the fatal and unexpected fall asleep at the wheel. But only 5% knows to have such syndrome, a nocturnal respiratory ache characterized from frequent sleep apnoea (blocking of air flow), able to determine diurnal sleepiness, heart-lung troubles and to activate many other hazardous diseases’.

This pathology produces social and health costs for EUR 6 bn per year at least, besides to grievous losses of human lives and about 120,000 wounded per year for road accidents and during the job”. (Avionews)

(World Aeronautical Press Agency – 2014-05-15 01:14 pm)

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