NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Crew factors in flight operations. Part 3: The operational significance of exposure to short-haul air transport operationsExcessive flightcrew fatigue has potentially serious safety consequences. Laboratory studies have implicated fatigue as a causal factor associated with varying levels of performance deterioration depending on the amount of fatigue and the type of measure utilized in assessing performance. These studies have been of limited utility because of the difficulty of relating laboratory task performance to the demands associated with the operation of a complex aircraft. The performance of 20 volunteer twin-jet transport crews is examined in a full-mission simulator scenario that included most aspects of an actual line operation. The scenario included both routine flight operations and an unexpected mechanical abnormality which resulted in a high level of crew workload. Half of the crews flew the simulation within two to three hours after completing a three-day, high-density, short-haul duty cycle (Post-Duty condition). The other half flew the scenario after a minimum of three days off duty (Pre-Duty) condition). The results revealed that, not surprisingly, Post-Duty crews were significantly more fatigued than Pre-Duty crews. However, a somewhat counter-intuitive pattern of results emerged on the crew performancemeasures. In general, the performance of Post-Duty crews was significantly better than that of Pre-Duty crews, as rated by an expert observer on a number of dimensions relevant to flight safety. Analyses of the flightcrew communication patterns revealed that Post-Duty crews communicated significantly more overall, suggesting, as has previous research, that communication is a good predictor of overall crew performance.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Foushee, H. C.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Lauber, J. K.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Baetge, M. M.
(Informatics General Corp. Palo Alto, Calif., United States)
Acomb, D. B.
(San Jose State Univ. Calif., United States)
Date Acquired
September 5, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 1986
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:88322
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 505-67-41
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available