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Cockpit nappingThe results of a NASA-sponsored study examining the effectiveness of a brief, preplanned cockpit rest period to improve pilot alertness and performance in nonaugmented long-haul flight operations are discussed. Four regularly scheduled trans-Pacific flight legs were studied. The shortest flight legs were about 7 h and the longest about 9.5 h, with duty periods averaging about 11 h and layovers about 25 h. Three-person B747 crews were divided randomly into two volunteer pilot groups. These crews were nonaugmented, and therefore no relief pilots were available. The rest group, consisting of four crews, was allowed a 40 min opportunity to rest during the overwater cruise portion of the flight. On a preplanned, rotating basis, individual crew members were allowed to nap. It is concluded that a preplanned cockpit nap is associated with significantly better behavioral performance and higher levels of physiological alertness and that this can be accomplished without disrupting normal flight operations or compromising safety.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Graeber, R. Curtis (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Rosekind, Mark R. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Connell, Linda J. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Dinges, David F. (Pennsylvania, University Philadelphia, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1990
Publication Information
Publication: ICAO Journal
Volume: 45
ISSN: 0018-8778
Subject Category
Distribution Limits