About 66% of the 542 Indian pilots who participated in a recent poll on fatigue-related “daytime sleepiness” acknowledged to falling asleep in the cockpit without waking up the rest of the crew or having microsleep episodes while at work. An NGO called Safety Matters Foundation conducted a poll to determine how much pilots in India were experiencing daytime sleepiness due to exhaustion. The poll included all pilots from regional, international, and domestic operations.
They utilised the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to determine their level of exhaustion (a set of eight questions to gauge sleepiness that is later used to identify the range of sleepiness).
And the results revealed: – 41% reported experiencing mild afternoon sleepiness.
– 54% of them have severe, uncontrollable daytime drowsiness.
Consequently, 66% of pilots claimed to have slept off accidentally or experienced microsleep in the cockpit.The survey confirmed that pilots are struggling to handle the stress associated with their employment. Fatigue is one of the primary causes ascribed to airline accidents. Timings have increased for the majority of pilots as a result of businesses seeking to work with inadequate workforces.The study indicates that pilots are no longer required to fly 30 hours per week and can now fly back-to-back flights once each week. Because of this, the workforce is under additional stress, which makes them feel more exhausted.
The primary source of weariness, according to the pilots, was repeated morning departures (74%). The study questioned the pilots what time they would wake up if they were to report for a 6 am flight departure, according to the NGO’s founder, Capt. Amit Singh. The majority of the crew said they would awake between 3 and 3:30 in the morning. This suggests that their biological clock is disturbed during the most crucial sleep period.
Circadian misalignment can leave you feeling exhausted and have negative effects on your health. Flying duty at this time period not only reduces the quality of sleep, but it also impairs cognition and compromises flight safety.
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