Relationship between Brazilian airline pilot errors and time of day

Relationship between Brazilian airline pilot errors and time of day

Author Mello, Marco Tulio de Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Esteves, Andrea Maculano Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Pires, Maria Laura Nogueira Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Santos, Deborah Cristina dos Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Bittencourt, Lia Rita Azeredo Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Santos-Silva, Rogerio Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Tufik, Sergio Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Institution Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Abstract Flight safety is one of the most important and frequently discussed issues in aviation. Recent accident inquiries have raised questions as to how the work of flight crews is organized and the extent to which these conditions may have been contributing factors to accidents. Fatigue is based on physiologic limitations, which are reflected in performance deficits. The purpose of the present study was to provide an analysis of the periods of the day in which pilots working for a commercial airline presented major errors. Errors made by 515 captains and 472 copilots were analyzed using data from flight operation quality assurance systems. To analyze the times of day (shifts) during which incidents occurred, we divided the light-dark cycle (24:00) in four periods: morning, afternoon, night, and early morning. The differences of risk during the day were reported as the ratio of morning to afternoon, morning to night and morning to early morning error rates. For the purposes of this research, level 3 events alone were taken into account, since these were the most serious in which company operational limits were exceeded or when established procedures were not followed. According to airline flight schedules, 35% of flights take place in the morning period, 32% in the afternoon, 26% at night, and 7% in the early morning. Data showed that the risk of errors increased by almost 50% in the early morning relative to the morning period (ratio of 1:1.46). For the period of the afternoon, the ratio was 1:1.04 and for the night a ratio of 1:1.05 was found. These results showed that the period of the early morning represented a greater risk of attention problems and fatigue.
Keywords Airline pilot errors
Circadian rhythm
Language English
Date 2008-12-01
Published in Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica, v. 41, n. 12, p. 1129-1131, 2008.
ISSN 0100-879X (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica
Extent 1129-1131
Access rights Open access Open Access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000262580300014
SciELO ID S0100-879X2008001200014 (statistics in SciELO)

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