New Mil-Web Program Tackles Fatigue-Related Aviation Accidents | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 10.01.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 10.01.14 **
** Airborne 09.29.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 09.29.14 **
** Airborne 09.26.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 09.26.14 **

Sun, May 24, 2009

New Mil-Web Program Tackles Fatigue-Related Aviation Accidents

"FlyAwake" Produced By Air National Guard

A new Web-based program is helping military pilots and aircrews "FlyAwake," thanks to the combined efforts of the District of Columbia Air National Guard's 201st Airlift Squadron and the National Guard Bureau. "We were noticing the number of fatigue-related mishaps were quite high, and we needed to do something about it," said Air Force Capt. Lynn Lee. "So we took a look at what was out there, and the 201st Airlift Squadron's fatigue modeling program seemed to have the answer."

Lee is a flight safety officer with the Air National Guard Safety Directorate at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The 201st Airlift Squadron based there provides short-notice worldwide air transportation for the executive branch, congressional members, Defense Department officials and high-ranking U.S. and foreign dignitaries.

In both military and commercial viation, Lee said, pilots and other aircrew members are required to have specific rest periods prior to flying. This can be challenging for aircrew members who transit many time zones or attempt to sleep in less-than-restful environments.

Research has shown that as fatigue goes up, cognitive effectiveness goes down, and the risk of an accident increases exponentially. "We want to stop that before it even gets to the pilots," she said. "So we're backing it up to the mission planning stage."

Air Force and Navy accident investigations have used fatigue modeling for some time to determine if fatigue was a factor, she noted. The new Web-based program gives squadron commanders and mission schedulers easy access and quick responses. In 2007, a safety idea from the 201st Airlift Squadron's commander, Air Force Col. Gary Akins, led to creation of a proactive fatigue modeling program to allow identification and mitigation of high-risk fatigue areas prior to mission departure. Walter Reed Army Research Institute had developed a set of algorithms, Lee said, which are extremely accurate in predicting fatigue, given an individual's sleep and work history.

To mitigate a projected fatigue risk, the 201st Airlift Squadron would add a crew member or shift take-off or landing times if possible, she added, and would design nap rotations to minimize fatigue at the critical events during the flight.

"The program was shown [to be] very successful at the 201st, ... [and] we used it for about six months," Lee said. "At that point, Lt. Col. Ed Vaughan, our previous Air National Guard chief of flight safety, spearheaded bringing it to the rest of the Guard."

In 2008, the Defense Safety Oversight Council funded joint-service implementation of the program, under the name "FlyAwake." Feedback on the test site from flight surgeons, physiologists, schedulers and pilots is being incorporated into the release next month of "FlyAwake 2.0." The new version also will include a new intelligent sleep model based on crew surveys, technical studies and other data, Lee said.

A variation of FlyAwake, dubbed WorkAwake, also has the potential to help thousands of Defense Department shift workers, Lee said. This shift-work analyzer would provide commanders with actionable intelligence to help in designing schedules more effectively. As much potential benefit as the FlyAwake program holds, there's no push to make it mandatory, Lee said.

"Eventually, tools like this will become part of the safety culture of the flying community," she said. "The first step is to get buy-in at all levels and demonstrate the program's efficacy.

"Our feeling," she continued, " ... is if we come up with a good product that helps the war fighter, it will get used."

FMI: http://flyawake.org/

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 10.01.14: Sierra Nevada v NASA, A-29 Goes To Work, Be-200 Rebirth?

Also: PPC Bird's Eye View, Spitfires Return?, Cessna Sued Over 1981 Accident, Santa Monica Sues Pilot's Estate, Phase 1 Flight Testing Update Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has fi>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (10.02.14)

This site is intended to be a meeting place for those who rescue, shelter or foster animals, and volunteer pilots and plane owners willing to assist with the transportation of anim>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (10.02.14): Forward Flank Downdraft

The main region of downdraft in the forward, or leading, part of a supercell, where most of the heavy precipitation is located.>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (10.02.14)

“I have something to tell you. But from now on you have to be really nice to me.” Source: Marsha Fulton of Covington, IN.>[...]

ANN FAQ: You Can Sponsor ANN And/Or Aero-TV!

Help ANN Grow So That We Can Be Of Greater Service To You! For the better part of a dozen years, ANN has set the pace for the growing and evolving aero-info revolution. No other ne>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC