Analysis of different phases of a commercial flight using radio call response times, workload, situation awareness and fatigue ratings

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Diken, Ahmed Faruk
University of Iowa
Aviation; Fatigue; Human Factors; Response Times; Situation Awareness; Workload; Industrial Engineering
thesis / dissertation description
Pilots are subject to varying levels of stress, workload, and fatigue during long flights. During different phases of a commercial flight, pilots are engaged in multiple tasks which include going through checklists, checking conditions at their destination, communicating with Air Traffic Control and dealing with other flight related tasks. The amount of work varies from the earlier stages until the end of the flight. It is not well understood how changes in the amount of workload can affect a pilot's ability to engage with important tasks that relate to safety of flight. The work shown in this thesis focused on the level of engagement displayed by flight crew as a function of level of workload. The principal hypothesis was that very low levels of workload may lead to crew disengagement and sub-optimal levels of performance. The degree to which pilots remain alert and are fatigued during a commercial flight is also not established in a concrete way.