Air mobility pilots routinely fly multiple missions spanning several time zones, thereby disrupting their circadian rhythm. As a result, they consistently operate at a sub-optimal performance level. After several fatigue-related accidents, the Air Mobility Command (AMC) Safety Office incorporated the Sleep, Activity, Fatigue, and Task Effectiveness (SAFTE) model into its Aviation Operational Risk Management (AvORM) program to inform aircrew members of their fatigue levels during critical phases of flight. Further analysis indicated that aircrew members experience higher fatigue levels than predicted, which directly reduces flight safety. This study seeks to improve the underlying assumptions within the sleep model to more accurately predict aircrew member performance during critical phases of flight, thereby improving the predictive power of the mission effectiveness model within AvORM. This is the first study to collect operational data from the United States Air Force(USAF) C-17 pilot community using actigraph watches, self-report daily logs, and objective aircraft data to determine the relationship between fatigue and pilot mission effectiveness. Additionally, this study provides policy recommendations to enable aircrew, squadron leadership, and mission planners to mitigate some factors contributing to aircrew fatigue.
Amaddio, K. M.,
& Howland, J. P.
(2017). Fatiguing the Force: Using Operational Data to Improve the United States Air Force’s Mission Effectiveness Model. 19th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 154-159.