Fatigue Incident Antecedents, Consequences, and Aviation Operational Risk Management Resources.Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2018 Aug 01; 89(8):708-716.AM
Flight crew fatigue is an important factor in aviation, leading organizations to implement fatigue risk management programs to reduce risk. The U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC) has implemented the Aviation Operational Risk Management (AvORM) program to aid mission schedulers and flight crews in mitigating flight risks and identifying appropriate levels of risk. The AvORM program uses a scheduling tool and underpinning biomathematical fatigue model. This study examined self-reported fatigue-related incidents within AMC, which provides some indirect and anecdotal evidence as to the effectiveness of the scheduling tool.
Archival data from the AMC Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) Safety Reporting System was examined. Report content themes were created through an inductive approach in terms of fatigue prevalence, antecedents, and consequences.
Fatigue was estimated as a factor in 4% of the reports. The two most commonly referenced fatigue antecedents were associated with mission/duty length and mission scheduling/planning factors. Factors associated with aircraft operation violations were the most cited consequences of fatigue. Fatigue was almost twice as likely to be reported as a secondary rather than primary contributing factor. Aircrew reported both positive and negative aspects of AvORM resources in mission planning and fatigue mitigation.
Examination of ASAP reports suggests that fatigue is a contributing factor to safety incidents. Although the AvORM program highlights potential flight risks by utilizing a scheduling tool built upon an underlying biomathematical fatigue model, human fatigue continues to impact safety, suggesting an ongoing need for improved fatigue risk management and mitigation.Morris MB, Wiedbusch MD, Gunzelmann G. Fatigue incident antecedents, consequences, and aviation operational risk management resources. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2018; 89(8):708-716.