Aviation and alcohol

5x puncte

categorie: Astronomie

nota: 10.00

nivel: Liceu

The dangers of drinking and driving are well known, so it is obvious that drinking and flying are also incompatible. Aviation is very unforgiving of mistakes and the complexity of powered flight by far exceeds that of road transport. Subtle errors on the part of an intoxicated pilot are thus potentially far more serious than for the intoxicated driver. "The limited survey data available, and the i[...]
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The dangers of drinking and driving are well known, so it is obvious that drinking and flying are also incompatible. Aviation is very unforgiving of mistakes and the complexity of powered flight by far exceeds that of road transport. Subtle errors on the part of an intoxicated pilot are thus potentially far more serious than for the intoxicated driver. "The limited survey data available, and the indirect indicators of drinking, do not suggest that aircrew are generally heavy drinkers - in spite of occupational and sub-cultural factors, such as work pattern, time away from home, social custom and fatigue, that might be expected to encourage heavy drinking in this group." (Shari Stamford Krause, February 14, 1996)

Pilots have shown impairment in their ability to fly an ILS approach or to fly IFR, and even to perform routine VFR flight tasks while under the influence of alcohol, regardless of individual flying experience. The number of serious errors committed by pilots dramatically increases at or above concentrations of 0.04% blood alcohol. This is not to say that problems don't occur below this value. According to Reinhart (1997), some studies have shown decrements in pilot performance with blood alcohol concentrations as low as the 0.025%. Table 3 shows the various results of impairment, by pilots, over a span of a 6-year study period.

A hangover effect, produced by alcoholic beverages after the acute intoxication has worn off, may be just as dangerous as the intoxication itself. Symptoms commonly associated with a hangover are headache, dizziness, dry mouth, stuffy nose, fatigue, upset stomach, irritability, impaired judgment, and increased sensitivity to bright light. A pilot with these symptoms would certainly not be fit to safely operate an aircraft. In addition, such a pilot could readily be perceived as being "under the influence of alcohol."

Flying, while fun and exciting, is a precise, demanding, and unforgiving endeavor. Any factor that impairs the pilot's ability to perform the required tasks during the operation of an aircraft is an invitation for disaster. The use of alcohol is a significant self-imposed stress factor that should be eliminated from the cockpit. The ability to do so is strictly within the pilot's control. CAR's section AIR 3.11 regulates the use of alcohol and drugs by pilots. Among other provisions, this regulation states that no person may operate or attempt to operate an aircraft:
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