Jennifer Zaslona

Doctor of Philosophy
Study Completed: 2017
College of Health


Thesis Title
In-Flight Sleep as a Pilot Fatigue Mitigation on Long Range and Ultra-Long Range Flights

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Long range flights operate around the clock and often involve long duty periods and time zone changes. To mitigate the effects of fatigue, pilots are provided with in-flight sleep opportunities. Ms Zaslona's research used a mixed methods approach. She investigated in-flight sleep on a specific route and analysed combined questionnaire data from five studies to provide an overview of pilots' sleep at home and in flight. She then analysed pilots' comments about in-flight sleep and fatigue mitigation strategies across different flights. Overall, her findings demonstrated that in-flight sleep is an effective and well-utilised fatigue mitigation strategy. In-flight sleep is generally of poorer quality than sleep on the ground and can be affected by flight characteristics including flight direction, timing, and break patterns. Supplemental fatigue mitigation strategies such as flight preparation techniques are also used. However, in-flight sleep remains the primary recommended fatigue mitigation strategy for pilots on long range flights.

Professor Philippa Gander
Associate Professor Leigh Signal
Dr Karyn O'Keeffe

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