Part 3: Listening comprehension

Part 3: Listening comprehension

Listen to this report about the causes of fatigue in aviation and then answer these questions:

  1. Use these words and expression to complete this paragraph, based on what you have heard in the recording:
    • rest – shared – sleep – rosters – work – advantage – tired – fatigue – sure
    • Managing _____________ is a ____________ responsibility. Organisations must ensure that ____________ allow their employees to get enough _____________ as well as to do their typical, every day activities. Air crew must make _________ that they take ___________ of _________ days and should avoid activities which are likely to make them too ___________ to perform their duties effectively before starting ___________.
  2. What are the three main causes of fatigue?
  3. What is “sleep debt”?
  4. If a pilot thinks he or she may be fatigued, what should he / she eat and what should he / she not eat?
  5. What three things mentioned could make fatigue worse?
  6. What “salvage technique” might a pilot try?
  7. Ultimately, the only real solution to fatigue is what?
  8. If a pilot thinks he or she is suffering from a significant level of fatigue, what should he / she do?

Transcript

Fatigue is a complex problem and a simple rules based system is not enough to address fatigue risks. Managing fatigue is a shared responsibility. Organisations need to ensure that rosters allow individuals to not only get enough sleep but also carry out those activities of life that we all need to undertake. From the individual’s point of view, they need to ensure that they take advantage of those opportunities to get enough rest and don’t undertake activities prior to duty that put them at risk of fatigue developing.

Fatigue is caused by three things. The most important factor is the amount of sleep you’ve had the night before. That’s the number one determinant. The next thing is the amount of sleep you’ve had in the past 48 – 72 hours. We all have a pre-programmed amount of sleep that we need to have. Generally, it’s between six and eight hours. And if we don’t get that pre-programmed amount of sleep, we build up what is called a “sleep debt”. That can really build up cumulatively over an amount of time. And the third factor that affects the level of fatigue at any given time is the time of day. We’ve all got a circadian rhythm and that’s something that we’re really pre-programed with. We are diurnal animals, we’re not nocturnal, we’re not supposed to be working at night.

If a pilot believes that he may be fatigued, it’s important to make sure that all the other issues are addressed. For example, it’s important to make sure that you are very well hydrated and not suffering from the ill effects of dehydration. It’s also important to make sure that you’ve taken good nourishment and have a well-balanced diet. Generally, a light diet is appropriate for someone who is suffering from fatigue, nothing too heavy in terms of carbohydrates and proteins. It’s also important to make sure that there are no other issues at play, for example any medication that you might be taking, any illnesses or the effects of alcohol. Lastly, we start looking at salvage type techniques, for example the strategic use of caffeine has got some evidence that it can improve performance. But other than that, the only real cure for fatigue is to get some sleep. If a pilot is suffering from a significant level of fatigue they should declare themselves unfit to fly.

Radiotelephony exercise

Listen to this RT exchange, then complete the pilot’s part of the dialogue

PIL: ______________ approaching ATVAR, altitude ___________ , QNH ____________

PIL: FEZ on _________, ___________

PIL: FEZ from ____________, Cessna ________ inbound to your field with information ________ , ________________ ATVAR at ____________ QNH _________ .

PIL: __________ of Fez _________ ____________ city and join __________ hand downwind, _________________ .

PIL: Sorry it looks like we got confused. We are currently __________ of Fez with the airport _____ _____________ , ____________

PIL: _________ hand base runway ______ , ______________ .

PIL: EC-DSY approaching ATVAR, altitude 4500ft QNH 1031

ATC: EC-DSY contact FEZ on 118.60

PIL: FEZ on 118.6 EC-DSY

PIL: FEZ from EC-DSY, Cessna 182 inbound to your field with information Echo, overhead ATVAR at 4500ft QNH 1031

ATC: EC-DSY stay to the west of Fez, do not overfly the city and join right hand downwind runway 27

PIL: West of Fez not over city and join right hand downwind, EC-DSY

ATC: EC-DSY, I don’t see you joining right hand downwind runway 27, please confirm position

PIL: Sorry it looks like we got confused. We are currently east of Fez with the airport in sight EC-DSY

ATC: EC-DSY, not a problem, join right hand base runway 27

PIL: Right hand base runway 27 EC-DSY