Navigation Links
WSU researchers apply fatigue model to fatal commuter air crash
Date:1/20/2011

SPOKANE, Wash. Washington State University sleep researchers have determined that the air traffic controller in the crash of a Lexington, Ky., commuter flight was substantially fatigued when he failed to detect that the plane was on the wrong runway and cleared it for takeoff.

Writing in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, the researchers come short of saying his fatigue caused the accident. But they say their findings suggest that mathematical models predicting fatigue could lead to schedules that reduce the risk of accidents by taking advantage of workers' sleep schedules and biological, or circadian, clocks.

In the case of Comair Flight 5191, the air traffic controller was finishing an overnight shift with just two or three hours of sleep the previous afternoon.

"He was tired," says Gregory Belenky, a paper co-author and director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at WSU Spokane, "and he was working a schedule that was not circadian friendly."

The Atlanta-bound Delta Connection flight crashed on takeoff shortly after 6 a.m. on August 27, 2006, killing 49 of the 50 people on board. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded the flight crew failed to detect that the plane was on a general aviation runway half as long as the assigned runway.

Bluegrass Airport's lone air traffic controller had cleared the plane for takeoff. But the WSU researchers stress that they are not fixing blame for the crash on him, nor can they say if his fatigue was the cause of the accident.

"We're identifying times of day that are relatively more dangerous than other times of day," says Lora Wu, a Sleep and Performance Center research assistant and co-author of the paper. "We're not trying to place blame on any of the individuals involved."

The researchers used a mathematical model to analyze the controller's work history, which consisted of two evening shifts, two day shifts and the overnight shift leading up to the accident. They also incorporated his circadian rhythm, which tends to prime the body for sleep based on the cycles of day and night.

While the controller had 10 hours off before his last shift, says Belenky, his circadian cycle let him get only two or three hours of sleep and, as he told the NTSB, it was "not real good." A body needs closer to eight hours of sleep, says Belenky, to get the brain "back to spec."

As a result, the researchers estimate the controller was performing at 71 percent of his effectiveness at the time of the accident. They lacked the data to make similar estimates for the flight captain and first officer, but note their behavior suggests they were fatigued. This includes boarding and powering up the wrong aircraft at first and doing an incomplete pre-flight briefing.

The challenge of safer, sleep-friendly scheduling extends to all manner of 24/7 operations, including hospitals, policing, the military, mining and energy generation. Currently, says Belenky, operators use rule-based schedules for staffing. But research suggests that real-time data collection might lead the way to more flexible schedules "based on how much sleep people have actually attained, not on your best guess on how much they were likely to have gotten."


'/>"/>

Contact: Gregory Belenky
belenky@wsu.edu
509-358-7738
Washington State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
2. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
3. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
4. Researchers Who Discovered First Genes for Stuttering will Present Findings to the National Stuttering Association
5. Researchers create drug to keep tumor growth switched off
6. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
7. GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
8. Clemson researchers develop hands-free texting application
9. Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer
10. Researchers chart genomic map spanning over 2 dozen cancers
11. Researchers discover second protective role for tumor-suppressor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to ... to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the ... teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, ... the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA ... the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, a ... health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture through an agreement, ... been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s ... the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. ... Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... In the United States, single-family ... some states—like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, and California—the average ... extremely low property-tax rates, which contributes to the relatively lower cost of living ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May ... battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary ... a clinical solution to support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... South Korea , Oct. 4, 2017  South ... its next-generation CPR training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The ... chest compression during cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared ... It also offers real-time feedback on efficacy of the ... The crowdfunding campaign has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... the third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, ... that day with the investment community and media to ... conference call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. ... live webcast of the conference call through a link ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: