Stress, Fatigue, Alcohol, and Drugs - ATP Flight School Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Stress, Fatigue, Alcohol, and Drugs - ATP Flight School Deck (21)
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What is stress?

The body's response to physical and psychological demands placed upon it.


What is acute stress?

Stress caused by an immediate threat that is perceived as danger. Triggers the "fight or flight" response. Normal, healthy individuals can cope with acute stresses.


What is chronic stress?

Ongoing level of stress that exceeds the individual's ability to cope. Often caused by psychological pressures like loneliness, financial worries, relationship problems. Performance falls off rapidly.


What should pilots suffering from chronic stress do?

Do not fly. Consult a physician or psychologist for help in treating stress.


What are some effects of fatigue?

Degraded attention/concentration, impaired coordination, decreased communication ability, slight timing errors when completing complex tasks, neglecting movements/objects in the peripheral vision.


What is acute fatigue?

The kind of tiredness people feel after strenuous effort, excitement, or lack of sleep. Short-term, normal occurrence.


How can pilots avoid acute fatigue?

Eat a proper diet. Get adequate rest and sleep (8 hours per night). Avoid flying without a full night's rest or after an especially exhausting/stressful day.


What is chronic fatigue?

A long-term fatigue state caused by continuous high stress levels. Usually psychological in nature, but someimes caused by an underlying disease. Not relieved by proper diet or adequate sleep.


What are some symptoms of chronic fatigue?

Weakness, tiredness, breathlessness, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, gastrointestinal discomfort, aches/pains.


How can pilots treat chronic fatigue?

Consult a physician or psychologist.


What are some effects of alcohol consumption that can negatively affect flight safety?

Impaired judgment, decreased sense of responsibility, lowered coordination, constricted visual field, diminished memory, reduced reasoning power, lowered attention span


What type of drug is ethyl alcohol?

A central nervous system depressant. Acts on the body much like a small dose of a general anesthetic.


How long does it take the body to eliminate the alcohol from one drink?

About 3 hours, depending on the individual.


How does altitude affect the way the brain is affected by alcohol?

Effects of alcohol are more pronounced at higher altitudes, e.g. 2 drinks at altitude may feel like 3 or 4 drinks on the ground. Alcohol causes histotoxic hypoxia, and when that's combined with hypoxic hypoxia from lower air pressure, effects are compounded.


What do the regulations require re: alcohol and flying?

No flying within 8 hours of consuming alcohol, with BAC of 0.04 percent or higher, or under the influence of alcohol. (Having a hangover means you are still under the influence!)


What do the regulations require re: using drugs and flying?

No flying while using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety.


Why do pilots need to be cautious about using medication while flying, even if the primary effect of the drug isn't something that would make flying dangerous?

Side effects can impair flight-critical functions too. Also, the underlying medical condition that the drug is treating may be unsafe to fly with.


Is it safe to fly while using painkillers?

Depends on the painkiller. Over-the-counter analgesics like acetaminophen or ibuprofen are usually fine. Prescription drugs like codeine, oxycodone (or other opiates) are almost always unsafe. Also, consider what could happen if the painkiller wears off and the pain returns in flight.


Is it safe to fly while using stimulants?

Depends on the stimulant. Mild, legal ones like caffeine or nicotine can reduce fatigue and promote alertness. Stronger ones (or overdoses of mild ones) can cause anxiety and mood swings.


Is it safe to fly while using depressants?

Generally, no. They reduce mental processing and slow reaction times - not a good mix with flying.


What are some (legal) depressant drugs that pilots should avoid if flying?

Alcohol, motion sickness medication, many antihistamines/decongestants.