Sleep Researchers confirm: Pilot Fatigue is in the Cockpit


Airline Pilots are among the transport workers that are most exposed to fatigue during their work, with one in five pilots (20%) admitting that they made a serious error due to the effects of fatigue.

This is the conclusion of a poll among transport professionals carried out by the US National Sleep Foundation (NSF), in early 2012.  About one-fourth of pilots (23%) report that sleepiness has affected their job performance at least once a week, and over one-third of them (37%) report that their current work schedule does not allow adequate time for sleep. Only 6% of pilots say they work the same work schedule each day, compared to 76% of non-transportation workers.

These NSF results confirm numerous surveys carried out among pilots in Europe. For example polls in 3 Scandinavian countries (in 2010-11) show that 71%-90% of pilots said they made errors due to fatigue, with 50-54% saying they dozed off in the cockpit without agreeing this with their colleague. A similar poll in Germany (Oct. 2011) shows that 93% of the pilots surveyed admit to having made an error due to fatigue, and 14% reported to have been involved in an incident or near-incident where one of the pilots in the cockpit had been fatigued.

More information on the NSF:

More information on EU pilot fatigue surveys:

Short report on pilot fatigue – interesting :