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July 22, 2002  

Jonas Diño/Veronika Soukhovitskaya                                                

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.   

Phone:  650/604-5612/650/604-0444 or 604-9000

jdino@mail.arc.nasa.gov or vsoukhovitskaya@mail.arc.nasa.gov

RELEASE: 02-84AR                                  

NASA’S INTERACTIVE TRAINING TOOL MAKES GENERAL AVIATION SAFER

A unique and revolutionary aviation training tool, available to everyone on the Internet, is making general aviation safer than ever by helping pilots manage fatigue. 

The interactive, online General Aviation Education and Training Module provides information for general aviation pilots about how to manage ‘alertness’ issues during flight operations. The Fatigue Countermeasures Group at NASA Ames Research Center, in California’s Silicon Valley, created the module to mitigate incidents and accidents due to fatigue. Dr. Melissa Mallis of NASA Ames is the project’s principal investigator.

“This easy-to-use, hands-on module is designed for people in complex environments, facing challenging schedules, yet seeking to enhance safety,” said Ray Oyung, a senior research associate in Ames’ Information Sciences and Technology Directorate.

The primary audiences for this online training are commercial and general aviation pilots, but the training also can be beneficial to aviation managers, mechanics, medical flight crews and law enforcement personnel. Topics discussed during the training include causes of fatigue and strategies to help manage it, the importance of sleep, factors associated with sleep loss, sleepiness, circadian rhythms and signs of fatigue.

The training module can be completed in 40 minutes, but it also is broken down into segments for shorter, more tailored and recurrent viewing sessions. The system requirements to complete training on the Internet are a Macromedia Flash 5 Player and Netscape Navigator, version 3.0 or higher.

The Web-based version of the training was created to reach more people, with a focus on general aviation pilots who may not have easy access to this type of information. Fatigue countermeasures training previously was available only at two-day workshops conducted at NASA Ames and attended heavily by the commercial airline community.

“This valuable training is meant to be spread and shared with others to increase safety -- everywhere, for everybody, at all times,” said Oyung.

The NASA Ames Fatigue Countermeasures Group was created in 1980 in response to a congressional concern about safety in aviation related to flying long or rapidly recurring flight segments and the resultant crew fatigue. Since that time, NASA Ames researchers have conducted studies in a variety of full-mission flight simulations, aviation field studies and space-related research.

Since1993, NASA Ames researchers have conducted 34 two-day workshops with nearly 700 attendees and 240 organizations from 21 countries. Development of the General Aviation Education and Training Module started in 1999.

To access the online training, visit:

http://human-factors.arc.nasa.gov/zteam/fcp/WebGA-ETM.intro.html

More information about the NASA Ames Fatigue Countermeasures Group is available at:

http://human-factors.arc.nasa.gov/zteam/

    

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Last Modified: July 22, 2002

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