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Gerrard Gillot, Damien Daverme


The effects of fatigue during sustained effort on the sleep habits of soaring pilots during 2 or 3 weeks training sessions at the French National Soaring Center of Saint-Auban have been investigated. Recent works have shown that sustained effort can lead to sleep loss and can deeply affect subsequent work, not only the day after but two days later. The investigations were made on: - 8 glider pilots with at least 5 years cross country experience (about 500 hours), recorded during a 15 day training session in August 1989. - 12 pilots with 5 to 10 years (about 1,000 hours) experience, recorded during the 3 weeks of their soaring instructor qualification in September 1990. The pilots included members of both groups, were aged between 18 and 48, and had varying levels of mountain flying. The findings suggest that fatigue during sustained soaring sessions can heavily affect the pilots' capacities by shortening and disturbing their sleep. Young people suffer less than those of 35 or more, whose capacities to fight against fatigue seem to decrease very rapidly after the third hour of a flight. The effects are mainly: - in the quantity of sleep needed in the following days, - in decision taking and judgmenterrors. This suggests that pilots and trainers must take care of their sleep, especially during sustained training or competition sessions.


Training and Safety, Coaching, Health, Physiology

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