The effects of fatigue on your work performance will affect work output, and the completion of complex tasks such as planning and flying.
A number of factors may induce fatigue including:
- Inadequate rest and recovery – sleep disruption
- Disturbed biological rhythms – working outside the 24-hour clock cycle
- Excessive muscular or physical activity – short sector flying operations
- Excessive ‘mental’ work – paperwork, decision making, management, personnel
This can lead to other significant effects on your performance such as poor decision making skills, short term memory loss, lack of task attention, poor communications and slowed reaction times.
An experienced agricultural pilot completed a 14 hour duty day. This included 10 hours productive flight time, and 130 takeoffs and landings. During the ferry flight back to their base at the end of the day, the pilot admitted to the loader driver that he could not remember flying the last hour of productive work!
Physical and mental fatigue had led to short term memory loss and a loss of situational awareness. Combine poor decision making skills with a lack of adequate rest and water uptake, and we can see how personal decisions and actions created a lethal situation.