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Concept: International Civil Aviation Organization


The Germanwings Flight 9525 crash has brought the sensitive subject of airline pilot mental health to the forefront in aviation. Globally, 350 million people suffer from depression-a common mental disorder. This study provides further information on this important topic regarding mental health especially among female airline pilots. This is the first study to describe airline pilot mental health-with a focus on depression and suicidal thoughts-outside of the information derived from aircraft accident investigations, regulated health examinations, or identifiable self-reports, which are records protected by civil aviation authorities and airline companies.

Concepts: Psychology, Mental disorder, Suicide, Aircraft, Aviator, Airline, International Civil Aviation Organization, Civil aviation


In this study, the effects of descent flight path angle (between 1.25° and 4.25°) on aircraft gaseous emissions (carbon monoxide, total hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides) are explored using actual flight data from aircraft flight data recording system and emissions indices from the International Civil Aviation Organization. All emissions parameters are corrected to flight conditions using Boeing Fuel Flow Method2, where the ambient air pressure, temperature and humidity data are obtained from long-term radiosonde data measured close to the arrival airport. The main findings highlight that the higher the flight path angle, the higher the emission indices of CO and HC, whereas the lower the emissions index of NOx and fuel consumption. Furthermore, during a descent, a heavier aircraft tends to emit less CO and HC, and more NOx. For a five-tonne aircraft mass increase, the average change in emissions indices are found to be -4.1% and -5.7% (CO), -5.4% and -8.2% (HC), and +1.1% and +1.6% (NOx) for high and low flight path angle groups, respectively. The average emissions indices for CO, HC and NOx during descent are calculated to be 24.5, 1.7 and 5.6 g/kg of fuel, whereas the average emissions for descending from 32,000 ft (9.7 km) and 24,000 ft (7.3 km) are calculated to be 7-8 kg (CO), ∼0.5 kg (HC) and ∼3 kg (NOx).

Concepts: Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Oxides, Pressure, Nitrogen oxide, Aircraft, International Civil Aviation Organization, Commercial aviation


Frequent air travelers and airplane pilots may develop various types of illnesses. The environmental risk factors associated with air travel syndromes (ATS) or air travel-related adverse health outcomes raised concerns and need to be assessed in the context of risk management and public health. Accordingly, the aim of the present review was to determine ATS, risk factors, and mechanisms underlying ATS using scientific data and information obtained from Medline, Toxline, and regulatory agencies. Additional information was also extracted from websites of organizations, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT), and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Air travelers are known to be exposed to environmental risk factors, including circadian rhythm disruption, poor cabin air quality, mental stress, high altitude conditions, hormonal dysregulation, physical inactivity, fatigue, biological infections, and alcoholic beverage consumption. Consequences of ATS attributed to air travel include sleep disturbances (e.g., insomnia), mental/physical stress, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory diseases, circulatory-related dysfunction, such as cardiac arrest and thrombosis and, at worst, mechanical and terrorism-related airplane crashes. Thus safety measures in the cabin before or after takeoff are undertaken to prevent illnesses or accidents related to flight. In addition, airport quarantine systems are strongly recommended to prepare for any ultimate adverse circumstances. Routine monitoring of environmental risk factors also needs to be considered. Frequently, the mechanisms underlying these adverse manifestations involve free radical generation. Therefore, antioxidant supplementation may help to reduce or prevent adverse outcomes by mitigating health risk factors associated with free radical generation.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Antioxidant, Sleep, Radical, Vitamin C, Circadian rhythm, Altitude sickness, International Civil Aviation Organization


This study examined the association between mean age of pilot, pilot license, pilot medical certificate and drug use trends in pilots fatally injured in aircraft accidents. The prevalence of prescription drugs, OTC drugs, controlled drugs and drugs that may be potentially impairing was also examined.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Drugs, Drug addiction, Over-the-counter drug, Aviator, International Civil Aviation Organization, Air safety, Pilot licensing and certification


General aviation includes all civilian aviation apart from operations involving paid passenger transport. Unfortunately, this category of aviation holds a lackluster safety record, accounting for 94% of civil aviation fatalities. In 2014, of 1143 general aviation accidents, 20% were fatal compared with 0 of 29 airline mishaps in the United States. Herein, research findings over the past 30 yr will be reviewed. Accident risk factors (e.g., adverse weather, geographical region, post-impact fire, gender differences) will be discussed. The review will also summarize the development and implementation of stringent crashworthiness designs with multi-axis dynamic testing and head-injury protection and its impact on mitigating occupant injury severity. The benefits and drawbacks of new technology and human factor considerations associated with increased general aviation automation will be debated. Data on the safety of the aging general aviation population and increased drug usage will also be described. Finally, areas in which general aviation occupant survival could be improved and injury severity mitigated will be discussed with the view of equipping aircraft with 1) crash-resistant fuel tanks to reduce post-impact conflagration; 2) after-market ballistic parachutes for older aircraft; and 3) current generation electronic locator beacons to hasten site access by first responders.Boyd DD. A review of general aviation safety (1984-2017). Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2017; 88(7):657-664.

Concepts: United States, Accident, Airline, International Civil Aviation Organization, Civil aviation, Air safety, Commercial aviation, General aviation


A breakdown analysis of civil aviation accidents worldwide indicates that the occurrence of runway excursions represents the largest portion among all aviation occurrence categories. This study examines the human risk factors associated with pilots in runway excursions, by applying a SHELLO model to categorize the human risk factors and to evaluate the importance based on the opinions of 145 airline pilots. This study integrates aviation management level expert opinions on relative weighting and improvement-achievability in order to develop four kinds of priority risk management strategies for airline pilots to reduce runway excursions. The empirical study based on experts' evaluation suggests that the most important dimension is the liveware/pilot’s core ability. From the perspective of front-line pilots, the most important risk factors are the environment, wet/containment runways, and weather issues like rain/thunderstorms. Finally, this study develops practical strategies for helping management authorities to improve major operational and managerial weaknesses so as to reduce the human risks related to runway excursions.

Concepts: Risk, Natural environment, Management, Risk management, Empiricism, Airport, Operational risk, International Civil Aviation Organization


Biological specimens from pilots fatally injured in civil aviation accidents are analyzed for ethanol and drugs at the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI). Prevalence of these substances in the pilots has been evaluated at 5-yr intervals since 1989. In continuation, a fifth 5-yr study (2009-2013) was conducted.

Concepts: Biology, Fungus, Injury, Accident, Aviator, International Civil Aviation Organization, Aviation accidents and incidents


Ebolavirus is classified by Standards Australia as a Risk Group 4 pathogen for handling in laboratories. Specimens known or reasonably expected to contain Ebolavirus are classified by the United Nations as Dangerous Goods Infectious Substances Category A, UN 2814, which if transported by air must comply with International Air Transport Association (IATA) Hazard Class 6.2 and Packing Instruction 620 and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Regulations. As such high risk pathogens are rarely encountered in pathology laboratories in Australia, the possibility of an imported case of Ebolavirus disease occurring in NSW during the current ongoing outbreak which began in West Africa in 2014 prompted a review and rapid implementation of specific risk management protocols for Ebolavirus testing. Here we describe and report on the management of specimen collection, packaging and transport by public and private pathology laboratories agreed by a task force led by NSW Health Pathology and Health Protection NSW.

Concepts: Risk, Transport, United Nations, Safety, International Maritime Organization, International Civil Aviation Organization, Dangerous goods, International Air Transport Association


Eruptions at the Icelandic volcanoes of Eyjafjallajökull (2010) and Grimsvötn (2011) produced plumes of ash posing hazards to air traffic over northern Europe. In imposing restrictions on air traffic, regulators needed to balance the dangers of accidents or aircraft damage against the cost and inconvenience to travelers and industry. Two surveys examined how members of the public viewed the necessity of the imposed restrictions and their trust in different agencies as estimators of the level of risk. Study 1 was conducted with 213 British citizens (112 males, 101 females), who completed questionnaires while waiting for flights at London City Airport during May 2012. Study 2 involved an online survey of 301 Icelandic citizens (172 males, 127 females, 2 undeclared gender) during April 2012. In both samples, there was general support for the air traffic restrictions, especially among those who gave higher estimates of the likelihood of an air accident or mishap having otherwise happened. However, in both countries, the (minority of) respondents who had personally experienced travel disruption were less convinced that these restrictions were all necessary. Scientists, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and (in Iceland) the Icelandic Department of Civil Protection were all highly trusted, and seen as erring on the side of caution in their risk estimates. Airlines were seen as more likely to underestimate any risk. We conclude that perceptions of the balance between risk and caution in judgments under uncertainty are influenced by one’s own motives and those attributed to others.

Concepts: Gender, United Kingdom, Uncertainty, Volcano, Iceland, Airline, International Civil Aviation Organization, London City Airport


For investigation of air disasters, crash reconstruction is obtained using data from flight recorders, physical evidence from the site, and injuries patterns of the victims. This article describes a new software, Crash Injury Pattern Assessment Tool (CIPAT), to code and analyze injuries. The coding system was derived from the Abbreviated Injury Score (AIS). Scores were created corresponding to the amount of energy required causing the trauma (ER), and the software was developed to compute summary variables related to the position (assigned seat) of victims. A dataset was built from the postmortem examination of 154/228 victims of the Air France disaster (June 2009), recovered from the Atlantic Ocean after a complex and difficult task at a depth of 12790 ft. The use of CIPAT allowed to precise cause and circumstances of deaths and confirmed major dynamics parameters of the crash event established by the French Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authority.

Concepts: Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Brazil, France, Air France Flight 447, International Civil Aviation Organization, Air safety, Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile