Sleep Requirements for Flight Support Personnel

by Shawn C. Johnson

Institution: Naval Postgraduate School
Year: 2014
Keywords: Sleep; Physiology; Aviation; Helicopter; Manning; Personnel
Record ID: 2049909
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10945/43805


Expeditionary Helicopter Sea Combat Squadrons (HSC) operate on Navy amphibious assault ships to provide search and rescue (SAR), logistics and combat support. When embarked, the detachments are the primary SAR asset and have requirements levied upon them by NAVAIR 00-80T-106 to maintain aircraft SAR readiness postures in support of ship and embarked Marine Corps aircraft operations. The goal of this study was to identify what impacts would occur to flight support personnel effectiveness if OPNAV 3710.7U sleep requirements were deviated from in order to meet minimum personnel requirements. The conclusion reached was that safety concerns are present when OPNAV 3710.7U sleep requirements for flight support personnel are violated to maintain NAVAIR 00-80T-106 operational requirements. The study found that worker effectiveness varies systematically with the duration of sleep interruption encountered. Minimum predicted effectiveness comes at three hours with the predicted values at two, three and four hours being essentially equal. When sleep interruptions exceed 1.55 hours, effectiveness levels drop below 70%, equivalent to experiencing a .08 BAC. A model for subsequent interruptions over the preceding days found that worker effectiveness varies systematically with the number of days between interruptions. The effect of sleep interruptions of multiple nights was greatest two days between interruptions. A minimum of four to five days between sleep interruptions is required for interruption effects to not be cumulative.