Acute and 8-hour effects of alcohol (0.08% BAC) on younger and older pilots' simulator performance

J. L. Taylor, N. Dolhert, D. Morrow, L. Friedman, J. A. Yesavage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This preliminary study examined the acute and 8-hour effects of alcohol at a target peak BAC of 0.08% on pilot performance. Fourteen younger (mean age 27.6 years) and fourteen older (mean age 60.3 years) pilots flew a Frasca 141 simulator in a scenario that included ATC communications and emergencies. Plots were tested during an alcohol and placebo condition at three timepoints: predrink, acute intoxication, and 8 h postdrink. Of eight performance measures, two showed statistically significant effects related to alcohol. First, cockpit monitoring was poorer when pilots were intoxicated, with recovery at 8 h. Second, younger pilots made more communication errors under the influence and there was no significant recovery at 8 h. Older pilots made more communication errors than younger pilots, but possibly because of methodological problems, older pilots' communication performance was not significantly impaired by alcohol. These results provide direction for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-725
Number of pages8
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Volume65
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 16 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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