CFI Instrument Practical Test Standards, FAA-S-8081-9B, June 2001

II. Technical Subject Areas

B. Aeromedical Factors

    9. Stress and fatigue
      a. Stress, psychological or bodily tension, is a by-product of living
      b. Sources of stress
        1) Environment
          a) Stress commonly comes from trouble
            i) At home
            ii) At work, on the job
            iii) With interpersonal relationships
          b) Common stresses in pilots
            i) Apprehension related to fear of the unknown
            ii) Anxiety based on desire to perform well in an unfamiliar area or doubts about one's own abilities
            iii) Frustration stemming from failure to progress as fast as one might want
        2) Body
      c. Fatigue
        1) Acute (short-term) fatigue
          a) Occurs after a few nights with inadequate sleep
          b) Prevent with adequate rest and sleep, regular exercise, proper nutrition
        2) Chronic (long-term) fatigue
          a) Occurs after more prolonged functioning in a fatigued condition and leads to
            i) Slowed reaction time
            ii) Inattention to detail
            iii) Generally ambivalent attitude, even towards safety
          b) Recovery requires a prolonged period of rest
      d. Dealing with stress using the relaxation response
        1) Recognize the first indicators of excess stress
          a) Increased heart rate
          b) Perspiration
          c) Increased breathing rate
          d) Muscular tension
        2) Take immediate action with a relaxation response:
          a) Take a deep breath or sigh
          b) Follow with regular, even breathing
          c) Dissipate muscular tension
            i) Reposition arms and legs, hands and feet
            ii) Wiggle fingers and toes
          d) Let stressful thoughts dissipate and be replaced with new, relaxed and confident thoughts
        3) Relaxation response may be augmented by
          a) Meditaion
          b) Exercise
          c) Biofeedback
          d) Breathing control programs
      e. Learn to recognize when you are stressed and fatigued and be able to decide not to fly
      f. Use the I'M SAFE self check, looking for signs of trouble from
    Instrument Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-15, 1999
    An Invitation to Fly, Basics for the Private Pilot, Seventh Edition Dennis Glaeser, Sanford Gum and Bruce Walters, 2004, Brooks/Cole
    AIM 8-1-1

Greg Gordon MD, CFII