Fatigue Countermeasures in Support of CF CC130 Air Transport Operations: From the Operation to the Laboratory and Back to the Operation

Contre-Mesures à la Fatigue à l'Appui des Opérations de Transport Aérien des FC par Aéronef CC130. Des opérations au Laboratoire, puis de Nouveau aux Opérations.


  1. Paul, M.
  2. Gray, G.
  3. Sardana, T.
  4. Pigeau, R.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Deployment of troops in foreign theatres requires a massive airlift capability. The fatigue encountered in such operations can be severe enough to pose a flight safety hazard. The work reported here was done in support of CF air transport aircrews conducting re-supply missions to Bosnia. This work was carried out in 3 Phases. In Phase 1 aircrew sleep hygiene was assessed immediately prior to and throughout 10 missions to Bosnia. Aircrew psychomotor performance was also assessed during flight. The aircrews started the missions with an acute sleep debt because of having to report for duty at 0600 hrs. A fatigued-induced impact on psychomotor performance was found towards the end of the out-bound transatlantic leg. The aircrew experienced difficulty sleeping at an early circadian time (approximately 1700 hrs body clock) in the U.K. prior to flying into Bosnia. In Phase 2, we conducted a laboratory-based fatigue countermeasure study in which we determined that melatonin and zopiclone are effective facilitators of early circadian sleep, and caused no residual effects on aircrew performance after sleep on these medications. Based on the results of Phases 1 and 2, we were given permission to conduct Phase 3, an operational evaluation of the lab-proven countermeasures that involved 70 missions to Bosnia. The actigraphic data of Phase 3 indicated that relative to placebo, when aircrew were on melatonin they got to sleep quicker (p<.01), slept more (p<.02), had fewer awakenings after s

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Air Transport Operations;Aircrew Fatigue;Fatigue countermeasures;Psychomotor performance
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2003-106 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Oct 2003
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF);CD ROM

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