Results of NVG-Induced Neck Strain Questionnaire Study in CH-146 Griffon Aircrew


  1. Adam, J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Night vision goggles (NVGs) have become indispensable during night operations in the tactical helicopter community of the Canadian Forces. However, the additional mass of the NVGs and associated counterweight have been suggested as a cause factor in recent reports of neck strain within the CH-146 Griffon helicopter fleet. The present study sought to determine the rate of incidence and severity of NVG-induced neck strain experienced by CH-146 Griffon pilots and flight engineers. A questionnaire format previously used in US and UK studies was presented to Griffon aircrew as well as CH-124 Sea King aircrew (the latter acting as an external control group with limited NVG experience). A total of 196 Griffon aircrew (138 pilots and 58 flight engineers) and 85 Sea King aircrew (35 pilots and 50 other aircrew) responded to the questionnaire. Over 80% of Griffon pilots and flight engineers indicated they had experienced neck pain as a result of flying, significantly greater proportions than the respective Sea King aircrew in both cases. Griffon pilots indicated that the control display unit of the aircraft was a leading cause of neck pain while flight engineers indicated that out-of-door operations were a primary cause factor. Other factors are identified and discussed. Across all aircrew respondents there was a clear sense of distrust of, and perhaps dissatisfaction with, the medical care provided by the Canadian Forces. Recommendations to reduce flight-related neck pain are offered.

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neck pain;neck strain;neck injury;helicopter;rotary-wing
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2004-153 — Technical Report
Date of publication
05 Nov 2004
Number of Pages

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