Fighter Pilot Cognitive Effectiveness During Exercise Wolf Safari

Efficacité Cognitive de Pilotes de Chasse Pendant l’Exercice Wolf Safari


  1. Paul, M.A.
  2. Gray, G.W.
  3. Miller, J.C.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);USAF AFRL Brooks City Base, TX (US)
Introduction. On recommendations from 1 Canadian Air Division surgeon, DRDC Toronto received a tasking from 4 Wing to develop models of cognitive effectiveness of CF18 pilots during Exercise Wolf Safari (an ‘around the clock’ air-to-ground bombing exercise prior to possible deployment of CF-18 aircraft to support our troops in Afghanistan). Methods. During work-ups prior to Wolf Safari as well as during the exercise, six CF18 pilots wore wrist actigraphs for up to 28 days in order to allow quantification of their daily sleep. Their daily duty times and daily sleep data were inputted to FASTTM (Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool) in order to generate models of cognitive assessment for each of the participating pilots. Results. Four of the 6 pilots showed that the Wolf Safari Op Tempo caused a fatigued-induced impact on modelled cognitive effectiveness similar to or worse than the impact caused by being intoxicated to a blood alcohol level of 0.08%. The remaining 2 pilots showed a moderate impact on cognitive effectiveness. Discussion. Some degradation in cognitive effectiveness is inevitable during stressful and complex military operations, especially when conducted at night. To some extent, these performance degradations can be mitigated by ensuring the best possible opportunities for sleep, by sustaining nocturnal alertness with caffeinated gum, and by exploiting the new CF aeromedical policy for the short-term flight supervised prescription of selected sleep-inducing med

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cognitive effectiveness;fatigue;performance;CF-18 aircraft
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2007-020 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Mar 2007
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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