This proposal is a direct response to a stated need for a system to """""""" ....educate and alert aviators during their flight training and medical examinations, with real-life examples of the adverse effects of antihistamines (and over-the-counter-drugs) and associated unwanted serious outcomes."""""""" This requirement, specified in the aviation medicine literature, recognizes that over-the-counter drug (OTCD) abuse plays a significant role in serious (fatal) aircraft accidents in all three major aviation sectors: general, commercial and military. At present, effects of OTCD on piloting skills are paid little attention in typical flight training programs. However, there is ample evidence that pilot training is most effectively done by having student pilots actually experience the flight conditions and requirements they must learn. Further, the Federal Aviation Administration has, for several years, certified the use of various types of flight simulators for training purposes. These flight simulators have been used very effectively, and are particularly useful in providing student pilots with experiences which might be unduly dangerous to attempt in actual flight conditions. This project is intended to lead to development of an OTCD training program, FlyFit!, which can augment existing flight simulators and mimic the consequences of flight under the effects of varying degrees of OTCD abuse. This will be done by performing a series of controlled experiments using prescribed flight protocols on a flight simulator without OTCD use (control) and with OTCD and placebo consumption (test groups). Deviations from the control conditions will be determined and implemented in the FlyFit! program, which can then be used to teach pilots the likely effects of flight under the influence of OTCD.
The Federal Aviation Administration has recognized that over-the-counter-drugs (OTCD) pose a significant health threat in serious (fatal) aircraft accidents in all major aviation sectors. Pilot training in this area is clearly inadequate, and is best addressed by hands- on learning experience. The proposed product development will lead to FlyFit!, an OTCD training program, augmenting existing flight simulator training programs to mimic or demonstrate piloting while affected by OTCD.