An Analysis of the Effects of Current Flight Limitations and Sleep Deprivation on Objective and Subjective Fatigue Levels and Flying Skills of Commercial Airline Pilots

Transcontinental and transoceanic routes, night-time departures and early-morning arrivals are now all regular occurrences in the aviation industry. Such is the case that today’s flight operations now work on a pressurised 24/7 timetable. Recent survey findings suggest high incidences of sleep disturbance and fatigue among pilots in the cockpit. The aim of this research is to investigate the effects and impact of sleep deprivation and fatigue on commercial airline pilots’ psychological functioning, pilot-specific skills and flying performance.

This research is funded by the Irish Research Council through the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme.

For any enquires in relation to this project please contact Anna Donnla O’Hagan


O’Hagan, A.D., Issartel, J., Nevill, A. & Warrington, G. (2016). Flying Into Depression – Pilot’s Sleep and Fatigue Experiences Can Explain Differences in Perceived Depression and Anxiety Associated With Duty Hours. Workplace Health & Safety.

 O’Hagan, A.D., Issartel, J., Fletcher, R. & Warrington, G. (2016). Duty hours and incidents in flight among commercial airline pilots. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, (JOSE).

May, G.C., Fitzpatrick, P.A., Cullen, S.J., Kelly, L., O’Hagan, A. & Warrington, G.D. (2011). An Analysis of Acute Sleep Deprivation on Repeat Cycling Time Trial Performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 43(5), 160.


 O’Hagan, A.D., Woodman, T. & Roberts, R. (2011). The Interaction Between Narcissism and Psychological Skills Upon Choking. Proceedings of the 2011 Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group (PsyPAG).

 O’Hagan, A.D., Issartel, J. & Warrington, G. (2015). Relationship between Duty Hours, Sleep Disturbance and Feelings of Depression and/or Anxiety in Commercial Airline Pilots. Proceedings of the 2015 All-Ireland Postgraduate Conference in Sport Sciences & Physical Education.

O’Hagan, A.D., Issartel, J. Nevill, A. & Warrington, G. (2015). Pilots Sleep and Fatigue Experiences Help to Explain the Factors in Perceived Errors in Flight Associated with Duty Hours. Proceedings of the 2015 International Congress of Aviation & Space Medicine.

O’Hagan, A.D., Issartel, J. & Warrington, G. (2016). Are our pilots “flying” into depression? Could sleep & fatigue help explain more…… Proceedings of the 2016 All-Ireland Postgraduate Conference in Sport Sciences & Physical Education.

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