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Pilots today are working in a 24-hour a day industry The potential for error when working during the night is higher than working during the day Humans have an internal clock that prefers you sleep at night so working at night is a valid safety issue Pilots today should be considered as shift workers their schedules can be from early morning one day until the early morning of the next day and any combination in between The fact that they deal with weather and operational delays can extend their workday by many hours Many pilots also are flying through different time zones and can end up starting work as the sun rises and then finishing up just in time to get to bed when the sun is rising at the destination time zone This creates a problem for the body which resists sleep during the day light hours The Federal Aviation Administration FAA has put regulations on the aviation operators who schedule pilots in an attempt to allow adequate rest for them Over the last 40 years we have learned much through scientific studies which have shown that the actual time off required by the regulations may not allow the proper sleep needed to prevent fatigue Fortunately the studies have given many helpful strategies for pilots to be self-disciplined which will reduce the fatigue and increase the quality of sleep obtainedThe typical 900 to 500 workday does not apply to most pilots Today most of the activities people are engaged in are conducted during daylight hours whether it is business or social engagements the reason is that is how we are designed The typical person will sleep during the night hours As with many transportation modes flying is among the ones conducted at night Though most commercial passenger flights are between 600 am and 1100 PM the work required to accomplish this is a 24-hour business For example a pilot having a 600 am departure
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