Stress In The Aviation Industry

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Stress is an everyday reality in the aviation industry, especially to pilots. Pilots face different kinds of stress on the job. Overload and underload on pilots is common and has always been overlooked. As a result, poses a threat to aviation safety. The society should pay a considerable attention to this issue. This essay will discuss the effect of stress on pilot performance and ways to relief stress. It begins with definitions of stress, then it will mention the causes of stress. The essay then explores on the relevance to aviation industry. Finally, the essay will give suggestions on how to cope with stress. As a future commercial airline pilot, this topic has great relevance as stress could not be avoided in the aviation industry. It is important to understand and learn to cope with it. Stress will affect pilot performance. Walonick(1993) points out that excess job stress can result in decreased productivity, less satisfied, and less healthy workers. This worsens the pilot's performance in flight. Williams and Huber (1986) define stress as 'a psychological and physical reaction to prolonged internal and/or environmental conditions in which an individual's adaptive capabilities are overextended.' (p. 243) Stress overload is caused when the pressure is so intense and lasted long enough to let an individual feel overwhelmed and out of control. (Hick, 2014) Using the word 'stress' may sometimes difficult to determine its exact meaning in a particular context(Tait, 2011). 'Arousal' might be helpful to explain the situation in the cockpit. Arousal means the state of activity of the body at any given time. When a task is too demanding to the point where we begin to feel unsure of our ability to cope, arousal becomes anxiety and tha... ... middle of paper ... ... level which may enhance performance. In conclusion, human overload and underload is an important factor affecting aviation safety. Stress can affect pilot performance. A certain amount is required to perform, but performance deteriorates when stress level is too high or too low(i.e. overload and underload). Besides, causes of stress can be internal or external. We face stress everyday and it is hard to avoid. Overload and underload of stress poses potential danger to aviation safety. The accident of Asiana Airline flight 214 mentioned earlier shows how stress can affect a pilot's performance and judgement. Underload is as dangerous as overload. Underload causes boredom, fatigue and sleep which impairs the pilot performance. Lastly, the three suggested strategies to deal with stress is treating the symptoms, changing the person and removing the causes of stress.

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