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even is issuing FRMS requirements impacting maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) organizations. Also becoming prevalent are training aids to recast a culture that resides in an often-stressful environment, frequently demanding long, unconventional working hours.


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Symptoms and Examples The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) defines fatigue as “the temporary inability or decrease in ability or strong disinclination to respond to a situation because of previous over-activity, either mental, emotional or physical.” Some symptoms of fatigue include the following: • Physical, revealing lack of energy, slowed reaction time and possible nausea, headache or upset stomach; • Mental, involving difficulty concentrating, lapses in attention, forgetfulness, failure to communicate important information and poor decision making; and • Emotional, evident when one is withdrawn, irritable, lacking motivation, displaying low morale and expressing heightened emotional sensitivity. The issues of fatigue and befitting crew duty schedules are not new in aviation. Flight


crews are universally required to have suitable rest between work shifts. However, fatigue in the maintenance hangar has been largely overlooked—or at least it has by many in the aviation industry.


Not so, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). “We’ve been making recommendations in this area since 1997, after the ValuJet accident in the Florida


Aviation Maintenance | avm-mag.com | June / July 2012 19


human factor too long overlooked in aircraft maintenance has become a growing concern in the industry—fatigue. It has prompted scientific study and fatigue risk management system (FRMS) guidelines from regulatory agencies. One agency


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AWAKENING TO MX PERSONNEL FATIGUE


by David Jensen


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