Unexpected and abnormal weight gain observed at the student pilots during the flight training.
Mehmet Ali PAKALIN 1, Güneş ŞANLITÜRK 1, Aysun SERTEL 1, Ayşe Betül YETİM 1
1 Antalya Bilim University Elba Aviation Institute
In this study sampled from an ATO (Approved Training Organization) in Turkey which has an extensive student pilot and instructor pilot capacity; 71 subject (61 males, 10 females), 64 student pilots and 7 instructor pilots were observed for their body weight change within a 3-18 months period and 1-27 kg body weight increase was determined in 58 of 71 subjects. Although the reasons for the increase in body weight in this study are not known, it was discussed that the effects of factors such as sleep disorder, unbalanced nutrition, long distance between the training location and the accommodation point should be reevaluated. Along with the CDV (cardiovascular diseases) and other medical problems that may occur during their professional life as a result of the body weight increases in subjects, there are some worrying publications about the negative effects to their performance and flight safety. Before encountering the heavy cost table that may arise from elimination of this unsafe environment, detailed studies on the causes of body weight increase in pilot training should be carried out. The studies and observations, focusing on the matter we mentioned should involve ATOs, flight training centers. Follow-up and treatment of indicated and/or predictable situations should be handled by authorized Aeromedical examiners (AMEs) directly assigned for the ATOs. We suggest that observation forms and methods as well as treatment protocols for the assigned AMEs are to be legislated and published by the competent authorities.
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