Completed Studies

Aircrew Medication and Flight Assessment Program


Background

There are a limited number of drugs considered to be safe for aviation. Very few drugs are known to be safe during flight due to the time and expense involved in testing medications. This study seeks to perform evaluations on individual aviators who require an FDA-approved medication to treat a chronic condition.

Purpose

The purpose of this project is to determine the basic sensitivity and validity of a new series of performance tests intended to assess the effects of FDA-approved medications. As the ultimate goal for these tests is to determine whether or not aviators can safely use a given medication, alcohol will be used as a stressor known to decrease skill performance. The study will involve ingesting a quantity of alcohol sufficient to raise the participant’s breath alcohol concentration to approximately .08 percent over several hours. Before, during, and after ingesting the alcohol in the experiment, the participants will be asked to take a battery of computer-administered tests.

Methodology

A group of 25 males and females volunteers were paid a total of $750 for 24 hours of participation over one training day and two testing days. Following a training period on the first day, participants were evaluated with a series of computer-administered tests to detect the impaired ability to think. On one of the two testing days, participants were tested at three levels of breath alcohol concentration. On the other testing day, identical testing were done after administration of a placebo. Participants were present in the research facility from 0715 hours to approximately 1630 hours on the two test days.