Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Does Age Affect A Pilot's Ability To Fly?

Date:
February 27, 2007
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
Older pilots performed better over time than younger pilots on flight simulator tests. Researchers say the findings, published in the Feb. 27, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology, show expert knowledge may offset the impact of old age in some occupations.

Older pilots performed better over time than younger pilots on flight simulator tests. Researchers say the findings, published in the February 27, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology, show expert knowledge may offset the impact of old age in some occupations.

The study's results come as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) considers a proposal to raise the mandatory age of retirement for commercial airline pilots to 65 from the current age of 60.

For the study, researchers tested 118 non-commercial airline pilots, age 40 to 69, annually for three years. All pilots were currently flying, had between 300 and 15,000 hours of total flight time, and had a FAA medical certificate. Pilots were tested on accuracy of executing communications, traffic avoidance, scanning cockpit instruments to detect emergencies, and executing a visual approach landing.

The study found while older pilots initially performed worse than younger pilots, older pilots showed less of a decline in overall flight summary scores than younger pilots, and over time their traffic avoidance performances improved more than that of younger pilots. The study also found pilots with advanced FAA pilot ratings and certifications showed less performance decline over time, regardless of age.

"These findings show the advantageous effect of prior experience and specialized expertise on older adults' skilled cognitive performances," said study author Joy L. Taylor, PhD, with the Stanford/VA Aging Clinical Research Center in Palo Alto, California. "Our discovery has broader implications beyond aviation to the general issue of aging in the workplace and the objective assessment of competency in older workers."

Researchers suggest that pilots with advanced FAA pilot ratings may maintain performance over time due to a mechanism of preserved task-specific knowledge, known as crystallized intelligence, which is similar to what is seen in music or expert chess playing.

The study was supported by the Sierra-Pacific Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, the Medical Research Service of the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the National Institute on Aging.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Does Age Affect A Pilot's Ability To Fly?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070227105959.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2007, February 27). Does Age Affect A Pilot's Ability To Fly?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070227105959.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Does Age Affect A Pilot's Ability To Fly?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070227105959.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — More than 269 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Many of them will need surgery and radiation, but there’s a new simple way to reconstruct tissue using a patient’s own fat. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood Clots in Kids

Blood Clots in Kids

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Every year, up to 200,000 Americans die from a blood clot that travels to their lungs. You’ve heard about clots in adults, but new research shows kids can get them too. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Doctors have used radio frequency ablation or RFA to reduce neck and back pain for years. But now, that same technique is providing longer-term relief for patients with severe knee pain. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins