University of Illinois Studies Mechanic Fatigue
The University of Illinois is currently hosting an online survey to collect data on maintenance technician work practices and operational conditions related to work and duty patterns across the industry. It should take about 15 minutes to complete, and all maintenance technicians are encouraged to participate. “The idea for the survey came out of the FAA’s aviation fatigue working group. We know safety management systems are going to be required in the U.S. eventually. The idea is to gather information so the group can propose guidelines and educational material,” Terry von Thaden, Ph.D., the University of Illinois principal investigator on the project, told AIN. Her safety culture research company, Illumia, is underwriting the survey. The working group intends to use the survey’s results to draft recommendations for hours of service and duty time, among other issues. “The 2001 Galaxy study conducted for the FAA by Embry-Riddle and Galaxy Scientific interviewed 500 airline maintenance professionals, but that doesn’t represent everyone. There are a lot more independent repair stations working for the airlines today, plus all the maintenance professionals in corporate and general aviation. We believe all maintenance professionals should be covered,” she said.