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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1999 Jul;47(7):819-23.

Relationship of age and simulated flight performance.

Author information

1
Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, USA. yesavage@stanford.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the relationship between age and aviator performance on a flight simulator.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional observational study.

PARTICIPANTS:

The sample consisted of 100 aviators aged 50 to 69 (mean = 58).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Pilots were tested on a Frasca 141 flight simulator (Urbana, IL), linked to a UNIX-based IRIS 4D computer (Silicon Graphics, Mountain View, CA), which both generated graphics of the environment in which the pilots flew and collected data concerning the aircraft's flight conditions.

RESULTS:

We found that increased age was significantly associated with decreased aviator performance on a flight simulator.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although there was a significant relationship between increased age and decreased aviator performance, age explained 22% or less of the variance of performance on different flight tasks; hence, other factors are also important in explaining the performance of older pilots.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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