If You Don’t Snooze, You Lose
About an hour before sunrise on August 27, 2006, Comair Flight 5191 was approaching 120 miles per hour on its takeoff from the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, when co-pilot James Polehinke noticed something strange about the runway.
“That is weird,” he said in a conversation captured by the flight recorder. “No lights.”
“Yeah,” said Capt. Jeffrey Clay.
Sixteen seconds later, their 50-seat commuter jet ran out of runway. Polehinke just managed to get airborne but not enough. The plane hit an earthen berm, clipped a fence and a clump of trees, and went down in a ball of flames.
The pilots had gone … » More …
Fatigue at Sea: A Circumnavigator’s Story
Were there a Hall of Fame of Sleep Deprivation, a special place would be reserved for single-handed sailors who routinely rise from their bunks to check their rigs and scan the horizon for oncoming vessels. It’s a reasonable safety precaution. It also invites its own measure of risk by compromising reaction times, hand-eye coordination, and general judgment, the kind of things scientists study at WSU Spokane’s Sleep and Performance Research Center.
As it happens, Lois James MA ’09, PhD ’11, a research assistant professor in the center, is the daughter of Naomi James, the first woman to sail single-handed around the world via … » More …