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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hormonal responses of pilots to training flights: the effects of experience on apparent stress.

INTRODUCTION: The levels of urinary noradrenaline (NAd), adrenaline (Ad) and salivary cortisol (Cor) were determined in student and instructor pilots during Phase 1 (training with propeller engine; PH1), and Phase 2 (training with jet engine; PH2) flight training. METHODS: The subjects in PH1 were 30 students and 33 instructors, and in PH2 were 17 students and 15 instructors. Urine and saliva were collected approximately 30 min before and 20 min after the flights. The ratio (post/preflight) of the hormonal levels was calculated to compare the students with the instructors and/or PH1 with PH2. RESULTS: In PH1, the levels of all three hormones for postflight were significantly higher than for preflight in students, and the ratios of all three hormones in students were significantly higher than in instructors. In PH2, the ratios of all three hormones for students and instructors did not differ significantly, and the ratios of Ad and Cor levels in students for PH2 were significantly lower than for PH1 (Ad: 1.64 +/- 0.10 vs. 2.23 +/- 0.14; Cor: 0.86 +/- 0.16 vs. 1.68 +/- 0.11, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The results from PH1 clearly demonstrated that flight stress for students was significantly higher than for instructors. The ratios might be regarded as result of adaptation to flight stress in students. We conclude that the ratios of Ad and Cor levels are a good indicator of stress coping in student pilots.[1]


  1. Hormonal responses of pilots to training flights: the effects of experience on apparent stress. Otsuka, Y., Onozawa, A., Miyamoto, Y. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine. (2006) [Pubmed]
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