May 24, 2013
Stress Disorders and Drone Pilots
Posted on Feb 23, 2013
Researchers report that drone pilots experience mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder at the same rate as pilots of manned aircraft deployed in the Middle East.
The study, performed by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, analyzed health trends among military personnel but did not try to explain the sources of the problems described. Military officials and independent experts have suggested witnessing combat on live video feeds, working in isolation or with rigid hours and crew shortages, and balancing home life with military work.
It also seems that spending hours every day looking at a screen would lead to ennui.
“Remotely piloted aircraft pilots may stare at the same piece of ground for days,” said Jean Lin Otto, an epidemiologist who was a co-author of the study. “They witness the carnage. Manned aircraft pilots don’t do that. They get out of there as soon as possible.”
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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