NTSB Study on Drug Use in Aviation Shows Upward Trend

The study shows an increase in the use of potentially impairing medications.

According to a study released by the National Transportation Safety Board this week, almost all of the crashes – 96 percent – that lead to the death of pilots were in general aviation. NTSB found an upward trend in the use of both potentially impairing medications and illicit drugs by pilots who died in these incidents.

"I think that they key take-away from this study for every pilot is to think twice about the medications you're taking and how they might affect your flying," said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. "Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs have the potential to impair performance, so pilots must be vigilant to ensure that their abilities are in no way compromised before taking to the skies."

The study looked at toxicology results for 6,677 pilots who died in aircraft accidents between 1990 and 2012. None of the pilots who died in large airline accidents had recently used illicit drugs, though some had been using potentially impairing medications. Over the period, the number of pilots testing positive for drugs with impairment potential went from 11 percent to 23 percent. The most common impairing drug was a sedating antihistamine (diphenhydramine) found in cold and allergy medications, as well as sleep aids.

The study explained that it was difficult to ascertain whether a pilot who tested positive was actually impaired at the time of the accident.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data and Maintain OSHA Compliance

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus