Heart Rate Variability of a Student Pilot During Flight Training

Heart rate (HR) indicates the number of beats per minute (bpm) of the heart, while heart rate variability (HRV) indicates the temporal fluctuation of the intervals between adjacent beats (NN). HRV expresses neuro-cardiac activity and is generated by heart-brain interactions and dynamics related to the function of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and other components (e.g., body and ambient temperature, respiration, hormones, blood pressure). The authors are carrying out a series of experimental investigations with the aim of studying HRV in student pilots during training. For this purpose, the authors used a Holter electrocardiograph equipped with three channels and five electrodes positioned on the chest of the subject who participated in the investigation. The case report refers to a student pilot who, during a flight mission with the instructor, had to face a forced landing and a flap failure. The authors report data based on analysis of the time domain and frequency domain related to operations on the ground before the flight, during the flight, and on the ground after the flight. The initial conclusion is that the extent of HRV constitutes an “energy store” for better cardiac performance in eustress activities. During advanced tasks, the “Total Power” of the heart decreases because the RR intervals are forced toward low values, where the heart is less able to be modulated by its many controllers. Furthermore, this experimental protocol can be useful to flight instructors for the training process of student pilots.


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  • Accession Number: 01889180
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 27 2023 4:55PM