Terästä kone ja mies? Sotilaslentäjän toimintakykyisyyden myytti G-voimien murrettavana

  • Harri Rintala
Avainsanat: sotilaslentäjä, ilmavoimat, tuki- ja liikuntaelinoireet, fyysinen kunto

Abstrakti

Only a few scientific studies have been reported on cultural issues concerning military pilots, though thousands of pages have been written in prose, promoting the highlights of the air combat. In these stories, the fighter pilot usually carries himself with great masculine pride and with almost superhuman, unbreakable heroism. Also in the Finnish Air Force, the “official” public common currency is similar to this: the image of the Air Force in the media emphasizes speed, power and technical supremacy, and less the demanding human learning processes and military pedagogy issues. However, especially medically oriented, international literature has long reported about the other side of the coin, as well. The physical workload, induced by daily G-force exposure in air combat training seems to almost indisputably create health problems for military pilots. On the basis of latest Finnish dissertation, practically all pilots, after the beginning of tactical jet training, have experienced disabling, flight-related musculoskeletal pain periods. This phenomenon has negative effects on the operational use of pilots and their individual skills development. Even those pilots who are the fittest as determined by the Finnish Defence Forces fitness test protocol suffer from work related pain. Simultaneously, they tend to suffer significantly less disability compared to their less fit colleagues. The physical performance of Finnish Air Force pilots is generally above the average according to the criteria of test protocol. Still, in many other, more occupationally oriented performance tests, there is a huge gap between existing performance and actual workload based physical performance needs. Pilots tend to report on their health problems only in the worst, remarkably disabling cases. Probably the high occupational motivation and the fear of losing airworthiness are related to the medical appointments. Neither the workload of an individual pilot nor the action competence and occupational physical performance are controlled by any state-of-the-art equipment or regime of modern sports medicine, and these issues should be looked at carefully. As regards the technical life cycle of a single aircraft, this has been carried out for a long time in the aircraft technology branch of the Finnish Air Force. Thus, differentiated physical training and follow-up programs for the pilots should be included in the flight training syllabi beginning in the early phases of training. The full text is in Finnish. Artikkeli on suomenkielinen.

Kirjoittajan esittely

Harri Rintala
Kirjoittaja on FL ja ilmailufysiologi Ilmailulääketieteen keskuksessa.
Julkaistu
2011-05-23
Viittaaminen
Rintala, H. (2011). Terästä kone ja mies? Sotilaslentäjän toimintakykyisyyden myytti G-voimien murrettavana. Tiede Ja Ase, 68. Noudettu osoitteesta https://journal.fi/ta/article/view/4135
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