Alcohol, aviation, and safety revisited: a historical review and a suggestion.

  • Hannah Gibbons
  • Published 1988 in Aviation, space, and environmental medicine


A 1964 study by Harper and Albers initiated a new era of alcohol, aviation, and safety interest. Studies by the author agreed with the Harper and Albers data. Educational efforts that followed, and the apparent effects, are described. A study commissioned by the author confirmed the effect of low levels of alcohol on flying performance. Impairment from other effects of alcohol, such as alcohol-induced hypoglycemia (AIH), post-alcohol impairment (PAI), and positional alcohol nystagmus (PAN) are mentioned. It is suggested that the effects of PAN may play a role in spatial disorientation. It is also suggested that the ingestion of alcohol days before an accident may be demonstrated by laboratory procedures. The feasibility and implementation of this should be established. If the association between previous alcohol ingestion, and spatial disorientation or other impairment becomes evident, it should provide a basis for extensive education regarding aviation and safety.

Cite this paper

@article{Gibbons1988AlcoholAA, title={Alcohol, aviation, and safety revisited: a historical review and a suggestion.}, author={Hannah Gibbons}, journal={Aviation, space, and environmental medicine}, year={1988}, volume={59 7}, pages={657-60} }