Air Force study finds drone pilots face high stress

Seventeen percent of pilots had a clinical level of distress, according to the study, which was conducted by Wayne Chappelle and Col. Kent McDonald at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Wright-Patterson Air Force base.

A number of factors contributed to the stress, but being exposed to combat operations wasn’t a top factor. Respondents listed long and odd hours, short staffing amid an increase in drone use and tasks that had “too much monotony” as the biggest reasons they were stressed in the job.

As a result, a small number of pilots, just 4 percent, were reported to be at risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.