Airplane pilots have been a profession for over 100 years. It has evaluated over the years, adapting to each technology and constraint that humans may encounter. New challenges are continually being faced. However, there are also new ways for pilots to protect themselves and stay safe at work.
In Altitude, UV Risks Are Not Absenting
By flying in altitude and toward sunny countries, airplane pilots are two times more exposed to UV rays than the general population, presenting a risk of developing a skin cancer called melanoma. The phenomenon has been known since the 1940s, but few countries have so far carried out serious research on the subject. For a few years, some research institutes have worked to understand more about this risk. Most of the commercial fly at 30 000ft, and the exposure is twice more important than on the ground. The intensity of UV radiation increases by 15% with each additional 900 meters of altitude, starting from sea level, of course.
The windows of the cockpit, made of plastics, are usually not offering excellent protection again these UV radiations (even it is better than the old glass windshield), and according to some scientists, there is no need to do anything. According to other studies, leisure activities such as tanning at the beach, volleyball, or other sports that are fun to play in the sun by the pilot’s crew after a flight do not increase the risk of developing melanoma. Despite advances in technology and health, it is essential for the pilot to be aware of these facts and to protect himself in the first instance. Given this, except wearing sunglasses, it turns out that a good shirt can prevent skin from UV exposure and helped it to keep a good immune system.
Benefits of Pilot Uniform Shirts
Over the decades, the shirt and uniform have replaced the heavy leather coats of the aviation pioneers. Currently, many shirts are made of synthetic materials, cheaper to buy for airlines. It highlights various inconveniences, such as if pilots sweat at the beginning of the flight if not before. Indeed, cotton has the particularity of absorbing the body’s perspiration, allowing the pilot to feel more comfortable. The cockpit being a confined space, odors are often present, and this does not make the flight pleasant for the crew. Thus, in addition to absorbing water, cotton does not give bacteria a chance to form.
As we have seen above, in addition to protecting against UV rays, airline pilots’ shirts cause few allergic reactions compared to synthetic shirts. Regardless of the temperature and the season, cotton will always retain its properties and will always be comfortable for pilots. The aesthetic aspect is also taken into account, with resistance to pilling of the fabric fibers. In addition to this, durability is an essential parameter because pilots spend a lot of time flying, and it is, therefore, necessary that the shirts are resistant over time, which is the case with cotton.