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Dr. Kathryn Hughes is a Consultant at ESi and a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel. A physician and pilot with 25 years of active duty service, she was one of only 10 Pilot-Physicians in the Air Force. Dr. Hughes has over 3100 military pilot flight hours primarily in the T-38, RC-135, A-10, and Royal Air Force Hawk. She also has military flight time in 23 other aircraft, 400 hours as a flight surgeon and over 800 civilian hours in a Bonanza Debonair.
Throughout her career, she held numerous leadership roles in the Air Force Medical Service to include Chief of Aerospace Medicine, Command of a 107-member Squadron and most recently, as Director of the Human Systems Integration Directorate where she was responsible for ensuring human-centric design criteria were included in the acquisition of new Air Force systems. Dr. Hughes is dual board-certified in Aerospace and Occupational Medicine through the American Board of Preventive Medicine, and also specializes in human factors, human performance and human systems integration. Additionally, she has experience in aircraft mishap investigation, including the evaluation of pathology, toxicology, and human performance in accident investigation.
Dr. Hughes’ experience includes the evaluation of a wide range of medical and human factors issues in aviation, including physical standards, fatigue, perception, medication use, visual impairment, obstructive sleep apnea, substance dependence, injury analysis, egress and evacuation concerns, ergonomics, and the effects of pre-existing disease on operator performance. Work specific to aviation has included investigations of G-induced loss of consciousness, hypoxia, spatial disorientation, and visual and vestibular illusions. She also has analyzed human performance and man-machine interface in aviation developmental/operational test and evaluation. Dr. Hughes currently practices aviation and occupational medicine and has been a Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Medical Examiner since 2001.
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