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87

The key point here is that your body does not measure blood oxygen levels. Instead, the urge to breathe is caused by a surplus of carbon dioxide in your blood. At sea level, this is fine: the only way to get so much carbon dioxide in your blood is if you used up all the oxygen. At higher altitudes, the pressure is lower, and consequently the oxygen partial ...


59

In order to fly commercial you will need a first class medical certificate, and getting that with aspergers is going to be tough. The first consideration is the safety or people in the air and on the ground, so the criteria is conservative. Getting a first class medical would mean lots of extra hoops, even if it is possible. If you did get a medical you ...


54

When it comes to the AME, you must disclose everything fully and completely. Failure to do so may void any license and insurance and expose you to extraordinary civil and criminal risk. When it comes to your flight instructor, who is not a medical professional, you do not need to disclose the specifics of your situation. Saying, "I have concerns about ...


51

Yes It's true. And yes it's related to pressure. Have you heard of "The bends" or decompression sickness? As divers go deeper the pressure increases. The longer you dive and deeper you go the more nitrogen is absorbed into your blood as a dissolved gas. As you return to the surface the pressure reduces and the nitrogen reverts to a gas. This ...


45

Your sinus passages were obstructed and it was atmospheric pressure squeezing your skull as the increasing pressure on the descent tried to equalize the pressure. The air in your sinuses escapes much easier than it goes back in so the problem is always after a descent. Feels like someone trying to drive a nail into your skull between your eyes. Plug your ...


35

When I worked in the design department of an aircraft company, I had two types of coworkers: Those with and those without a pilot's license. You could easily spot the difference. In aircraft-related engineering decisions it was soon obvious. I mightily preferred to work with other pilots - they would have a much better grasp of "what looks about right" and ...


34

First, let's be crystal clear on something: A person experiencing symptoms of acute hypoxia is an emergency which requires immediate action to ensure the safety of that person. In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule … to the extent required to meet that emergency. (FAR 91.3 (b)). So if you're ...


34

You only feel the acceleration downward. In roller-coaster this sensation is maximized for maximum thrill. A stall isn't instant: some parts of the wing can be stalled while the rest still provides proper lift. Once the airplane is near or at terminal velocity in a stall it will feel no different from regular straight and level flight. The onset of the ...


33

The average additional annual dose for flight crew is 2.19 mSv (milli sieverts). http://www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/commercialflights.html The typical annual dose from background sources is 4 mSv (this varies enormously on the Earth's surface). However, as a rough order of thumb, the annual radiation dose of a flight crew member increases by ...


26

No, lack of oxygen, in an of itself does not trigger negative physiological responses; quite the opposite. Most people who are affected by hypoxia have a general feeling of elation or euphoria and think everything is fine. The body will, however, respond strongly to high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood and lungs but not low levels of oxygen; this is ...


26

You only feel the plunging sensation during the initial downward acceleration. Once stabilized at a constant rate of descent, things feel normal again. The other thing is, the amount of vertical acceleration from a stall type maneuver does not result in 0 or negative G, just less than 1. You'll feel getting light in the seat, you won't lift right out and ...


24

This is one of those questions where you really need to talk to an AME, preferably one who has significant experience working through these sorts of issues. In order to get the Class II medical that you'll need to fly commercially, you'll end up needing to work through the process anyway, so you're probably better off starting with the expert, rather than ...


23

In the US, you are not required to inform a doctor that you are a pilot. However, on the application for a medical certificate (Form 8500-8) you must list all "visits to health professionals" in the last three years, including type of professional and the reason for the visit. The medical examiner uses that information to guide questions to ask about your ...


22

Typical height for helicopters is 500-1,500 AGL, and almost all flights are conducted in this regime. Below 1,500 AGL the surface is quite close and the ground moves by fairly quickly, so you have a good point of reference. At 3,000 AGL, you can feel quite disconnected from the earth and can have a bout of altitude fear. When I had to circle up above ...


20

You don't have to divert, in fact it may be a bad option depending on conditions (I would recommend you don't go if conditions will make diverting dicey though). You can treat the hypoxia with low cost bottled oxygen supplies specifically made for this situation. At 11,000ft it's unlikely lack of oxygen will make your mother really ill, a top of oxygen is ...


20

Let me start out by saying that Aviation Stack Exchange is not a substitute for medical advice. Most of us aren't doctors (though I have medical training I am certainly not a doctor), and even if we were doctors we are not your doctor and we don't know your medical history (or your child's medical history). If you're going to be flying with your kids in an ...


19

You are correct that it is done by PA rather than by reference to the manifest, at least at my carrier in my type of aircraft. As you surmise, the "Dr" notation has too many opportunities for both false positive AND false negative results to be where you want to start when time is of the essence. Besides, if you need medical help at 40,000', you're probably ...


18

It depends on the type and severity of the color deficiency and on the individual. When I first applied for a 2nd class medical, I couldn't pass the color test. I took a practical test with an FAA inspector to get a waiver. We walked outside the FSDO office, and he had me identify the color of the lights being directed at me by the tower. Fortunately, I ...


18

Yes, for a while: Capt. Al Haynes, after saving 184 lives on United Flight 232. I was lucky enough to have dinner with Al Haynes a few years ago, and he told me that he had a very difficult time overcoming the guilt of the disaster. The talks he gives have been a way of coping. (As a side note, he also donates all the money he receives from the talks to ...


17

You don't have to. The reason is because you do have to tell your CAME about everything at your next aviation medical exam anyway. The reason you are not required to tell your doctor that you are a pilot is because section 602.02 and 602.03 of the CARS give you the responsibility to not fly if your medical condition or drug you are taking renders you not ...


17

The simple answer is to rent or buy a supplemental O2 system for Mom. Don't fake this one. As Voretaq7 said in the first answer, "A person experiencing symptoms of acute hypoxia" Focus on the word "acute". Just having your Mom feeling a little light-headed is probably not going to hold up as a valid reason to divert lower in any faa action. And if ...


17

There's no legal or regulatory obligation to tell your instructor about medical conditions as others have said. There may be rare cases where there are insurance considerations the flight school must take into account, in which case they should explain that. There's good reasons to be open, however: - Not disclosing a medical condition could increase the ...


16

It's possible to get a special issuance medical certificate in this case: An applicant will be considered monocular when there is only one eye or when the best corrected distant visual acuity in the poorer eye is no better than 20/200. An individual with one eye, or effective visual acuity equivalent to monocular, may be considered for medical ...


16

Under current FAA medical regulations a pilot with one functional eye (called monocular vision) can get any class of medical, including the class 1 required for airline pilots: An individual with one eye, or effective visual acuity equivalent to monocular, may be considered for medical certification, any class, through the special issuance section of ...


16

Human decision making is an entire field of psychological research and there are many, many studies and books about it. Yet for all that we really don't know exactly why people make the kinds of mistakes they do, so I will summarize the theoretical work that I personally have studied, which are Heuristics and Cognitive Biases. The theory is that human ...


15

According to AOPA's medical guru on their discussion board (members only, or I would link to an example) it is possible to get a medical certificate following a tumor removal but only after a 5-year wait and a battery of tests. But having said that, medical issues are very individual and the FAA's AME guidance suggests that one year is enough in some cases. ...


15

I'm going to assume you're asking about US/FAA requirements - If not what's below may not be particularly helpful. ADD is not a disqualifying condition, however if you have a formal diagnosis of ADD or ADHD you may need to undergo additional testing in order to receive a medical certificate. Also some of the medications used to treat ADD/ADHD may be ...


15

I have a history of depression and hold a 3rd class medical certificate. In my case the depression is managed by medication so the certificate is issued under what is called a Special Issuance (SI). Therefore I have personal experience with the extra "hoops" involved that others have mentioned. You must start with a consultation with a HIMS (Human ...


15

Night vision is one of the first things affected by reduced oxygen levels, and that effect is masked in daylight, but can become consequential at night. But no, the O2 molecules are the same night or day. BTW, airline pilots in our 8000' cabins do not have different guidance for putting on the masks -- it's 10k, day & night both. Air Force was, IIRC, ...


15

I don't know about the question in your title, but I can answer the question in the body: I was wondering if it's important that I disclose this to employers or just lie if asked? No, you should not lie about your medical history. If you knowingly lie about your medical history, and it subsequently comes out, it could cost you your career - including the ...


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