Lesson 23 - Flight Physiology (Part 1)

Lesson 23 - Flight Physiology (Part 1)

Flight Physiology Atmospheric Considerations Composition 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen at all altitudes Pressure is due to the weight of the gases Decreases with altitude,

predictably Gases are subject to physical laws Gases in our bodies will change with the environment Gas laws Boyles Law - volume is inversely proportional to pressure Gases expand when pressure is

decreased Ascending in a pool, bubbles get bigger Gas expansion and contraction problems middle ear, sinuses, stomach & intestines Gas laws

Daltons Law Total barometric pressure = sum of partial pressures (pressure of each gas present) Partial pressure = (Total pressure)(% of gas) Without adequate partial pressure of oxygen, you cannot absorb oxygen in your lungs Remember: As you ascend, the

percentage of oxygen remains constant, but partial pressures decrease. Gas laws Henrys Law The amount of dissolved gas in a liquid will decrease if the pressure around the liquid decreases. When pressure is released,

gas comes out of solution in the form of bubbles These bubbles in the body cause evolved gas problems (decompression sickness) Physiological Zones Physiological Zone - SL to 10,000 We can adapt in this zone

Physiological Deficient Zone - 10,000 to 50,000 Majority of commercial flying Hypoxia due to altitude, as well as trapped and evolved gas problems, are concerns Respiration Definition An exchange of

gases in the body Absorbing oxygen, eliminating carbon dioxide Gas exchange is a function of the partial pressures of the gases Adequate percentage of oxygen and pressure required Hypoxia Definition

Lack of sufficient oxygen in the body to the point where function is impaired. Is due to a number of causes Can occur at any altitude Clearly is a pilots most important physiological concern. 10,000 FT MSL

Causes of Hypoxia An inadequate oxygen partial pressure Poor circulation

Inadequate oxygen system or supply Exposure to high altitude G Forces or diseases of the blood vessels Blood donation or Anemia Toxic exposures Cyanide in burning aircraft Four types of Hypoxia Hypoxic Hypemic Stagnant Histotoxic

Hypoxic Hypoxia Partial pressure of oxygen is insufficient You cannot absorb adequate oxygen Correction: breathe a greater percentage of oxygen or oxygen under pressure Oxygen systems vary

in what they deliver Descend to higher barometric pressures Hypemic Hypoxia The oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is reduced Carbon Monoxide interferes with oxygen binding to the blood Smoking, engine exhaust

Sulfa drugs can have an effect also Blood donation also limits capability Blood Donation Symptoms of hypoxia at lower altitudes Most airlines:

No flight for 72 hours after donation of whole blood No flight for 12 hours after donation of plasma Stagnant Hypoxia Oxygen deficiency due to impaired circulation

G forces from maneuvers Disease of the blood vessels Histotoxic Hypoxia Tissue cells are poisoned and unable to use oxygen

Alcohol Cyanide Symptoms of Hypoxia Symptoms vary between individuals Each symptom will ultimately lead to unconsciousness if untreated.

Effective Performance Time (EPT) Definition Amount of time from loss of adequate oxygen in which an individual can perform effectively Varies with altitude This is not a guarantee!

Chart of EPT Altitude EPT Factors that influence EPT Altitude - the higher, the shorter the time

Rate of ascent increase rate, decrease EPT Physical activity - exercise decreases EPT Corrective Actions for Hypoxia Immediately use supplemental oxygen

Check operation of oxygen equipment System on, Mask on, breathe normally Dont wait for problems Make emergency descent if oxygen is not available Oxygen Use Recommended Use above 10,000 in the day

Use above 5,000 at night Federal Aviation Regulations Part 91.211 Supplemental Oxygen Hypoxia Vs. Hyperventilation Hyperventilation

Respiration that is too rapid and/or deep for current physical activity results in a abnormal loss of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the blood. Carbon Dioxide Management

Carbon Dioxide levels stimulate respiratory center of the brain, influencing how we breathe. Normal Breathing Rate is 12-16 breaths per minute Controlled breathing will keep our Carbon Dioxide levels stable. Heavy exertion Increase in physical activity causes more carbon dioxide to be produced, and we respond by

breathing deeper and faster. Breathing returns to normal when excess is eliminated. Hyperventilation An abnormal increasing in breathing rate and depth, leading to symptoms. Causes

Emotional tension or stress Fear or anxiety Pain Pressure breathing equipment Hyperventilation Symptoms

Dizziness Hot & / or cold sensations Tingling of hand, legs, or feet Muscle spasms Nausea Sleepiness Unconsciousness Hyperventilation symptoms are very similar to that of Hypoxia Corrective Actions

Correct for any potential of Hypoxia Check oxygen equipment for proper function Breathe normally If problem was hypoxia, symptoms disappear rapidly Hyperventilation symptoms are very similar to hypoxia symptoms If symptoms remain: breath slower breath into a bag talk aloud

Trapped Gas Trapped Gas Ear - eardrum flexes causing pain Head colds & infections can block Eustachian tube (more common on descent) Remedy

swallow, yawn, tense throat, valsalva, nasal inhalant Ascend until pain resolves, then use a slower descent Trapped Gas - Sinus Pressure occurs the same way as in the ears Pain is felt on sides of nose, upper jaw, above

eyes Occurs more commonly on descent Remedy Valsalva maneuver Nasal sprays can be used only to help with descentDO NOT USE PRIOR TO FLIGHT! Trapped Gas - Toothache

Problem abscesses imperfect fillings inadequately filled root canals Remedy descent

visit to dentist Trapped Gas Gastrointestinal Problem Abdominal Pain Difficulty breathing

Lowers blood pressure, leading to shock Severe pain above 25,000 Remedy belching, passing flatus, descending Fitness for Flight IMSAFE Checklist

I: Illness M: Medications S: Stress A: Alcohol F: Fatigue E: Emotions/Eating Illness

Any illness may degrade performance Produces fever and distracting symptoms If you have questions about your illness and flyingConsult an Aviation Medical Examiner Medication Medication taking for an illness degrades pilot performance

Both prescription and over the counter Questions?? Consult AME! Over-the-Counter Drugs Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Nuprin), and Tylenol

toxic effects are rare safe to take it and fly Side effects Upset Stomach Over-the-Counter Drugs Antihistamines

Drowsiness Inattention, confusion Depression Dizziness, Vertigo Impaired depth perception Generally not approved, talk with your AME Over-the-Counter Drugs

Nasal decongestants Proper use in-flight can relieve sinus pain or blockage Short-term effects Improper use causes sinus and ear blocks Prior to flight Repeated or frequent use Motion sickness medications wait 8-12 hours after taking

Drowsiness Anti-diarrhea medications wait 12 hours after use could cause drowsiness, visual disturbances, accidents Gas expansion problems are also more likely Prescription Drugs

What is being treated may cause you to be grounded Ear infections Sore throats AME is authority on prescription drugs and flying Amphetamines (NoDoz, etc) Do Not Fly Nervousness Impaired Judgment Euphoria

Prescription Drugs Tranquilizers Do Not Fly Poor Judgment Alertness Efficiency

Overall Performance Sedatives Can help a person get to sleep Wait 12 24 hours after taking to fly Antibiotics Pilot is usually too sick to fly anyway Ask Doctor Illegal Drugs

Very Damaging Potential Certificate Action Alcohol FARs 8 hours bottle to throttle (12 UND) .04% blood alcohol content -1/2 of automobile standard

No effect of alcohol prior to the flight. A hangover is an effect seen with <0.04% alcohol Two ounces of alcohol absorbed into bloodstream in 10 minutes takes 6 hours to metabolize out of system Fatigue

One of the most treacherous hazards of flying Both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) Be aware of your sleeping habits! Stress Bodys reaction to physical and

psychological demands Excessive stress reduces the bodys efficiency results in degraded performance Stress Of Life


job disappointments family problems financial difficulties School! Mental/Emotional Stress Pilot does not think clearly Senses dulled Risks are taken

Self destructive behavior PIC is responsible for ensuring proper mental state Reactions to Stress Heart rate quickens Blood is diverted to organs Sweating

Paleness Motion sickness Stress, in moderation, can improve: Thinking speed Reaction time Situational awareness Motivation Emotion/Eating Emotions

Could lead to taking risks Could be self-destructive Eating Are you nourished Aeronautical Decision Making Decision making under pressure

Time Pressure Other than time pressure Knowledge Skills Required Understanding Self Awareness Personal Minimums

Fitness for Flight AIM section 8 Requirements for Medical Certificates Found in FAR 67 1st Class

2nd Class 3rd Class Fitness for Flight Mental Fitness Obvious mental problems (Psychosis) Personal problems can interfere with normal thought processes Stress, even positive stress, can be

debilitating Drug Misuse If involved with drugs to ANY extent, get help BEFORE getting caught There is no such thing as a little cocaine use Anti-Drug Program

Random sampling Post-Accident Testing Questions?

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