Category Archive: Occupational Health

There is LASER in my eye!

There is a spurt in the incidence of Laser devices aimed at aircraft during low level flying or while making an approach to land [1, 2]. Despite punitive actions against culprits, including sentence up to 10 years in Germany or 20 years in US, it shows no signs of abating [2, 3, 4]. Those shining …

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NVG: Why the Neck Pains?

An informal query on a professional forum whether helicopter pilots suffer from neck pain while using NVG (1), a small group chose to share their thoughts and concerns. Eight of the respondents affirmed that they had discomfort or pain, including disc prolapse and pressure on the nerves as reported by one pilot each. However, there …

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NVG: Pain in the Neck!

Use of Night Vision Goggle (NVG) amongst helicopter aircrew is becoming a matter of concern [1]. On one hand, the pain in the neck is reportedly 29% amongst Australian helicopter aircrew [2], while it peaks to more than 90% Canadian Forces helicopter pilots with more than 150 hours of NVG flight [3]. Other likely causes …

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An Appeal for Safe Flying : BALPA on Tired Pilots

Cabin Pressurisation – Hazards of Rapid Decompression

Incidence of failure of cabin pressurisation in military aircraft, even in peace time, is higher than commercial aviation. The commonest cause of loss of pressurisation in military aviation, especially in fighter flying, is engine flameout.

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Cabin Pressurisation – If Lost?

On 10 Jun 1990, on BA flight 5390, Captain Tim Lancaster was sucked out halfway out of the aircraft, when an improperly installed windscreen pane failed. While the first officer made an emergency landing in Southampton, the cabin crew firmly held on to Tim, bringing him down safely [*].

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Cabin Pressurisation – The Mechanism

It is not practical to maintain sea level conditions in flight. For example, a cabin differential pressure of 1 Kg/sq cm (nearly 1 ATA) generates more than 1,000 gm/cm2 pressure on the cabin wall and the transparency. If the cabin altitude of 2,500 m (8,000 ft) is accepted,the pressure differential would now be reduced by …

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Cabin Pressurisation – An Introduction

On 26 January 2011, a Qantas Boeing 737-400 made an emergency descent of about 8000m [*], when the aircraft lost cabin pressure after about 30 minutes of flight. This flight, with 99 passengers, from Adelaide to Melbourne had oxygen masks dropping in the cabin, causing a scare amongst its 99 passengers. 



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Decompression Sickness in HA Reconnaissance Aircraft

Pilots flying high altitude (HA) reconnaissance sorties are vulnerable to decompression sickness (DCS) due to, exposure to “pressure equivalent up to 29,500 ft (8992 m) of altitude for over 8 h” [1]. Cruise altitude of such HA reconnaissance aircraft viz. U-2 [2] and MiG 25 [3] is 70,000 ft and 74,000 ft, respectively. There are two …

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It Hurts in Flight – Barotrauma

    Aero-odantalgia Aero-odantalgia refers to symptoms related to various dental ailments due to change in ambient pressure in flight. It commonly presents as pain in tooth due to trapped air in a dental cavity after a filling has been done. Other reasons for dental pain could be due to infection of the gums or …

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