Tag: aircrew

Safe 2011 – Looking Back

The year gone past – 2011 – should be considered reasonably safe as per the statistics released by Aviation Safety Network [1]. It is heartening to note that third lowest number of fatalities (507, excluding 14 on ground) occurred due to a total of 28 fatal airline accidents, the second lowest number in aviation history …

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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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Say NO! To Self-Medication: Adverse Effects of Some Common Drugs

Adverse effects of some of the common drugs are discussed hereafter. Antibiotics. There are many aprescribed for use in an outpatient consultation. Pilots too may be prescribed antibiotics on occasion, where the treating doctor may inform about specific side effects of the prescribed drug. Yet it is important to be aware of some general side …

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Say NO! To Self-Medication: Beware of Effects of Drugs

In deciding whether to temporarily make a pilot unfit to fly while on medication, it is important to analyse the effects of the drug, and then relate these effects to the mission and the likely aviation stresses, besides the individual’s role in the mission. For instance, loose motions and/or vomiting (Gastroenteritis, the commonest cause of …

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Say NO! To Self-Medication: First a few basics…

Temptation to arrest, say, the beginning of a seasonal viral illness must be very strong in almost every pilot, civil or military. This may be to go ahead with the planned trip or sortie next morning. Invariably this may happen due to compulsions of the job or one’s personal training needs. But such a temptation …

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Sick in the Air: Motion Sickness/Air Sickness

Motion Sickness, characterised by nausea, pallor, cold sweating and vomiting, occurs when humans are exposed to unfamiliar motion stimuli, either real or apparent. The earliest known reference to motion sickness was ‘sea-sickness’ but now this term encompasses symptoms induced by any form of motion or even in the absence of physical motion it is known …

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Spatial Disorientation – Vestibular Illusions

The vestibular illusions are divided as per the affected sub-system viz. otolith organ or semicircular canals. Though there are many an illusions, only the common vestibular illusions have been briefly discussed.

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Spatial Disorientation – Visual Illusions

Various visual illusions are enumerated here. Though there are many an illusions, only the common visual illusions have been briefly discussed.

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Spatial Disorientation: Prevention

Prevention of SD is a multi-pronged approach. Preventive strategies start with the selection of healthy candidates with normal vestibular function for aviation duties. The trained aircrew should make conscious and concerted efforts to be physically and mentally healthy, and if unwell or under medication – prescribed or self-medicated, must avoid flying under any circumstances for their …

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