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Flashcards in Flight Physiology Deck (8)
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What is hypoxia?

Hypoxia is a state of oxygen deficiency in the body sufficient to impair functions of the brain and other organs.


Where does hypoxia usually occur and what symptoms should one expect?

12,000 - 15,000 ft. Judgement, memory, alertness, coordination, headache, drowsiness. You can avoid hypoxia by using supplemental oxygen above 10,000 ft during the day and above 5,000 ft at night.


What is hyperventilation?

Hyperventilation, or an abnormal increase in the volume of air breathed in and out of the lungs, can occur subconsciously when a stressful situation is encountered in flight. This results in the decrease of CO2 in the bloodstream. Lightheadedness, suffocation, drowsiness, tingling extremities.

Can be reversed by holding a paper bag over the nose and mouth.


What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

A colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas contained in exhaust fumes. When inhaled, even in minute quantities over a period of time, it can significantly reduce the ability of the blood to carry O2.


How does carbon monoxide poisoning occur and what symptoms should a pilot be alert for?

Most heaters in light aircraft work by air flowing over the manifold. The use of these heaters while exhaust fumes are escaping through manifold cracks and seals are responsible for many non-fatal and fatal accidents. If a pilot detects the odor of exhaust or experiences symptoms of headache, drowsiness, or dizziness, you should suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

If its severe, open all vents to get airflow going through the aircraft.


What is "ear block"?

As the aircraft cabin pressure decreases during descent, the expanding air in the middle ear pushes the Eustachian tube open. The air then escapes down the nasal passages and equalizes in pressure with the cabin pressure. Pilot must try an equalize this pressure to avoid pain and loss of hearing.

Swallowing, yawning, can help with this.


Discuss the effects of nitrogen excesses during scuba diving upon a pilot or passenger in flight

A pilot or passenger who intended to fly after scuba diving needs to:

Flight altitudes up to 8,000 ft:

a) Wait at least 12 hours after diving which has not required a controlled descent
b) Wait at least 24 hours after diving which has required controlled ascent.

Flight altitudes above 8,000 ft should wait at least 24 hours after any scuba dive.


If you have bad cold and your doctor prescribed medication. You feel much better. Can you resume flying?

Anytime you experience an illness or an injury that you feel may affect your ability to safety fly, you must self-ground according to 14 CFR 61.53. Consult with your AME if there is any concerns.