The medical effects of altitude were discussed by expert aviation medical educators from Arizona State University, Aviation Programs before the group entered the ASU altitude chamber. Used as a professional training site by the world’s airlines and military aviation corps, the facility has the ability to change pressurization and simulate rapid decompression at high altitudes.
EASA / JAA require practical hypoxia training as a mandatory part of flight crew and cabin crew training. This training should include the use of recently developed hypoxia training tools that reduce the amount of oxygen a trainee receives while wearing a mask and performing tasks.
AAIASB Accident Investigation Report 11/2006
hands-on emergency procedures training exercises to nearly 100 attendees at the inaugural Northeast Safety & Training Symposium. Staged at the Westchester County Airport on Tuesday, May 12th, corporate aviation members from the Westchester, Teterboro and Morristown Aviation Associations gathered in White Plains, New York, to participate in valuable crewmember emergency training plus receive updates from the FAA, Customs Border Patrol and ArincDirect on local aviation initiatives.
Jeffrey Lee, President, Westchester Aviation Association, made the following observation:
“At this NE Safety Symposium, FACTS Training International offered members of the TEB, HPN and MMU aviation communities a unique opportunity to refresh their skills and increase their knowledge of aircraft emergencies. This opportunity was especially appreciated during these difficult economic conditions when the commitment to aviation safety training for some individuals might be challenged due to resource limitations. As usual, the FACTS training program was completed with the highest degree of professionalism by a dedicated group of skilled instructors.”
Basically what they did was simulate a decompression of a pressurized airplane at a height of 25,000ft where useful consciousness of the brain is approx. 3-5 mins. After a good 10mins exposed to Hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to the body, one would simply go into an eternal sleep, or in other words, DIE!
LINK TO THE WEBSITE
We were given real Thai airforce pilot helmets coupled with oxygen masks to wear and oxygenate our body, when it was time to do so:
The pilot’s hypoxic impairment was cited as a contributing factor in her failure to follow proper fuel-management procedures. According to FAR Part 91.211, pilots must use supplemental oxygen when the cabin pressure altitude is above 12,500 feet msl for longer than 30 minutes. It must be used continuously when flying above 14,000 feet msl. At cabin pressure altitudes above 15,000 feet msl, each occupant of the aircraft must be provided with supplemental oxygen. None of this occurred during the accident flight.
The physiological effects of a rapid decompression range from trapped-gas expansion within the ears, sinuses, lungs and abdomen to hypoxia. The former disorders can be painful and could become severe, but they are transient, while the latter is a serious hazard for crews. Those on board may also experience decompression sickness, coldness and wind chill. All of the sampled ASRS reports involving “rapid” or “moderate” loss of pressurization were resolved without harm to anyone on board, a remarkable fact since most of the events occurred at altitudes where the time of useful consciousness can be rather brief.