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Low In-Flight Blood Oxygen Levels in CF CC-130 Aircrew

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Technical Report

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Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine Toronto, Ontario Canada

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Routine non-destructive testing NDT revealed cracks in a key aluminum airframe beam on E model CC130. Consequently, the CF Aeronautical Engineering community issued an operational restriction to all squadrons flying these aircraft that cabin pressure differentials were to be maintained a no more than 10psi pounds per square inch. At service ceilings ranging from 24,000 ft to 28,000 ft, a 10psi cabin pressure differential produces corresponding cabin altitudes ranging from 8,000 ft to 10,000 ft. Such cabin altitudes have been implicated in 2 recent physiological incidents. Of the 20 CC130 aircraft based at 8 Wing CFB Trenton, 17 are the affected E models. The 8 Wing Surgeon requested that DCIEM monitor percent arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation SaO2 with a view to quantification of this aero-medical problem and possible countermeasures to protect the crews flying these aircraft.

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