Effects of Mild Hypoxia on Pilot Performances at General Aviation Altitudes.
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF AVIATION MEDICINE
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General aviation pilots may fly continuously at altitudes up to 12,500 ft. without the use of supplemental oxygen. However, hypoxia is a condition that can develop at altitudes under 12,500 ft. Research has shown highly variable tolerance and performance of individuals during low altitude laboratory exposures with simple and complex tasking. This study evaluated the physiological and subjective responses, as well as the simulated flight performance of general aviation pilots during a cross-country flight scenario. Ten pilots of a mild hypoxia group were compared with 10 pilots of a normoxic control group. Measurements of flight performance from the Basic General Aviation Research Simulator BGARS and of flight-following procedures were gathered during a 3-day, 2 hr. per day, cross-country flight scenario. Determined by group membership and terrain elevation during the cross-country flight, subjects breathed either oxygen mixtures simulating sea level, 8,000 ft., 10,000 ft., and 12,500 ft. altitudes or compressed air, throughout.
- Commercial and General Aviation
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology