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How To Deal With Air Sickness  
User currently offlineAAden From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 835 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 2 months 22 hours ago) and read 11325 times:

hi guys

I live in denver colorado ,and I went up in a cessna for the first time today.
We took off and I felt fine up to ten thousand feet, but once we headed up into the mountians I ended up getting quite sick. my questions is will this feeling go away with time? if not are their ways to deal with this? thanxs in advance

41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSkookum From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 115 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 22 hours ago) and read 11330 times:

I assume it was the turbulence associated with the mountains that caused your sickness?

Many pilots have dealt with airsickness in the past, and it is usually overcome with regular exposure to flying. I was lucky enough never to experience airsickness; strange because I can get very sick-feeling in the back of longer vehicles.

Just test the waters. Take it very slowly, and perhaps don't head to the mountains right away next time (perhaps easier said than done in Colorado, eh?). Were you flying at the time? It is usually very beneficial to take the controls when you feel crummy. Also, let in some fresh air, and keep your eyes outside as much as possible.

Best of luck, and let us know how things go next time up.



Good flying
User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 22 hours ago) and read 11326 times:

Usually it does go away or at least get less severe with training. Especially learning how aircraft behave, and to predict what the aircraft will do, seems to help. It makes sense too. Airsickness is the body reacting to the sensations from various senses not matching up in the great switchboard called the brain. Experience and knowledge goes a long way to helping that switchboard sort out the impressions rushing in.

Not promising that you will be entirely rid of it, but chances are it will not be a problem in the long run if you end up spending more time in small aircraft.

Cheers,
/Fred



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 42
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 7 hours ago) and read 11256 times:

I've never felt airsick but I have felt queasy on boats quite often. I found the most effective method was to avoid getting tense. Unless you're in danger of injuring yourself (or losing control, if you're the pilot), relax and just do enough to keep yourself in "generally the right place". If you get whipped sideways a couple of inches, don't whip yourself back, "relax" back. In particular, I find keeping my stomach muscles relaxed makes a big difference... unless you've got a beer gut that you don't want anyone to see.  Smile

I also try to think of the up and down, or side to side, motion as relaxing rather than irritating, but those can be more grating in the air than on the sea.

Once I'd got the hang of it, I never got beyond the initial pangs of nausea for a minute or so.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 11204 times:

Practice makes perfect & Cures Everything.

It should wear off in time,unless its medically related.
Guess some Individuals handle certain things differently than others.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBoeingOnFinal From Norway, joined Apr 2006, 476 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 11201 times:

I also got very sick after my last flight. More than my first flight actually.

I tried to go to sleep around 12 at night, and then wake up at 8 to meet my instructor and go flying. But I couldn't sleep untill 3 in the morning, and I got very little sleep. And I do think that being properly rested is important.
Not just the night before, but generally having a good rutine.

I did get carsick before, especially when I read or played gameboy in the car, but it helps to do it more, and try to relax. Then you get used to it.



norwegianpilot.blogspot.com
User currently offlineBuzz From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 697 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 11185 times:

Hi AAden, Buzz here. I'm no stranger to "yakking in a sack" while riding in the back of some warbirds: noise, heat, turbulence, not many windows... and avgas / oil fumes.
The best way to reduce the problem seems to be actually fly, and not be a passenger - you've got your eyes outside and your brain in the game. Getting a lot of windows open / cooling down the cabin helps too.
And another natural medicine for nausea is ginger. Works on a morning-sick wife, helps keep sea sickness at arm's length. I prefer chewing on the candied ginger an hour or two before flight. Ginger snaps don't seem to be concentrated enough.
I tried those "sea bands" that wrap around your wrist, acupressure. They helped a little while I was riding in the back end of a Lockheed PV-2D Harpoon.
But the best thing was to get your eyes out the windows and open a window.

Reading Chuck Yeager's biography 10 years ago, he had airsickness also.
g'day


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17056 posts, RR: 67
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 11177 times:

Quoting Buzz (Reply 6):
The best way to reduce the problem seems to be actually fly, and not be a passenger - you've got your eyes outside and your brain in the game. Getting a lot of windows open / cooling down the cabin helps too.

Same in cars. I never get carsick while driving. If I am the pax and read a book as opposed to looking out, I feel bad pretty fast.

Quoting Buzz (Reply 6):
And another natural medicine for nausea is ginger. Works on a morning-sick wife, helps keep sea sickness at arm's length. I prefer chewing on the candied ginger an hour or two before flight. Ginger snaps don't seem to be concentrated enough.

The Mythbusters tested a plethora of OTC motion sickness meds. The only one to give a consistently good result was ginger.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 11150 times:

Quoting AAden (Thread starter):
hi guys

I live in denver colorado ,and I went up in a cessna for the first time today.
We took off and I felt fine up to ten thousand feet, but once we headed up into the mountians I ended up getting quite sick. my questions is will this feeling go away with time? if not are their ways to deal with this? thanxs in advance


Were you a passenger with a friend? I don't think you'd go into mountains on your first flying lesson. I'm sure what you felt was altitude sickness. If I was you I'd stay below 10,000 until you become accustomed to non-pressurised flying. And really, it's really pointless to go above 8000 in a 160/180 horse power 172, you'll just be unnecessarily burning fuel. One tip since you guys seem like you fly pretty high, if you ever feel like you are getting tunnel vision or feel like your body is numb, make sure you open up the cabin vents and let fresh air come in even if it's cold and descend to lower altitudes. Those are symptoms of hypoxia and it's very dangerous.

[Edited 2006-08-06 09:55:41]

[Edited 2006-08-06 09:56:05]

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 11151 times:

Good Sleep & Eating the right foods prior would help.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 11140 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 9):
Good Sleep & Eating the right foods prior would help.

 checkmark  Yes, that is an excellent point. Especially Sleep. Don't get a few hours of sleep and go flying the next day, I've tried that and you won't last very long up in the air. Make sure you eat something before you fly, and don't drink energy drinks, they don't mix with flying. They make you crash. No pun intened.


User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 11126 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 8):
And really, it's really pointless to go above 8000 in a 160/180 horse power 172, you'll just be unnecessarily burning fuel.

It's not "pointless" when the terrain is higher! Seriously, we live with density altitudes in the 8,000's in Denver well over half the year. Just yesterday, I flew a 160HP 172N with two passengers (read: max weight) to PUB to see an open-cockpit B-29. Our takeoff ground roll was around 2,300 feet, and with calm winds aloft, we climbed to our cruise altitude of 9,500 in about 14 minutes. By properly leaning, we achieved within 10% of the POH fuel burns (which means we only burned 9.3 gallons from APA to PUB).

I wouldn't personally head into the real monuntains with a 160HP 172. But, the OP didn't say that was the plane he was in. A turbo 182 does very well and can easily climb to and cruise at 14,499. For all we know, he was in a Citation X. But, I have been at LXV on a warm day, the highest airport in North America at 9927 MSL, and watched a Katana with two reasonably big guys aboard take off and climb with no problems. If you don't know, the Katana is a composite with a 125HP engine and 5GPH fuel burn at cruise.



Position and hold
User currently offlineTurnit56N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 11117 times:

As others have said - open the windows or air scoop, look outside at the horizon, and fly the airplane yourself.

As we learn in basic aeromedical factors, air sickness is primarily caused by a discrepancy between two or more of your motion sensing systems, usually the eyes and the inner ear. Your eyes have a very large input in motion sensing, which can cause problems in enclosed transportation vehicles. When you are looking inside an airplane, reading a book in a car, or inside a boat's cabin your eyes are seeing a constant relatively level environment, so they tell the brain you're not moving much. Your inner ear, detecting the actual movement, tells your brain you are moving around quite a bit. The brain is getting conflicting information, which results in you feeling airsick/seasick/carsick. In order to reconcile the conflicting information, look outside. On a boat, you'll be told to look at the horizon. The same thing works in an airplane. When your eyes see the movement outside and start telling your brain the same thing as your inner ear, things settle down. Nerves exacerbate the feeling of nausea, so distracting yourself by flying the airplane also helps (looking outside instead of at the instruments, of course!)

The best thing for airsickness is experience, as others have said. I don't know exactly why, but the more you fly the less you'll get airsick. It may be that your brain gets used to the conflicting information, or maybe it just gets better at interpreting what your eyes see inside the airplane. It is not at all uncommon for student pilots to feel airsick when they start flying. If you really like flying, stick with it. Make sure you're hydrated, eat the right foods, keep an airscoop or window open if needed, fly the airplane and look outside at the horizon if you start feeling queasy. Just remember that it's normal and it will pass!


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17056 posts, RR: 67
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 11110 times:

Quoting Turnit56N (Reply 12):

As we learn in basic aeromedical factors, air sickness is primarily caused by a discrepancy between two or more of your motion sensing systems, usually the eyes and the inner ear. Your eyes have a very large input in motion sensing, which can cause problems in enclosed transportation vehicles.

Same with some computer games, but in reverse. Half-Life makes me extremely nauseous. Presumably my eyes tell my brain that I am moving, but the inner ear disagrees.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineUnited757 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 11100 times:

I also have problems with airsickness on small aircraft. I usually deal with it by not eating anything for breakfast and taking Less-Drowsy Dramamine before I go to a lesson. I told my instructor that I had problems with airsickness, and he says it happens to quite a lot of student pilots, and that it will go away after a while.If I ever start feeling naseus during flight, I just ask my instructor to take the controls for a moment while I recooperate. I also always bring a paper bag just incase, lol.

User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 11077 times:

Quoting United757 (Reply 14):
I also have problems with airsickness on small aircraft. I usually deal with it by not eating anything for breakfast and taking Less-Drowsy Dramamine before I go to a lesson.

Wow that's completely the opposite of what you should be doing. Dramamine is not allowed by the FAA, so what you are doing is illegal. The only thing that is not controlled is ginger. To avoid air sickness you have to eat something, at least something light. I would advise you look into FAA.gov about this kind of stuff.


User currently offlineUnited757 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 11069 times:

Wow I didn't realize that, my instructor must not have known about it either. Hopefully it was ok since I was not the pilot in command. The reason I usually don't eat breakfast before a lesson is so there is nothing to come up, lol. Next time I guess I'll have to try ginger.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17056 posts, RR: 67
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 11061 times:

Quoting United757 (Reply 16):
The reason I usually don't eat breakfast before a lesson is so there is nothing to come up, lol.

True. But you will also go into a situation that requires maximum alertness with your body unable to deliver. Foods that calm the stomach vary per individual, but for me yogurt is pretty good unless I have to run or something. Caffeine = bad.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineTurnit56N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 11060 times:

Not eating makes you more susceptible to nausea. Your body doesn't have energy and is less able to cope with the physiological demands of flying. I'd advise against the Dramamine, too. The FAA has determined that it does dull the senses (which is the point of taking it, I guess) even if it doesn't cause you to sleep. As a student pilot you don't have to worry about being charged by the FAA as long as you're with a CFI, but AirWillie is correct when saying it is illegal. You could not take it when flying solo or after you get your license when acting as pilot in command. Besides, I would imagine that your body isn't really getting used to the sensations of flying while drugged.

As far as eating and drinking before a flight: Drink water beforehand and it's always a good idea to have a bottle of water with you onboard (but don't drown yourself). Dehydration can also add to feelings of nausea, and it has in the past few years even been added to the PTS as one of the aeromedical conditions pilots are required to be familiar with. Don't eat a lot before the flight, but it's very important to have a small amount of food in your stomach. While the "right foods" vary from person to person, it's a good idea to avoid greasy, acidic, or high-sodium foods. Fruits, vegetables, and proper carbohydrates are good. Preserved, salty, and dairy foods cause problems for some people.

So, next time lay off the dramamine, eat a light breakfast of rye toast and some fruit, drink water, and you'll probably feel better. If not, just give it time and it's nearly a guarantee that your problems will go away in time. I had many students who struggled with airsickness when they were starting out. By the time they got their PPL, very few of them felt airsick even when flying in unstable hot air.


User currently offlineUnited757 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 11057 times:

Thanks for the information. I always bring a bottle of water with me and I also usually drink a whole bottle before the flight to keep me hydrated (I'm in Florida). Next time I'll try eating something light before I go up.  Smile

User currently offlineAAden From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 835 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 11050 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 8):
Were you a passenger with a friend? I don't think you'd go into mountains on your first flying lesson. I'm sure what you felt was altitude sickness. If I was you I'd stay below 10,000 until you become accustomed to non-pressurised flying. And really, it's really pointless to go above 8000 in a 160/180 horse power 172, you'll just be unnecessarily burning fuel. One tip since you guys seem like you fly pretty high, if you ever feel like you are getting tunnel vision or feel like your body is numb, make sure you open up the cabin vents and let fresh air come in even if it's cold and descend to lower altitudes. Those are symptoms of hypoxia and it's very dangerous.

it was a friend, i'm flying out at 7am for a discovery flight in phx and they told me we will be heading into the mountians

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 10):
Yes, that is an excellent point. Especially Sleep. Don't get a few hours of sleep and go flying the next day, I've tried that and you won't last very long up in the air. Make sure you eat something before you fly, and don't drink energy drinks, they don't mix with flying. They make you crash. No pun intened.

yea I didn't get very much sleep 3hrs

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 11):
I wouldn't personally head into the real monuntains with a 160HP 172. But, the OP didn't say that was the plane he was in. A turbo 182 does very well and can easily climb to and cruise at 14,499. For all we know, he was in a Citation X. But, I have been at LXV on a warm day, the highest airport in North America at 9927 MSL, and watched a Katana with two reasonably big guys aboard take off and climb with no problems. If you don't know, the Katana is a composite with a 125HP engine and 5GPH fuel burn at cruise.

sorry cessna 182


User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 11042 times:

Quoting AAden (Reply 20):
it was a friend, i'm flying out at 7am for a discovery flight in phx and they told me we will be heading into the mountians

Phx? Phoenix? I thought it was in the Denver area.

Quoting United757 (Reply 16):
Hopefully it was ok since I was not the pilot in command. The reason I usually don't eat breakfast before a lesson is so there is nothing to come up, lol. Next time I guess I'll have to try ginger.

If you need ginger then why not go with Dramamine? The point is that you shouldn't be dependent on anything.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 11032 times:

Quoting United757 (Reply 19):
Next time I'll try eating something light before I go up

Tell us the Results when you get back after implementing the Advice.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 11031 times:

Focus on something outside of the cockpit and well off near the horizon. Often my students will get motion sickness when watching the instruments too much or looking out the side windows.


DMI
User currently offlineAAden From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 835 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11027 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 21):
Phx? Phoenix? I thought it was in the Denver area.

sorry my first flight was in denver

I'm headed to phx in a couple of minutes actually for a discovery flight at RAA academy, and they told me that we would head up in the mountains

I will write a trip repot when I get back on wednesday.


25 AirWillie6475 : Oh, dude why are you going there? If you haven't already signed yourself away, I'd advise you to stay away from PHX for flight training. Plus there's
26 Post contains images PlainSmart : I would recommend bananas before a flight if you're worried about airsickness. They usually seem to help calm the stomach, and if worst comes to worst
27 AAden : and where do you suggust? I'm just looking at the moment
28 United757 : I just got back from a flight lesson a few minutes ago, I used ginger capsules and little ginger candy things, and they helped immensely. I would high
29 HAWK21M : Whats this & how does it function. regds MEL
30 Gammagirl : Commonly known as 'sea-bands', they are small elasticated wristbands with a ~1cm button sewn in, designed to place pressure on an acupressure point on
31 AAden : where would I be able to get ginger
32 Post contains images HAWK21M : try the local candy store.Else go to the Veg market. regds MEL
33 Post contains links Starlionblue : GNC if you live in the States http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp...=18378590292&x=0&parentPage=search
34 AAden : thanxs for all the help guys
35 Post contains images HAWK21M : Don't forget Feedback. cheers. regds MEL
36 Sushka : Ginger helped me. I am the type of guy who has to sit in the front seat while in cars or else I get carsick. It sucks, so when I started flying gettin
37 HAWK21M : Are you saying if you are in the Aft its bad & front seat its fine.Could this be Psycological. regds MEL
38 Sushka : Maybe just a little, but I think it has more to do with being able to have a better view outside.
39 Starlionblue : This is apparently pretty common. Many fighter pilots start out pretty airsick and non-G tolerant. It passes. As Sushka says, having a good view ensu
40 HAWK21M : Practice makes perfect.I guess with time it gets cured. regds MEL
41 HKA : Actually ginger works very well for me whenever I feel nusea. By fresh ginger (root) from veg. store, cut it into small pieces, say 1cm size and keep
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