Cosmic Radiation

Wed Mar 21, 2001 5:38 pm

My ambition for the future is to become a commercial pilot BUT I am concerned about Cosmic Radiation. I was told that for every 3-4 hours of flying is equal to one chest x-ray. I feel that as a pilot, being exposed to this amount of radiation cannot be too good. I would like to read more about cosmic radiation if anybody has any links or hear any comments which pilots have on the issue. Thanks.

Regards, Steve.
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Cosmic Radiation

Wed Mar 21, 2001 6:29 pm

There is an increase in exposure....I remeber hearing that is was aboutu 1rad per hour at crusing altitude but don't hold me to that.

The polycarbonate windows used on a lot of aircraft don't sheild against the bright light at this altitude so it is possible to end up with a nasty sunburn.

I remember hearing a story about one person on their first flight in a small bizjet. She was shocked to see that once the aircraft got up to crusing altitude, the pilots unfolded the sectional and then stuffed it into the front window so they couldn't see out the front of the airplane. This was to keep them from getting sunburned but she didn't know that. She was just a little concerned that they where hurdling through the sky at .8 mach and nowbody was able to look out the front window!!!
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Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2000 5:48 am

RE: Cosmic Radiation

Wed Mar 21, 2001 7:49 pm

The radiation is very very strong up there.
I was flying a Learjet before and we had a counter for radiation in it.
On the ground in Munich we had 12 microsivert.
During climb, at FL200 we had 45 microsivert.
At FL250 70, FL300 150, FL490 470.
Yes 470 microsivert!!!!!

The average age for an airlinepilot in Europe is 68. Most of them die because of cancer.
But those people don´t had a full Jet career. They have been flying with old airplanes in low altitudes for years.
So the age will get lower in future.

Every flight over the atlantic is like a full body x-ray!!

Doesn´t sound so good!!!

yes i can handle that alone. - - -famous last words
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RE: Cosmic Radiation

Thu Mar 22, 2001 12:29 am

From these folks, you can acquire a book entitled "The Invisible Passenger: Radiation Risks for People Who Fly" (c)1996 by Robert J. Barish. It gives a detailed and concise explanantion of what is known today about the effects of cosmic and other radiation on people who fly a lot.

Best Regards,


RE: Cosmic Radiation

Thu Mar 22, 2001 7:56 am


RE: Cosmic Radiation

Thu Mar 22, 2001 1:33 pm

Thanks. Scary stuff!

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