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In Flight Emergency – Cabin Pressure & Hypoxia

I was recently in Estonia for a NATO military training exercise.  Flying in the back seat of an F-16D (two seater), I was ‘gently’ reminded of the importance of human factors in flight and the constant, inherent danger in combat aviation.[...]

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Clearing Your Ears

Most aviators learn early in their career that flying with a simple upper respiratory infection or seasonal allergies can be painful.  Gases in the sinuses and middle ear expand in accordance with Boyles Law as altitude increases and pressure decreases.[...]

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‘Fitness for Flight’ – Mental Health & Antidepressants

The recent Germanwings tragedy has called commercial aviation’s concept of ‘Fitness for Flight’ into question.  In case the reader has just returned from a week long hike in the wilderness and missed the news headlines – on 24 March 2014[...]

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From the Cockpit to the Hospital – CRM for Docs

Have you ever been part of Code Blue (patient in full arrest) that went horribly wrong?  Almost all docs have a horror story from either a real-world or (preferably) sim lab scenario where a resuscitation fell apart and ultimately led[...]

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U.S. Military Aerospace Physiology

Aerospace and Operational Physiology (AOP) has the unique challenge of bridging physiologic sciences with the operational environment.  Many people think “they just work with pilots and do altitude chamber training.”  While we do frequently work with pilots and other aircrew,[...]

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Does Bilberry Extract Improve Night Vision in Pilots?

BLUF:  Bilberry is probably not effective in improving night vision visual acuity or contrast recognition. It recently was brought to my attention that some pilots have added bilberry to their diets and others have been willing to shell out cold hard cash[...]

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The Golden Age

On a recent domestic flight with Delta Airlines departing the busy Chicago O’Hare International Airport, I had an unexpected, but enjoyable experience.  Awaiting takeoff near the back of the Boeing 737’s coach seating, I heard an announcement from the front of the aircraft.  I looked up to[...]

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The USAF Pilot-Physician Program

I have been thoroughly blessed to serve as an active member of the USAF Pilot Physician Program (PPP) officially since 2008 but unofficially since 2002, when I entered pilot training as a “former flight surgeon”.  Although the USAF Pilot Physician[...]

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Gas Laws in Aerospace Physiology

There exist a huge number of Laws in Physics & Chemistry.  However, there are only a few that are really important in aerospace medicine.  Most of these are the basic Gas Laws. Let’s review some of the most important ones.[...]

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Dr Story Musgrave – Physician, Pilot, Astronaut

I recall seeing an inspiring commercial from US Navy recruiters (see below) some years ago.  After showing a series of action-packed video clips, the narrator asks the provocative question: “If someone wrote a book about your life, would anyone want to[...]

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