Following photos are part of a collection from a physiological flight training course (also known as a chamber ride) sponsored by the FAA and conducted at a USAF base.
Here's the chamber. We really don't physically go for a ride, we get inside a steel box and have the most of the air taken out (gee, doesn't this sound fun?). Inside with us are at least three Air Force personnel, always on O2, standing by to assist anyone that experiences trouble. There are also several more personnel outside to operate the chamber.
Here we are in the chamber (that's me waving).
We "level off" at 25,000 feet and half of the course attendees took their mask off to experience hypoxia. The effects take a few minutes. Attendees sitting next keep their mask on and observe their friend ("This high altitude flying is really great!"). For some the effects of hypoxia can be of euphoria.
After a few minutes, these people put their masks back on and then the next half of the class took their masks off to experience hypoxia.
"Gosh, this math of 14 + 23 is really hard!" This is what happens when your brain lacks oxygen, simple things can become difficult. They gave us a sheet of math problems, a quiz, and a maze.
Some of the questions include, "How many 4 cent stamps in a dozen," "Write your telephone number five times," "What is your date of birth," and "If you were in a completely dark room and had a sack containing 50 white socks and 50 black socks mixed together, how many socks would you have to take out of the sack before you were certain that you had an identical pair?"
Another test we did was to see how your color vision deteriorates at high altitude. We would level off at 18,000 feet, the chamber lights dim, we go off oxygen, look at the color chart, and after a few minutes we pout the O2 mask back on. When we continue to look at the color chart (still in the reduced lighting) we then see the true colors emerge, even though we did not experience symptoms of hypoxia. This test demonstrated how your night vision is not as good as you would think while flying at night. These same symptoms can be experienced after about 30 minutes at 10,000 feet (this can cause some pilots to not distinguish between stars and streetlights and other planes because the colors can appear the same).
Parachuting is a high risk activity and can result in serious injury or death.
This website is for noncommercial, informational purposes only. This is not an instructional guide.
The purpose is to provide information on skydiving from high altitudes. I am not an instructor and I am not claiming to be one. For those interested in learning to skydive or participating in a high altitude jump, you must obtain training from competent and rated instructors.
Michael Wright, D13106