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Not what I expected


Natenite

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Ok so I took my first intro flight yesterday and experienced something that had not crossed my mind at all in all my reading and preparing for this helicopter thing. I guess it was motion or air sickness. My guts were whoozy after about 20min or so and by then end I was feeling it pretty good. What I am wondering is if this is overcome able or is this just a sign this is not the hobby for me? I know I was very tense and stiff and spent a lot of time trying to get used to the cockpit and what not. I was so tense my right shoulder hip back and arm are all sore but I don't know if that would cause this or not. I was also quite nervous and maybe even frightened when he game me the cyclic. I was not prepared for how touchy that r-22 was. Even though I read a lot about it being so. I was also quite honestly very overwhelmed at everything. What you pilots can do in one of those is amazing. There are so many things to track and watch.. Its incredible. So I guess I would just like to hear some peoples thoughts on this. Have you seen people get a sick feeling their first few flights and it go away as they get more comfortable and have more control of the helo or is it typically a sign they need to do something else with their time.

 

Thanks for any help or thoughts. .

 

Nate

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My very first flight as an instructor involved a guy projectile vomiting all over the cockpit. It was pretty awful. He had said that he suffered from motion sickness and when I asked him bad it was, he said that he got sick on rollercoasters sometimes. It was much worse than this, straight and level on a very calm day caused projectile vomiting. He realised that he had a major issue with motion sickness and didn't fly again.

Anyway, if it is something you suffer from normally, you could be in trouble. Otherwise it could just be nerves. Sounds like you were very nervous. Just remember that your instructor is there to stop bad things from happening. You don't have control of the aircraft but he does, even if you think he is not on the controls with you he is damn well close enough to stop anything bad from happening.

Just try to relax. Don't worry about scanning everything. Just try to feel what the aircraft is doing. It will click after a while. I would try again and see what happens and RELAX!

Edited by Trans Lift
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The Intro flight is supposed to be fun not torture :)

 

I have to admit I was a little nervous too, not of flying But more I think because I wanted to be good at it. I had tried my hand at rc heli's (they say the real thing is easier (guess this comes from people who never tried a R-22 on for size)). And I had read lots about tips and how to's, So I should be able to master this right? Wrong! not in 10 min at least. These things are why they say take the INTRO flt (to see if you really want to do it.

 

Hopefully you get some responses from some experienced pilots. (which I am not) I can tell you I learned a bit about airsickness and avoidance from getting a ride in a F-16D.

First your nerves have alot to do with it, try to not get yourself too hyped up. If you know you get queasy don't eat a big greasy meal before flying. Eat something light. Negative G's are the worst, and is what causes most people to yak. Being in command helps overcome airsickness because you know what to expect from the aircraft and you are more focused on flying.

 

If it was a bit windy that day, try going back on a calm day. Also being a second ride your nerves should be a little less tense. But if you are thinking or worried about becoming sick too much you will, try to put it out of your mind and enjoy the flight.

 

How was your hover attempt? I need to have my wife find the vid of mine... I thought I was going to kill both of us! :)

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Of course you could try taking dramamine too.

 

Are you suggesting to someone that they take a medication which comes with the warning "Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Dimenhydrinate may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision." before attempting to fly an aircraft?

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You can overcome motion sickness possibly, by eating something before the flight, and taking your door off, to get some fresh air in your face.

 

However, if you're getting sick while on the controls, it will most likely be worse when your not, which means you won't be able to teach.

 

If there's one thing I've learned over these many years of searching, is that IF YOU CANNOT TEACH, YOU WON'T FIND WORK AS A PILOT!

 

Find out now if this is something you can do, before you piss away 70K(as I did)!

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The guy that projectile vomited with me didn't have a door on. It only helps when you can kick the aircraft out of trim fast enough so it goes out the door! :rolleyes:

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You might be ok. I've never gotten motion sickness in my life except when I rode in the back seat of a Cessna in choppy mountain air with a new pilot at the controls. My aerobatics instructor mentioned many airline pilots with millions of hours get sick quite easily doing maneuvers.

 

You might have just experienced conditions for your one time sickness.

 

The only way to go forward is to buy more hours and see what happens. I'd buy at least one more 30 minute flight on a cool day, eat a light meal beforehand, and relax.

 

You may also like the 300 better starting out.

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Look at it his way, you didn't throw up, so definitely give it another try. For what it's worth I did a 1-hour demo flight in an S300 and a 1-hour demo in the R44. I felt the R44 was way more sensitive than the S300. Even taking into account the hydraulics of the R44 I had to wonder if the the S300 instructor left my friction controls cranked down or something as the difference to me was striking.

 

I think the biggest thing to staying relaxed is breath control. Do you meditate at all? I used to have a real bad habit of breathing incredibly shallow or not at all when I had a lot of tasks to perform at once. A few weeks of practicing meditation helped reprogram a more natural breathing pattern.

 

Also, try to keep your eyes always looking out of the aircraft. Early on I think it's easy to get caught up staring at the instruments when the world is really right in front of you.

 

Good luck

Edited by The Guardian
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I had a friend that went through private pilot the same time I did who had a few bouts of air sickness while learning to hover. That kind of stuff can happen quite easily in the first few lessons. I honestly wouldn't worry about it too much right now. If it happens again, keep your eyes out on the horizon and take some deep breaths, just like you would if you were on a boat. No big deal.

 

As far as tensing up goes, that will happen quite a bit for the first ten or fifteen hours if you let it. I'm sure your instructor told you to hold the cyclic with two fingers and your thumb. That's why. The death grip sucks, and you don't realize it most of the time until you feel that lactic acid burn from your muscles being tense for so long. When I started flying, I did it a lot in the R-22. My cure was whenever I noticed myself tensing up, I'd make a conscious effort to relax, slowly take a deep breath, hold it for a second, then slowly exhale. If you end up pursuing a rating, your instructor is there for YOU. Have them take the controls for a second if that's what it takes to relax.

 

I guess this is my long-winded way of saying you're probably okay. Give it a few more lessons. If the air sickness continues, find something else. You may NOT take Dramamine while flying. There's a list floating around, I think on the AOPA website, of all the no-fly drugs per the FAA. Dramamine is one of them. So is Benadryl. The FAA will nail you if they ever found out, and as an instructor, I would not sign a student off to fly solo if I knew they were taking anything.

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Are you suggesting to someone that they take a medication which comes with the warning "Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Dimenhydrinate may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision." before attempting to fly an aircraft?

 

OK, you got me. I was thinking about if I had ever heard or read weather it caused drowsiness after I hit the post button. I only took it once on an off shore fishing trip. I thought they had a non-drousy form of about everything now. I know they never asked me if I took anything before my INTRO, figure because the instructor is still considdered the PIC in this instance. Either way I guess if it is not permisable to use, you would want to know you could handle flying with out it. This is a good example of why they say do your own research and don't listen to in-experienced dummies like me.

 

Lesson learned, research before post.

 

Foot inserted firmly in mouth.

 

Don't worry, I am not flying around drugged up, and I am sure I will be schooled on all the do's and dont's during my training.

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THanks for all the advice and encouragement. I appreciate it.. As for the hover, I did not get to try it. He realized after we landed he forgot to have me try it. I did get to experience a autorotation down to a 5 foot recovery which was incredible. He also let me try to keep it straight and level to my horrendous failure over to the st. Louis arch where he put it in a no ground effect hover I think he called it. Awesome stuff. I will try a few more flights and see what happens.

 

Nate

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I know I was very tense and stiff and spent a lot of time trying to get used to the cockpit and what not. I was so tense my right shoulder hip back and arm are all sore but I don't know if that would cause this or not. I was also quite nervous and maybe even frightened when he game me the cyclic. I was not prepared for how touchy that r-22 was. Even though I read a lot about it being so. I was also quite honestly very overwhelmed at everything.

 

So I guess I would just like to hear some peoples thoughts on this.

 

Nate

 

Anxiety and stress increase motion sickness. Be prepared to Relax! next time. It should pass after a few more flights if you learn to relax more.

Ref link below:

What causes motion sickness?

Edited by iChris
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I would say hang in there for a few more lessons....I took my first R22 lesson after over 400 hours of fixed wing time (with no airsickness in those 400 hours) and found the first 4 or 5 hours in the Robinson filled with a whole new group of sensations I'd not experienced before and the airsickness was truly uncomfortable.

 

Looking back I think there was a direct correlation to the amount of control I had over the ship and as I took over more and more controls over the 5 hours or so, the airsickness went away.

 

500 R22 hours later, there is no sign of the sickness since those early hours. Everyone is different, but I'd give it more time. If its any consolation, I had a 1000 hour fixed wing CFII with me last week who had "0" hours...he said the first few minutes of hover and airtaxi made him a bit queasy as well...

 

Good luck!

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If you don't have a history of motion sickness then it should go away after a few flights. You get tossed around quite a bit in the 22 and will get used to it. During takeoff on my intro flight, my stomach dropped like I was on a roller coaster and I was a little worried too. The 2nd and 3rd flights weren't as bad and then it went away for good. Like the others said, just relax, try not to think about it, and enjoy that you are actually flying!

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OK, you got me. I was thinking about if I had ever heard or read weather it caused drowsiness after I hit the post button. I only took it once on an off shore fishing trip. I thought they had a non-drousy form of about everything now. I know they never asked me if I took anything before my INTRO, figure because the instructor is still considdered the PIC in this instance. Either way I guess if it is not permisable to use, you would want to know you could handle flying with out it. This is a good example of why they say do your own research and don't listen to in-experienced dummies like me.

 

Lesson learned, research before post.

 

Foot inserted firmly in mouth.

 

Don't worry, I am not flying around drugged up, and I am sure I will be schooled on all the do's and dont's during my training.

You figured right. Take your foot out.

 

Airsickness medications maybe used only when accompanied by an instructor pilot or so long as you are not acting as pilot-in-command or as a required crewmember [FAR 61.53, 91.17].

You need to weight the effects on your own personal faculties.

Medications can be useful while training (in the early stages) since they allow you to become accustomed to the sensations of flight without becoming sick. However, after about 6 hours of training medication shouldn't be necessary.

Edited by iChris
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Apparently, the ala-natural motion sickness relief is ginger root. This was suggested to me whilst heading out for my first time on a tuna boat. I’m not sure if it was meant as a placebo or not but, by the second day I was sick of the ginger and stopped using it…………

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Moving your head fast or looking down during manuvering will cause it pretty quick. Try moving slow and look straight ahead when you turn. Next time if you feel it coming on let the instructor know early and try flying with just the cyclic...that usually works with my demo flights. I've flown hundreds of people and only had 3 of them actually get sick in the air. (last one was a helo pilot trying a glider)

 

Sporty's sells a motion relief item, looks like a watch and it works. I bought one to use in my hangglider until I got used to motion again. I have had several people use it in gliders and it kept them good until they got used to the motion too.

 

Jerry

 

http://www.amazon.com/ReliefBand-Explorer-RB-EL-Motion-Sickness/dp/B000ABMJLW

 

Looks like mine isn't available now.

Edited by IFLY
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Apparently, the ala-natural motion sickness relief is ginger root. This was suggested to me whilst heading out for my first time on a tuna boat. I'm not sure if it was meant as a placebo or not but, by the second day I was sick of the ginger and stopped using it…………

 

FAA MedicalCertification | Ginger Root (LINK)

 

 

How about those acupressure wrist bands?

 

(maybe what IFLY is talking about)

 

Many people claim that acupressure relieves motion sickness. Elastic wrist bands and an electrical stimulating device are available. The point to be stimulated is on the front forearm, about 1.5 inches from the wrist crease, called the P6 point in acupuncture. A number of studies have been undertaken to see if stimulating this point is effective in preventing motion sickness. The results have not been impressive. On the other hand, the practice does not cause any harm, so if it works for you, great.

 

Edited by iChris
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Once, during simulator pursuit training, I started to get a little woozy about midway through the training day. The next time I attended, the instructor provided everyone a wristband and explained where to put it to prevent motion sickness. I didnt get woozy but then again, I didnt wear the wristband either. Knowledge and prevention is the key. That is, if youre aware of the circumstances which bring on motion sickness and mentally prepare, then youre less likely to be effected.

 

IMO, if the condition is physiological rather than psychological, then flying for a living will be difficult.

Edited by Spike
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