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Hypoxia Events Study

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Hey all, A good friend contacted me yesterday for some additional information about hypoxia events in helicopter flights to altitude. He and his partner's work has been groundbreaking and very interesting..


I suggested he come here for more insight from those of you that might have had or know of such events. He needs empirical data so if you have information please contact him below.. he will also have a screen name 'samidoc' so you can look him up that way as well. If you know of anyone else that might be interested in this study, or be able to add to it, please forward this information to them.


Thanks in advance for your help,







"Dennis thank you very much for your help,


As you know I own and operate a high altitude chamber here in Melbourne Florida. I have flown 2600 pilots since 2001. In 1997 I integrated flight sims for fixed wing and helicopter and wrote a new ascent profile to teach slow onset hypoxia which I consider to be the most dangerous of scenarios. The pilots fly sims while ascending slowly in the chamber communicating with ATC to show the subtle and insidious decline in situational awareness and skill deterioration. Over 1100 have flown this model finding it to be a valuable training experience.


Dr. Beltran and I have written a white paper (near completion) for a Navy grant and would appreciate collecting “ hypoxia events” at altitudes of 5K-15K not only to support the grant but also to begin a data base that I suspect will also be very useful in general aviation. By incorporating flight sims in a true altitude environment we can measure accurately the skill deterioration of pilots while flying demanding scenarios.


My e-mail: drbuza@atlantic.net Website: www.sami-aeromedical.com My avatar name can be: SamiDoc


Thanks again!




Dr. Paul W. Buza

President/Medical Director SAMI

321-693-1807 Cell

321-674-0020 Fax



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  • 2 months later...

Hey Folks,


On the fourth day we visited our friend Dr. Paul Buza at his hyperbaric chamber in Melbourne.. it was amazing to see his facility and his passion for his scientific research on high altitude issues that pilots face. Here are some photos of his very impressive system. You will be hearing much more about his mission in the days to come.


Some of my team and i went thru the high altitude hyperbaric course at Peterson Air force Base in Colorado Springs and it was very informative, Dr. Buza is a Neurologist and has raised the bar significantly, he has installed flight simulators inside his chamber where pilots can fly to altitude and see first hand the effects of hypoxia. I am very impressed with is research and can’t wait to learn more about it.








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Thanks for posting that, i was looking for it, Paul played it for us at the chamber. The pilot lived to talk about it, he hung on until he got low enough to get some oxygen.. the scary thing for me was that ATC didn't realize he was hypoxic (and in their defense it kinda sounded like a stroke or heart attack).. I encouraged Paul to put together a short video to reach out to all controllers. That being said, the controller might not have been able to get thru to the pilot anyway, he seemed pretty far out there. We saw similar situations diving deep on air, i had a geologist swim away from me at around 200' with almost no air left in his tanks, had i not chased him down and brought him back to the stage tanks on the anchor line he would have just kept going.. when i swam up to him and showed him his pressure gauge he smiled and tried to swim away, he had less than 500 psi left. This program will help pilots and controllers realize the sometimes subtle symptoms of the onset of hypoxia and hopefully save lives. i sincerely hope that all of you will get the word out about what they are doing as it's very cool stuff.



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