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High Altitude Chamber Course

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I posted this on our fb page today and thought i'd share it here too:


"Did you know that you can take a high altitude chamber course at Peterson AFB in the Springs? We went thru this a few years ago and i highly recommend it. The cost is ONLY $50 (or was then). Having been in chambers in the past i handled the hypoxia fairly well, the most remarkable thing i learned tho was how it effects your night vision. At altitude it is shocking how much you lose in the darkness... i hope you are using oxygen when you need to."



The course is a full day, they take you to altitude (in the chamber) and first you are on O2 and then not.. it is scary how much vision acuity you lose at night at altitude. You also lose other capabilities but the sight is the most remarkable.


The course is amazing and inexpensive, you all should take it even if you don't fly at altitude (there is a reason there are regs for O2 at altitude, and this includes landing there and walking around, just saying).. It is probably offered at other places in the US, but for sure here in Colorado Springs.


If you need more info call us or the AFB there, we plan to have them do a presentation at one of our upcoming safety meetings at Heli-Ops.


fly safe!





Sorry, i forgot to add, if you want to sign up there is about a two month waiting list, you have to call the FAA in Oklahoma and get on the list and send them $50. You can get the contact info at the AFB or call us at Heli-Ops and i'll give you their numbers.


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There were a number of other locations; however, some have dropped over the past ten years.


Physiological Training Courses for Civil Aviation Pilots


Beale AFB, Marysville, Calif

Brooks AFB, San Antonio, Texas

Columbus AFB, Columbus, Mich

Fairchild AFB, Spokane, Wash

Holloman AFB, Alamogordo, N.M

Langley AFB, Norfolk, VA

Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, Texas

Little Rock AFB, Little Rock, Ark

Mike Monroney Aeronautical Ctr., Okla

Offutt AFB, Omaha, Neb

Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colo

Randolph AFB, San Antonio, Texas

Shaw AFB, Columbus, S.C

Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, Texas

Tyndall AFB, Panama City, Fla

Vance AFB, Enid, Okla

Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio

Edited by iChris
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Don't forget the altitude chamber at Arizona State University where RedBull's Felix Baumgartner, USPS Tour De France Cycling Team and numerous other extreme athletes have trained including myself...




Just me doing a little high altitude training


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I did my first course with the air force back in 1972. Half the class does the ascent on oxy, the other half has a gradual change into hypoxia. But being in the half that has the mask off means that you cop the worst of the (coff) expanding gases emanating from the.. err.. seat cushions. Gets pretty woofy.


Once the first group turns blue and falls over (about 23,000'), they are put onto oxy and the other group takes their masks off, for a rapid change to hypoxia.


There was also an explosive decompression, with fog forming instantly.


The "night" session is amazing, looking at a single light source as it auto-kinesis itself all around the room (or so it seems) and looking at a dimly-lit scene to determine what it is. When the oxy goes back on, you get a burst of brilliant colours, and you see that the scene was nothing like what you interpreted it as.


I learned that my personal sign of approaching hypoxia was a tingling sensation on my tongue, like having a mouthful of soda water. Well worth the cost.

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Are you the creepy stalker peering though the window?


haha... That would be one of the Chamber employees doing a little creeping, j/k he's a nice guy. If your in Vegas next Friday come down to Fremont Street, track me down and I'll hook you up with a couple t-shirts and photos with the new 850hp fire breathing Trophy Truck... :rolleyes:

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OK, off topic for a moment-


Helistar - who's ya racin with? In a different life, way back in the way back machine days, I used to be a chaser dude for Steve Barlow (well before Red Bull), John swift & Stuart Chase. Heck, I remember Jonathan Swift back when he was like 4 at the pre-race meetings. Back when HDRA & SCORE & La Rana & Mickey Thompson & when Ivan still kicked @ss with the 4 & 6 cylinders.


So even if I can't make it up, hook a brother up with some swag.




Back to regularly schedule program:


DP- great to see you at 'Expo, even if it was for a few moments. Congrats again. Thanks for the HAC reminder; Edwards used to have some availability.



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Altitude chamber training, like all training, is never wasted. However, it's intended for those engaging in flight above FL250; it's high altitude physiology.


Certainly one can experience hypoxia at lower altitudes, and hypoxia is insidious; one should be aware of one's personal symptoms, as well as the general degradation in perception and ability that takes place with reduced oxygen. Altitudes as low as 5,000' can cause signs or symptoms. That said, for many of us, density altitude is above 5,000' is an all-day, every-day affair. We'd never get out of bed, let alone fly, if we needed oxygen to be above 5,000 at night or 10,000 in the day.


How many here regularly operate at high altitudes? How many here have oxygen available in flight? Anyone here operate pressurized aircraft? Anyone here have a rapid or explosive depressurization in flight? I regularly operate at high altitudes in oxygen-equipped pressurized aircraft, and have experienced two rapid or explosive depressurizations in the past. I'd question the general applicability for most helicopter operations, however, and suggest that there are many other forms of training with much greater value. That said, once again, no training is wasted. If you can get to a chamber, by all means, do so.


The ASU chamber, last time I checked, ran about six hundred bucks for a course (or so the representative from the university told me).

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I figure I should throw out here the University of North Dakota also has a chamber available for use and multiple courses on Physiology and Human Factors.


I also have to Echo what Dp said, while many of us are not regularly flying at altitudes where this will be too much of a factor, the Night vision degradation and color identifying is amazing verses the two states Hypoxic and non-hypoxic.

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ASU & UND are the only two universities in the U.S. offering high altitude chamber training.


Flight profiles are either FAA Part 141 certified or chamber flight profiles follow established formats that are customized to fit customer requirements... Such as those profiles used by extreme athletes and altitude chambers are also utilized for human subject research and product development/ testing.


Here's an example of how flight profiles differ... helicopters vs fighter:


Helicopter – Ear and sinus check up to 6,000 feet and back to G.L. Slow ascent (500 feet/min) to 18,000 feet. Level for hypoxia demonstration. Complete hypoxia demonstration. Start Night Vision Demonstration. Conduct Night Vision Demonstration and descend to G.L. at 500 feet/min.


Fighter – Ear and sinus check up to 6,000 feet and back to G.L. Ascend to 25,000 feet at 5,000 feet/min. Level at 5,000 feet and do hypoxia demonstration. Complete hypoxia demonstration and descend to 18,000 feet for Night Vision Demonstration. Conduct Night Vision Demonstration and descend to G.L. at 5,000 feet/min. Rapid Decompression profile will immediately follow.


Everyone have an awesome weekend.

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