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Old 02-16-2013, 08:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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18300 in a 150

Don't know how many of you take Flying magazine, probably a lot. I read this last month, 18300 in a 150. It's always interesting to read these type columns in the various publications, hopefully they will put a little note in the dark recesses of your mind that you can pull out and use in the event that you find yourself unlucky enough to be in a similar situation.

What really piqued my interest is that I thought the absolute ceiling on a 150 was somewhere in the high 12's on a good day. To get one to the flight levels without the aid of a hurricane or volcano is gob-smacking.
For the record, the best I did when I had a 152 was 10000, just an up and back to see what it was like. Didn't linger; it was at the coast and I only had 40 miles or thereabouts to peel off 8800 feet for KSLE.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I read bits and pieces of that article. I do not remember if the plane had a higher horsepower engine than stock. The ASC is also a standard day calculation if I remember correctly, so that could have something to do with it.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I wouldn't be so proudly publicizing violation of several FARs.... Operating beyond POH limits, not being on oxygen and penetrating CLASS A airspace......
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There is no FAR that says you have to fly an aircraft within the POH limitations. They were on an IFR flight plan, and I don't remember what they said about Oxygen.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You may be right about FARs (tell that to FAA when, lets say they catch you overloaded, go ahead and invoke that you don't have to follow POH and be within limitations), but article says nothing about IFR plan ( the opposite actually), and it also makes it obvious no oxygen was used
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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You may be right about FARs (tell that to FAA when, lets say they catch you overloaded, go ahead and invoke that you don't have to follow POH and be within limitations), but article says nothing about IFR plan ( the opposite actually), and it also makes it obvious no oxygen was used
I always told my students that if they operated the plane outside POH/AFM limitations that they were then a test pilot because the plane basically was no longer certified. The author does point out that this flight was before the FAR for oxygen above 12500 after 30 min.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I always told my students that if they operated the plane outside POH/AFM limitations that they were then a test pilot because the plane basically was no longer certified. The author does point out that this flight was before the FAR for oxygen above 12500 after 30 min.
Did they also not have above 18000ft Class A/IFR restrictions back than?
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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They did and the author at the end of the article says that at the time, the only FAR he busted was climbing the 300 ft into Positive Control Airspace(now Class A).
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Interesting article - I always liked that column. If you're not familiar with it, Vlad, it's pretty much always written from the viewpoint of "here's something I did that was stupid that I learned from and I'll share it with you so you don't make the same mistake". He makes a good point about how the mild hypoxia leads him to the bad decision to go higher without oxygen, thereby increasing the hypoxic effect and snowballing the bad decision making.

We just had our annual groundschool a week or so ago and discussed hypoxia and watched an interesting clip (hypoxia - YouTube) from the decompression chamber. There's also another one that is amazing in how it illustrates how far gone you can be (the guy sounds totaly drunk) and also how quickly you recover when your brain gets re-oxygenated. It's audio only, but worth a listen: Pilot Declares Emergency Because Of Extreme Hypoxia - YouTube
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We just had our annual groundschool a week or so ago and discussed hypoxia and watched an interesting clip (hypoxia - YouTube) from the decompression chamber. There's also another one that is amazing in how it illustrates how far gone you can be (the guy sounds totaly drunk) and also how quickly you recover when your brain gets re-oxygenated. It's audio only, but worth a listen: Pilot Declares Emergency Because Of Extreme Hypoxia - YouTube

Very interesting to listen to the radio recording
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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To me the big issue people face with trying stunts like this for the first time is that if you have never experienced hypoxic symptoms, you may not know you are hypoxic. We go through regular altitude chamber training in the Air Force. And they are always very clear that each person will react differently. You can't say that everyone will get dizzy, tingly in the fingers, or whatever. Everyone will have a different onset of a different group of symptoms, in a different order. So you may be climbing up there feeling all happy and great, and not realize these are your first set of symptoms, while your passengers legs have gone tingly and his vision is getting blurry. If you don't catch it and it progresses, you could be in real trouble. Just saying that this article being a "don't do what I did" kind of thing is good, because this can truly lead to some bad things if you aren't careful.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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To me the big issue people face with trying stunts like this for the first time is that if you have never experienced hypoxic symptoms, you may not know you are hypoxic. We go through regular altitude chamber training in the Air Force. And they are always very clear that each person will react differently. You can't say that everyone will get dizzy, tingly in the fingers, or whatever. Everyone will have a different onset of a different group of symptoms, in a different order. So you may be climbing up there feeling all happy and great, and not realize these are your first set of symptoms, while your passengers legs have gone tingly and his vision is getting blurry. If you don't catch it and it progresses, you could be in real trouble. Just saying that this article being a "don't do what I did" kind of thing is good, because this can truly lead to some bad things if you aren't careful.
Sirecks, when you're in the decompression chamber, is it always rapid decompression that they do, and if so, do people often experience problems with their ears/sinuses? I was wondering about things like ruptured eardrums. I had heard of a guy years ago in our flying club that might have ruptured his - something like he had a wee bit of congestion and didn't know it. But I never knew for sure or if it was just a rumour.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
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We do a couple of different "flights" as they call it. The last one is a rapid D. We do another to watch for the slow onset of hypoxia. Actually, the rapid D is not the main focus of the day, but the other scenario where you slowly climb in altitude while doing work sheets and looking for your symptoms is. That is the main focus of the day. This one takes a while to go through, as they step you up in altitude slowly so you can watch yourself and others. The rapid D part takes a minute or two, obviously.

The rapid D is not like they take you up to FL350 and the instantly even out the room at ground level. I forget the exact altitude, but it's not that high. Something like the low 20's or something. So while it is still a rapid decompression, it is not a violent one. Both of mine though, the room did mist. However, all that to say, if you are clogged up inside, I could definitely see where you could get hurt. I do know from being around guys and gals where this has happened you can be "stuffed up" in your upper sinus area, or near your Eustachian tubes and not have your nose "stuffed up." So what you are describing is possible, from what I have heard and witnessed.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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If I ever had the chance to get into a chamber I would be very tempted, but I have absolutely horrible sinuses and would have to think long and hard about it. It'd be really interesting to see how hypoxia comes on (although I wonder how many brain cells you lose in one of those tests? : )
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Bluenose, I've taken a few chamber "flights" before I went to the airline and the ascents/descents were pretty gentle. I suppose that is up to the operator.

It was a fantastic and higly illuminating experience that I highly recommend to everyone. I've flown with many, many people that kind of brush off the O2 mask requirements at various flight levels but I've always taken it seriously because of my experiences during those flights.

At 18,000 ft, I have no color vision and everything appears to be pretty dim. At 25,000 ft, I lasted for 3.5 minutes without the mask. Lasted meaning, I was only useful up to that point; We had a worksheet to complete and I could not write my name or add 6 + 4 at this point. I could barely get my O2 mask on. For me the onset of hypoxia was super insidious.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:19 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Me too Fox. My symptoms are real slight. I think I was only aware of the onset so soon because I was in a class trying to look for the onset of my symptoms. My legs got a slight tingle, and I just became "fuzzy" in my head. My color vision stayed, my speech didn't really slur, I just started feeling "loopy" for lack of a better term. The thing that tipped me off was my legs starting to tingle a bit. I've seen people just go into blank stares, and become completely unresponsive.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hey I'd pay extra for a ride in the chamber if they had it at Disney or something, maybe put a little note in the suggestion box......lol..........
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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One thing on limit, Most POH's don't specify an altitude limit, but rather the highest altitude the plane is likely to attaing. If it's a limit it will be lister as one For exapmle (if I remember correctly) MMA25,000ft Bothe The King Air and Embrear I fly have maximum altitude limits. Though, I doubt either could ever get there unless everything was in their favor.

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Old 03-05-2013, 11:20 AM   #19 (permalink)
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A little late to the party.

My chamber ride was very enlightening. After a few minutes at 25000, I get really loopy. I was working on my math sheet and I discovered later that I had simply circled each problem. My first symptom is feeling hot. This actually helped me on a real flight. I started feeling a little warm as the cabin altitude crept up to about 12,500. We all went on O2 and the FE troubleshot the pressurization system and brought it back down. NBD.

The Rapid D demo is spot on. In order to make it a surprise, the instructor broke into Spanish, then apologized saying she just visited her family and they speak Spanish at home, so sometimes she breaks into-WHOOOSH!

I later experienced a real one at FL180, and it was exactly like the chamber demo.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:42 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I have heard of pilots getting hung up in standing wave updrafts where they could not even get their aircraft to descend and the reverse, hitting down drafts where no amount of power could arrest their descent, although this wasn't exactly in that category, but I suppose an updraft would make it feasible.
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