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Physical aspects of Aerobatics printer friendly version
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jb92563
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Posted Friday, July 31, 2009 @ 04:29 PM  

I wanted to ask about how a persons physioligy just begining into aerobatics will respond.

I have been doing some negative and positive G manuevers at less than 2 G's and
have initially felt a little queezy.

Just some high banked pulled turns and some gentle pushovers from level flight.

I was wondering if with repetition the body become more accustomed to it and the
queezy feeling becomes less over time?

How long a lay off before the body everts back to the queezy stage?

I want to do aerobatics and wonder if I should just take motion sickness pills till I become more
accustomed to it or whether the body does not aclimatize and retains its motion queezyness.

In which case I'll need a lot more pills ;-)

Also when pulling G do you also begin to tolerate more over time or is that a matter of training
to tense muscles and physical fitmess?

Ray

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Saturday, August 1, 2009 @ 09:10 AM  

Hi Ray,

As with so many of these things, it is just a matter of getting used to it.

I find that, after a long lay-off from aerobatics, just a couple of manoeuvres can make me feel queasy.

That is precisely how I came to make my wheel-up landing.

Build up to it gently, one manoeuvre at a time.

Maybe fly two loops today, three loops in a couple of days, a couple of steep turns another time.
Build up to it gradually. It is supposed to be enjoyable, not torture.

I need to fly aerobatics every week to be able to fly my four minute routine without throwing up.

If I take a couple of weeks off, two minutes is all I can do.

This is all worse if I am at all tired or preoccupied. Then it is better not to fly aerobatics at all.

And NEVER, NEVER fly under the influence of any kind of medication.
Sea- or motion- sickness pills are the worst, worse even than flying under the influence of alcohol.

All pilots should know this. Never take a pill and then fly. You will die!

Enjoy your aerobatics, but just take it gently, and remember to keep that nose well above the horizon.

Also, height is your friend. Stay above 3,000 feet to be safe.

Yours, Bob

jb92563
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Posted Monday, August 3, 2009 @ 03:35 PM  

Thanks for those wise words.

Of course I am going to get proper instruction as well.

However, I did not know that the motion sickness pills were bad for pilots.

I have never taken any and hence not read the precautions etc.

I have a barnstorming.com (Not Barnstormers) gift cert thanks to the girlfriend and was trying to decide
between a 30 minute aerobatic flight in an AT-6 or a 45 minute yank and bank mock dogfight pursuit in a Varga (No real aerobatics manuevers just positive G high banks etc).

Perhaps the yank and bank is the way to go just for some fun and to get aclimated and then go to the aerobatic school at John Wayne airport for the real stuff.

Ray

SteveBeaver
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Posted Monday, August 3, 2009 @ 04:05 PM    YIM

It depends on the Pilot and the actual aircraft of course, but the T6 seems likely to offer a more comfortable and a safer ride to me. What may be well within the T6's capabilities could be seriously pushing the envelope in a Varga.

Just my deux centimes.

Steve

Sam M.
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Posted Friday, August 7, 2009 @ 03:14 AM  

Hello Ray, Theres a good aerobatic school at Santa Paula, http://www.cpaviation.com/index.html and while your there you can try out our 4 for size!
jb92563
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Posted Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:31 AM  

Thanks Sam,

I'll have to figure out a way to navigate all the airspace between Elsinore and Santa Paula to see if I can resonably get there by plane without flying around the entire LA area.

Although after taking some aeobatic training I might want to stay attached to the ground for a bit to recover while my brains gyro settles down after a flight.

I'll check it out. Is that where you trained?

Ray

Sam M.
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Posted Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 00:35 AM  

have flown there super decathlon alot, but I mainly trained with my Dad, and Mike Dewey. I know all of there flight instructors and would recommend a few if you are interested.
Jorgen
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Posted Wednesday, November 4, 2009 @ 05:22 PM  

Hi Guys,
just a comment on the "queezy feeling" Ray mentioned; a large portion of that is caused by conflicting sensory inputs. The monkey brain we are equipped with can´t make sense out of the conflicting sensory inputs from the skin, the vestibular organs etc when compairing that with the visual inputs. The classical example is a cabin on a ship- it looks like an ordinary room- but it moves! A cokcpit can be similar, the brain percieves it as your living room recliner and can´t fully process what´s going on on the outside. This conflict kicks in nausea via a center in the brain stem.

When you begin to do aeros, it's a new sensation and your perception tend to shrink so you are aware of little more than the (stationary?) cockpit around you but to a lesser extent of the revolving universe on the outside. A friend expressed the illusion beautifully- the back seat instructor told him to relax and "-just watch the outside", my buddy replied "-Yeah OK, but which way is the outside?"

Part of the input conflict can be measured; when we perceive rotation, a reflex triggers eyemotion called nystagmus which can be seen, the eyes oscillate with a fast phase in the direction of percieved rotation. After rotation has stopped, the nystagmus persists for a certain time period. This can be seen when you do the party trick running in a circle keeping your forehead against a stationary pole. Trying to run in a straight line afterwards is impossible- you veer of and fall. Let your friend do it and watch his or her eyemotion/nystagmus.

People adapted to rotation (gymnasts, figure skaters, competitive divers and pilots) get nystagmus too, but it lasts only a short time or maybe none at all, compared to "the man on the street". The reduced amount of nystagmus reflects the brains (trained) ability to disregard of all the conflicting sensory inputs and rely only on visual inputs and training.

I concur with Bob, most motion sickness pills have a more or less dulling effect (to reduce the inputs from the vestibular organs etc) which unfortunately also affects your reaction time, judgment etc. Getting used to it by building it up slowly is the way to go and also don´t do aeros when you are tired, sick or otherwise not up to it, cause that impaires your ability to "filter out" confusing inputs.

May the 4's be with you/ Jörgen

[Edit by Jorgen on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 04:28 AM]

Jorgen
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Posted Saturday, September 3, 2011 @ 05:24 PM  

Hi Fournieteers,
another comment on physiological aspects of Aerobatics: be careful if you bicycle to your strip! I'll explain after this little vignette:

EASA rules requires that I do annual medicals nowadays. It's actually not to bad since I found a very nice aeromedical physician who flies an RV 4- that's almost an RF 4, isn't it? Anyway, he lives 3 miles from an airport a 40 minute flight away and you know me- I bring a foldable bicycle and make a fun trip out of it. Unfortunately the bike is not foldable enough to fit in the 4 (I have considered inlines though ) so I fly a Cub. After the flight and bike ride doing my physical we chatted about this and that. My blood pressure has always been low but it was even more so and he told me that vigorous bicycling just before the medical examination is a classical trick among "older" (middle aged?) fighter pilots to stay within limits for continued flight duty.

When you bicycle you use your leg muscles. The increased metabolism in your legs dilate the blood vessels and after exercise, the tone of the sphincters in the vascular system in your legs remain lower for a while. More blood is pooled in your legs, lowering the blood pressure- you pass the blood pressure test on your flight medical easily.

BUT- and here comes the point for you Fournaerobats out there- more importantly, the lower tone of the blood vessels in your legs also lowers your G-tolerance quite noticeably. This year I have made it my habit to bicycle out to the airstrip for every flight, not only 4 commuting. I've noticed my G-tolerance is lousy after biking to the strip, no matter how hard I tense my stomac I get dizzy during the pull for a loop et cetera. Take away message- G-tolerance is a fresh commodity and there are a lot of factors influencing it. Be careful with hard physical work just before an aerobatic session. If you don't feel up to your aeros- don't do it and live to f(l)ight another day!

May the 4's be with you/ Jörgen

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2011 @ 11:07 AM  

Well, well, well.

You learn another something every day in this multi-varied game called aviation.

I had been planning to renovate my bicycle to get around Serpentine more quickly, but now I shall only do that after flying.

Thank you very much for all that fascinating info Jorgen.

Yours, Bob

--------------------

Jorgen
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Posted Wednesday, September 7, 2011 @ 05:35 PM  

Your wellcome Bob,
mind you I don't want to discourage anyone from combining bicyclerides and aviating which as you know I highly enjoy myself. However, I think it's a good idea to make some simple maneuvers first to check your "G-proficiency" before you run a full sequence of aeros, at least if you haven't done aeros on a regular basis lately. Knowing that excercise before flight can cause an excessive rush of blood down into your legs and "drain your brain" might make you more prone to abort aeros if you don't feel up to it.

May the 4's be with you/ Jörgen

Jorgen
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Posted Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 06:24 PM  

Hello again Fournieteers,
just got back from a most invigourating session with my good friend professor Magnusson, otoorhinolaryngologic surgeon with three decades of research experience regarding vertigo, balance, falls etc. Among the things we discussed was the lower G-tolerance I have noticed after my bikeriding sessions to the airstrip, and he offered a plausible alternate or additional explanation that I found very interesting. I apologize for a lengthy post, I'll just try to explain some background.

Inner ear anatomy
Your inner ear is essentially three circular canals with fluid. In each canal there is a flap connected to nerves. Movement causes the fluid to move and the flap tilts which the nerves picks up and transforms to an electric signal. This nerve signal is sent to your cerebellum, the "small brain" at the back of your neck involved in motor control. This is were an aerobatic pilot's trained ability to filter out the inputs from your inner ear takes place. The inner ear is pretty good at picking up changes in movements, but they are certainly no gyros and will mostly produce confusing inputs in aerobatic situations were you depend mostly on visual inputs for spatial orientation.

Physical exercise
After intense, prolonged physical exercise you can feel a sort of "high" afterwards. That's caused by endorphins, the body's own painkiller/narcotic which are released into the blood as a response to the physical exercise. Endorphins blocks a lot of nerve signals, like pain. But endorphins also stops the nerve signals in the cerebellum supposed to reduce the inputs from the inner ear. This reduce your trained ability to disregard of the signal from your inner ears, much like seasickness pills or other sedating medications might do- they "dampen the dampening signal", if you like.

In other words, an intense physical session before aeros is a little bit like taking drugs before take-off. I certainly don't mean to discourage anyone from neither physical exercise nor doing aeros- that's what Fourniers are made fo(u)r! But maybe make a mental note if you feel up to it or not, and if you feel quesy or dizzy- abort and pause for a bit before you try it again.

May the 4's be with you/ Jörgen

[Edit by Jorgen on Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 06:54 PM]

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