FAA Aerospace Physiology Training--Best $50 I've *ever* spent.


New Member
FAA Aerospace Physiology Training--Best $50 I\'ve *ever* spent.

I attended the FAA's Aerospace Physiology Training at Beale AFB today, and it was incredible. For those of you unfamiliar with the program, the FAA conducts physiology training at Air Force bases across the country using the AF's instructors and their hypobaric chambers. Beale is an especially good location because training there is conducted with the 9th Physiological Support Squadron, which is responsible for supporting pretty all U2 flights.

Anyway, the instructors had an excellent combination of extensive knowledge and teaching/presentation ability. Most of the day (about 8AM-2PM) is spent in a classroom discussing aeromedical factors. The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing for and in the altitude chamber. The standard procedure for these courses is to pre-breathe pure 02 for half an hour, then get brought up to 8000 ft. They then crank up the thing to a 14,000fpm climb to simulate (relatively) rapid decompression to FL180. You then get raised to FL250, where you take off the mask and try to write stuff. It's funny. You're supposed to put the masks back on before you get too hypoxic, but apparently a few people in every group wait too long and have to have their masks put on for them. Anyway, they then bring you down to FL180 and let you breathe without the mask and see how it affects vision.

All in all, they covered an enormous amount of information in pretty good detail, including oxygen and pressurization systems in addition to physiology. It's only $50, and it really opens your eyes to how screwed you are if you deppressurize in the flight levels and don't realize it. It was definately some of the best training I've had. The website for it can be found here.

And the chamber makes everyone fart a lot, which is pretty funny.



New Member
Re: FAA Aerospace Physiology Training--Best $50 I\'ve *ever* spent.

I did this program at NASA/Johnson Space Center in Houston back in 1998 ... and it is definitely something I recommend to everyone, especially if any flying at high altitude is in your future! Knowing and understanding your reactions to hypoxia is very important when you start running around in the flight levels.

The program is offered at a handful of locations across the country, I believe ... so jump on it when you can!