From the AOPA Archives
Continuing Ed: High Flying
Why Take the Low Road?
AOPA Flight Training, January 2004
Of all the decisions to be made when planning a flight, picking a cruise altitude may get the shortest shrift, the least attention.
Never Again Online
Off Radar in the Mojave Triangle
AOPA Pilot, October 2003
Friends in High Places
Learn To Fly the Mountains with Someone Who Knows
AOPA Flight Training, July 2003
October 23, 1999, was a beautiful day in the mountains near Aspen, Colorado. At approximately 12:28 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, N9548A took off and headed up the valley to the east, through Independence Pass, across the Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains and into Colorado Springs. The Cessna 172R did not arrive at its destination.
Instructor Report: Simulated Mountains
Even Flatlanders Should Know How to Fly the Hills
AOPA Flight Training, February 2003
Years ago, I worked as the full-time "aviation safety guy" for the state of New Mexico, working to encourage safe flying in the aptly named Land of Enchantment. It was a great job, but there was one discouraging part: seeing the number of "flatlander" pilots who would arrive without realizing how different flight operations can be when field elevations are 5,000 or 6,000 feet or more, and — in the summer, at least — density altitudes can be close to 10,000 feet.
Pressurization and environmental systems are vital
AOPA Pilot, October 2002
Turbine airplanes — and some piston aircraft — fly at altitudes that are incompatible with human life, and yet the pilots and passengers are healthy and happy because of pressurization and environmental systems on board.
Airframe and Powerplant: Hypoxia Lowdown
Now I use GUMPB
AOPA Pilot, March 2002
We all learned a little about hypoxia during flight training, but only a few of us have actually determined how, or at what altitude, hypoxia begins to affect our flying.
In the Lee of Giants
Riding high on mountain waves
AOPA Pilot, December 2001
Most of the time the rotor here is benign, but it has been known to generate forces of plus or minus 15 Gs.
Preflight Yourself, Then Your Airplane
Watch out for the invisible dangers
AOPA Pilot, November 2001
Let's talk about the less overt hazards to your safety.
AOPA Pilot, June 2001
As general aviation pilots, we are charged with knowing the regulatory requirements for supplemental oxygen aboard the aircraft that we fly.
Going Up: The Elevator to the 2,500th Floor
AOPA Flight Training, May 2001
There is an elevator of sorts inside Building 1045, an unassuming one-story red brick structure on the west side of Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, D.C. It is the home of the Eighty-ninth Physiological Training Flight, where more than 2,500 military and civilian personnel attend altitude chamber training each year. Here private pilots, flight surgeons, nurses, flight engineers, navigators, air traffic controllers, and reservists get to see how their bodies react to oxygen deprivation.
Training Topics: Legal Briefing
A Breath of Fresh Air
AOPA Flight Training, March 2001
You're taught early in your aviation training about potential medical risks associated with flying, including hypoxia, a condition caused by an inadequate oxygen supply to the body.
Above It All: Flying High in the Mountains
AOPA Flight Training, July 2000
But if you've never flown in mountainous terrain, how do you know just what constitutes high altitude?
Breath of Life emergency oxygen system
AOPA Pilot, January 2000
The crash of a Learjet 35 carrying golfer Payne Stewart brought renewed interest in high-altitude flight physiology. How is it that all of those on board the airplane failed to realize that they were becoming hypoxic?
Flying Safe: Checkride
The Fragility Factor
AOPA Flight Training, November 1999
During your checkride, your examiner will ask you about aeromedical considerations in flying.
O 2 Issues
The whys and hows of oxygen use
AOPA Pilot, September 1998
Most pilots don't think too much about using portable oxygen.
Training Topics: Form and Function
AOPA Flight Training, March 1998
In recent years there's been an increased focus on the subject of aeronautical decision making (ADM). Any time we allow ourselves to become hypoxic, we teeter on the brink of bad judgment.
FT Pro: Professional Development
Higher Learning: Advanced Training For Turbine Airplane Pilots
AOPA Flight Training, April 1997
A pilot flying a high-performance turbine aircraft faces high-altitude physiological, meteorological, and aerodynamic challenges far beyond anything he (or she) can expect when flying light aircraft at comparatively low altitudes. Such demands are much more likely to tax his judgment than his piloting skills.
Flying Smart: Detecting Hypoxia
AOPA Flight Training, March 1996
Albert Tissandier was a member of a three-man balloon crew attempting an altitude record in 1875, and the lone survivor of the first known fatal hypoxia incident.
By the Book: Hypoxia
AOPA Pilot, November 1991
The majority of our atmosphere — about four parts in five — is nitrogen. That's nice for microbes that can metabolize it, but it doesn't do much for humans, who need oxygen to survive.