Author Topic: Higher Altitudes and O2  (Read 20392 times)

Offline Callisto

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Higher Altitudes and O2
« on: August 10, 2006, 01:36:14 PM »
At what altitude is oxygen required? I'm talking non commercial, C-182 or Bonanza type non-pressurized GA.
What is the FAR and what do you guys/gals do about using O2 and having your passengers use O2?
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Offline Callisto

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2006, 01:37:40 PM »
At what altitude is oxygen required?

I know, I know oxygen is required at ALL altitudes... But when do you need to add it... you know what I meant!  ;D ;D ;D
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Offline C310RCaptian

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 03:11:28 PM »
Someone correct me if I am wrong…but think it goes like this…………

Up to 12,500 feet oxygen is not required by FARS. Between 12,501 to 14,000 oxygen is required only if you are there for more than 30 minutes. Less than that, you don’t need it. From 14,001 to 15,000 the crew only needs oxygen continuously. I love that part.  I have a drunk and obnoxious pax ill climb up as high as I can…. 15,000 on special occasion…. And let them pass out   ::) ….. Works wonders. And finally above 15,000 everyone needs oxygen…Hope that helps you out.  Where you planning on going and how high?  ;D

Offline Callisto

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2006, 03:38:03 PM »
Back story:
A few co-workers flew to Nebraska for a meeting with a client in the prez Bonanza. On the way back they were cruising at 11,000 and one guy checked his O2 Saturation (I guess there was an O2 Sat machine on board...)
Anyway his reading was 86%. He asked his wife (an nurse) and she said they put people on oxygen if their sat rate is below 92% or something (I may be off on my numbers... but bottom line was the O2 reading was lower than the minimum the hospital puts people on O2 (if that makes sense))

So he's freaking out about brain damage and hypoxia... out of curiosity I was wondering where the danger point was.

I like the idea of knocking out obnoxious passengers!  ;D
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fireflyr

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2006, 04:42:45 PM »
FAR 91.211 says exactly what C310 captain quoted but the effects of hypoxia are insidious, especially at night when it is suggested you should use O2 anytime you are above 10 grand because of the effects on night vision. 
I learned exactly how insidious it is one afternoon when another pilot and I spent about an hour at 17,000 without supplemental O2, when SAC approach cleared us direct SAC VOR neither could figure out how to do that---they finally suggested a heading----how embarrassing is that! :-[

Offline C310RCaptian

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2006, 06:05:41 PM »
I like hypoxia!!! Makes me feel great (and that’s the dangerous part about it)….. One of the best things any pilot can do is to go to a hypobaric chamber or altitude chamber… they will simulate what it is like at 25,000 feet without oxygen!!!!!! I did it last winter and man was it awesome… I learned that at 25K I have 2 min of useful conciseness…. After that forget about it... and I did. I don’t remember a thing past the 2 min mark. I don’t even remember putting on my own oxygen mask. When I did 2 deep breaths and I was snapped back like nothing ever happened. Another plus is you get to see your friends do it. The instructors will give them a baby toy and tell them to do it, like put the circle shapes through the correct hole, and they will try there hardest to shove it through the wrong hole. Its so much fun.

The REAL  reason you want to do it is so you can see your symptoms of hypoxia and correct it before you come to euphoric. My biggest symptom was that I get jittery. Knees start to shake nervously and my fingers turn really, really blue. Great tool if you fly high in any aircraft.

The one I attended was in Oklahoma city, OK with the feds…somehow I got away clean…. but I know there are about 10 different, pilot certificate friendly, ones around the country. 

Offline happylanding

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2006, 08:25:21 PM »
Am I wrong if I say that - that is what I seem to remember - Hypoxia is connected also to people's habit? I mean, if you smoke it comes fast, if you have an healthy life it takes its time?!?
I give that landing a 9 . . . on the Richter scale.

fireflyr

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2006, 08:58:04 PM »
Am I wrong if I say that - that is what I seem to remember - Hypoxia is connected also to people's habit? I mean, if you smoke it comes fast, if you have an healthy life it takes its time?!?
Somewhat the contrary, smokers have a higher hemoglobin content in the blood and (depending on health, of course) can withstand altitudes very well.    Just like people who live at higher altitudes have higher hemoglobin counts.   Go figure!!!! :-\

Offline happylanding

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2006, 09:30:30 PM »
Oh my! I should have better kept silent! :)  I clearly demonstrated that in aeronautical medicine I was a complete zero! When I did my PPL license theory exam, I failed either medicine or law (figure out why I don't wanna be a lawyer!!) :) :)
I give that landing a 9 . . . on the Richter scale.

fireflyr

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2006, 08:54:59 AM »
Oh my! I should have better kept silent! :) I clearly demonstrated that in aeronautical medicine I was a complete zero! When I did my PPL license theory exam, I failed either medicine or law (figure out why I don't wanna be a lawyer!!) :) :)
No worry Happy----the only reason I know that is because I'm a smoker :P and my flight doctor pointed it out to me.

Offline Callisto

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2006, 01:59:00 PM »
Ok so this might be a stupid question... What about people who live above 10,000 ft? Do they just adapt? Does hypoxia occur faster in people who live closer to sea level? Would I, living near Chicago (500-600ft above sea level) be more at risk of passing out due to hypoxia than someone from let's say Colorado (10,000+ft)?

Sorry if I sound like a newbie... my only flight experience is in a pressurized aluminium tube at 30,000ft+... or sitting at my computer with MSFS!  :-[
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Offline C310RCaptian

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2006, 03:37:46 PM »
Well that’s a good question. I think they found that those living at higher altitudes tend to use more of there lungs than those living at lower altitudes. Down low our body doesn’t have to work very hard to get the required amount of oxygen so we don’t use al of our lungs potential. My guess is that we only use 60 to 70 percent of our lungs while those at higher altitude or those that are very physically fit use closer to 90 percent of there lungs. Does living down low make you more susceptible to hypoxia… probably but not in a noticeable way.

Also lets not forget that you can get hypoxia at any altitude. There is more than one type. I can try and find better definitions for them if anyone is interested.

fireflyr

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2006, 08:52:13 PM »
Lung capacity is a factor but the increase in hemaglobin happens as your body gets used to thinner air.

Offline Callisto

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2006, 09:17:35 PM »
Interesting... This peaked my interest so I did a few Google searches (where would we be with out Google  :))

http://anthro.palomar.edu/adapt/adapt_3.htm

About acclimating and how people can live 3+ miles up. Hemoglobin is higher in people who live higher. So fireflyr is 100% right, not that I was doubting... but just validating your facts  ;D

Bottom line though... an hour at 11,000 isn't gonna brain your damage. But above 12,500 use it.
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Offline Ted_Stryker

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Re: Higher Altitudes and O2
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2006, 08:54:31 PM »
My parents used to live up on a mountaintop in Boulder, Colorado.  The elevation where they were at was close to 9,500 ft MSL.  It would take a few days at least for me to adjust going out there as I live in St. Louis, Missouri, in an area only about 450 to 500 ft MSL on average.  After you get used to it, which to fully do can take considerably longer than a few days, it's easily tollerated.

I would be wary of flying without O2 up there even if under 12,500 though for any length of time.  It certainlay can't hurt to have supplemental oxygen on when at an altitude significantly higher than what one is used to normally.

I've also been in an unpressurized aircraft as a passenger at 13,000 feet MSL on one occassion.  It was not a pleasant experience!  You know how the FAA rules read that the pilot has to have oxygen, but no real requirement for the passengers is there if you're below 14,000?  Granted, the FAA wants to make sure the pilot can fly the plane properly.... but they obviously don't care if your passengers are literally blue in the face  :o ::) ;D   

I guess the old saying is true about the FAA...."We're not happy until you're not happy!"   ;D
We're going to have to come in pretty low!  It's just one of those things you have to do... when you land!  -- Ted Striker - Airplane!