Tag Archives: fit for flight

The Flight Instructor Who Gave Selflessly

Guest Post: By Stephen Hopson

Today I was going to write about the success of the “Flight to Hartford” project with my church (you can find it listed under my name) and tie it into the universal laws of attraction and giving. But something else came up, taking priority.

I just learned that a man who helped me make my dreams of becoming a pilot seven years ago recently passed away. While I understand most of you didn’t know him, I want to share the story of how we met and the incredible impact he had on my life. I believe and hope you’ll be touched even if you’re not a pilot yourself.

We could all learn how to give selflessly like he did. I don’t know whether or not he was aware of the universal laws of attraction and giving but he was sure a good model for someone who did.

Here’s the story.

Right around the turn of the 21st century, I was still in the process of building my speaking and writing career so I was looking for a part-time job to pay the bills in between professional speaking engagements.

It was also at this time when I was already a month or two into flight training but my original instructor was offered a new job in Colorado so I was forced to find a replacement elsewhere.

One day, I had an inspiration to visit other airports to see if I could get a job at a place where they taught people how to fly. I thought, “Why not? Might as well shoot two birds with one stone.”

After visiting one or two and being told nothing was available, I decided to venture a little further out and try Oakland Troy airport, a 30 minute drive from my home.

It was nestled among a fast growing metropolitan area (Troy, Michigan, USA) complete with a new strip mall, new apartments, a giant Wal-Mart and an assortment of other industrial buildings. The only area with open space was a small golf course nearby. The airport was big enough to accommodate corporate jets yet small enough not to require an air traffic control tower.

Pulling onto the newly repaved airport parking lot, I noticed a small circular white terminal building up ahead.

“That must be where I can find the personnel department,” I thought.

Upon setting foot inside, I was surprised to see only a couple of people milling about, drinking coffee and reading the paper. A jovial looking man with rosy cheeks was pouring himself a steaming hot cup of coffee.

Seeing that I was a new face in the place, he set his coffee down and came barreling toward me at 800 mph with an outstretched hand. It startled the heck out of me.

After regaining my composure, I made the mistake of accepting his bone-crushing handshake, causing me to wince in pain.

Trying to hide my pained expression, I said, “Hi, my name is Stephen Hopson and I’m looking for the personnel department.”

“And I’m Don Solms,” he boomed. He was still pumping my now lifeless hand.

Finally releasing his grip, he said, “Oh, you want a job here?” His face brightened even more, if that were possible.

“Yes, do you know of any openings?” I was massaging my fatally injured hand, opening and closing it repeatedly.

“I think they might be looking for someone. HEY, let me take you over to the other building to Susan’s office. She’s the personnel director. COME ON!”

Just before going in her office, Don thrust his business card in my hand and said cheerfully, “Good luck. Shoot me an email later. You’ll have to come over to my hangar where I keep my plane. Okay?”

Keeping both hands within the safety confines of my pockets, I said, “Thanks Don.” I could tell he wanted another hand shake. Fat chance buddy!

Susan then introduced me to two guys named Carl Barnes and Jason Zimmerman. They were both young men who were in charge running flight services. The interview went well and I ended up being hired. As a line service rep, I would be responsible for fueling and towing airplanes, among other things. It marked the beginning of an incredible 4 years at that airport.

One day, Don was hanging out at his hangar where he kept his prized Skylane. It was sunny and breezy. His hangar door was wide open, allowing cool air to swirl around inside. It was an open invitation to anyone who happened to come by. Spotting me in the fuel truck (I was motoring my way back to the terminal after fueling a customer’s plane), he waved me in and offered me a cold soda.

Ten minutes into the conversation, my dreams of becoming a pilot somehow surfaced. I told him that I was actually looking for a new instructor and was trying to save up some money to resume flight training.

Before he could respond, my vibrating pager distracted me with a new text message. There was another fuel order and I had to get going.

“Don, I’ve gotta go – they are telling me to fuel another airplane. See ya later!”

As I got up to leave, he grabbed my arm and gave it a powerful squeeze. My mind did a quick flashback to that day in the terminal. This time his eyes were sparkling like stars. And he was grinning stupidly.

I was in no way prepared for what he was about to say next.

“I would be honored to be your flight instructor and I won’t charge you for my time. All you’d be responsible for is the cost of renting an airplane.”

My God, an angel was in my midst and I knew it.

Absentmindedly rubbing my arms to stem the tide of goose bumps that was spreading like wildfire all over my body, I said, “Wow, really? Thanks man!”

Then he turned serious for a moment and said, “When are you free for your first lesson?”

Thrown off balance since I didn’t expect it to happen so soon, I said, “Well, how about tomorrow?”

“Okay, you got it! ” he thundered. Then he winked as if he were saying, “our secret.”

The rest was history. He was true to his word. Months of flight training with this man proved to be quite an adventure.

He was best known as a jokester, even in the cockpit. Now you have to picture this in your mind. There we were, me, a deaf student pilot and him, a 250 pound flight instructor with a large football frame who liked to poke his elbow at me every time he made a joke. And get this…he thought everything he said was funny!

Ouch!

Aside from his wry sense humor, he was one of the most patient flight instructors I would ever have. Every time we got ready for a lesson, he’d explain in the classroom what we were going to do and then we’d go up and fly.

If he wanted to explain something while we were flying, he’d take control of the airplane while I read his lips and then we’d resume the lesson. Don was one of those rare flight instructors who did not care about building flight time for a future career with the airlines. He was in it for the long haul. In fact, it wasn’t until after 50 plus years of flying and instructing that he finally hung up his wings last year.

He truly enjoyed the fine art of teaching and it showed. He never yelled at his students like some flight instructors who think they are drill sergeants with big egos. His students were his prized possessions and he treated all of them with the respect they deserved.

On December 3, 2000 Don had one big surprise up his sleeve. It was a calm, sunny day. We were scheduled to do some practice takeoffs and landings. After doing three of them, he instructed me to taxi over to the ramp by the white terminal building where I first met him months earlier.

Trying to hide his delight, he said, “Let me see your logbook for a sec.”

Arching my right arm as far back as I could behind the front seats, I snatched the logbook out of my bulging black flight bag and gave it to him.

Suddenly it dawned on me that today was “the day.” He was going to sign me off for my first solo flight!

I felt an involuntary shudder.

After scribbling his signature, he turned and looked at me. His brown eyes were sparkling again. The smile was even bigger than before. He was absolutely giddy, like a child on Christmas morning.

“So Mr. Hopson, are you ready?” he thundered.

“Yes, Don, get the hell out!” I thundered back, half joking.

Roaring like a lion, Don heaved his 250 pound football frame out of the airplane, closed and locked the door with a loud click. Then he did something that forever burned in my mind.

Like a five-star general sending his young fighter pilots off to war, he gave me a smart salute!

I almost burst to tears. It was deeply touching. No one ever did that to me before. Despite being more than ready to solo, I still felt a touch of trepidation so I returned the favor with a slightly shaky hand. Thank God he was too far away to see that.

Taxiing into position on the runway, I took a deep breath and firewalled the throttle causing the airplane to literally leap into the air. I remember thinking, “so this is what everyone means when they say the plane will bounce into the air without your instructor!”

Within seconds after takeoff, all the training kicked in and it was just another exercise around the airport pattern. The only difference was…well, I was alone.

After three takeoffs and landings, the venerable flight instructor waved me over and gave the signal to cut the engine. He stood there like a proud papa and motioned for me to go over to where he was standing. Instead of shaking my hand, he wrapped his huge arms around me and gave me a bone crushing hug. But, hey, I didn’t mind.

Five months later, one day short of my birthday, he finally signed me off to take my pilot certification flight test (i.e. “checkride”) with Mary Carpenter, one of the toughest but fairest FAA examiners from the area. He and Terry Ryan (his airplane co-owner at the time), both accompanied me on the flight to Pontiac airport, a mere 10 minutes away where the examiner’s office was located. He wanted to be there when Mrs. Carpenter and I were done with the checkride.

Two hours later, the examiner walked briskly into the waiting area, smiled and said, “Congratulations, Stephen passed with flying colors!”

Don roared his approval.

We all went out to have our pictures taken by the airplane and that’s when he said to me, “I’ll sit in the back seat on the return flight. Congratulations Mr. Pilot in Command!”

It was the greatest, grandest gesture another human being could ever have bestowed upon me. I’ll never forget it. He was that kind of man. Don believed in me so much that he was literally the only person at that airport who believed I would one day become the world’s first deaf instrument rated pilot.

Six years later, I did it, defying every naysayer in the aviation business. In February 06, I became the world’s first deaf instrument rated pilot. For that I salute Don Solms for believing in me.

Here’s to you Don!

Food for thought: Have you considered the power of the law of giving and helped make someone else’s dream come true this week?

Profoundly deaf since birth, Stephen Hopson is a former award-winning stockbroker turned motivational speaker, author and pilot. He works with organizations that are ready to explore and overcome adversity because no one is immune from it – adversity does not discriminate. His professional speaking services, Obstacle Illusions, include fun and passionate presentations, especially the story of how his fifth grade teacher forever changed his young life with THAT’S RIGHT STEPHEN!

You can view his newly re-designed website at http://www.sjhopson.com.

Stephen also maintains a blog called “Adversity University

Types and Effects of Noise exposure in Aviation

In one of my previous articles we talked about the Sound, Hearing and Noise in aviation. You can read that article by clicking here. Let’s talk now about the types and effects of noise.

Types of Noise

Steady: Continuous noise of sudden or gradual onset and long duration (more than 1 second). Examples: aircraft power plant noise, propeller noise, and pressurization system noise. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the maximum permissible continuous exposure level to steady noise in a working environment is 90 dB for 8 hours.

Impulse/blast: Noise pulses of sudden onset and brief duration (less than 1 second) that usually exceed an intensity of 140dB. Examples: firing a handgun, detonating a firecracker, backfiring of a piston engine, high-volume squelching of radio equipment, and a sonic boom caused by breaking the sound barrier. The eardrum may be ruptured by intense levels (140dB) of impulse/blast noise.

EFFECTS OF NOISE EXPOSURE

Physiologic

  • Ear discomfort: May occur during exposure to a 120 dB noise.
  • Ear pain: May occur during exposure to a 130 dB noise.
  • Eardrum rupture: May occur during exposure to a 140 dB) noise.
  • Temporary hearing impairment. Unprotected exposure to loud, steady noise over 90 dB for a short time, even several hours, may cause hearing impairment. This effect is usually temporary and hearing returns to normal within several hours following cessation of the noise exposure.
  • Permanent hearing impairment: Unprotected exposure to loud noise (higher than 90dB) for eight or more hours per day for several years, may cause a permanent hearing loss. Permanent hearing impairment occurs initially in the vicinity of 4,000 Hz (outside the conversational range) and can go unnoticed by the individual for some time. It is also important to remember that hearing sensitivity normally decreases as a function of age at frequencies from 1,000 to 6,000 Hz, beginning around age 30.

Psychological

  • Subjective effects: Annoying high-intensity noise can cause distraction, fatigue, irritability, startle responses, sudden awakening and poor sleep quality, loss of appetite, headache, vertigo, nausea, and impair concentration and memory.
  • Speech interference: Loud noise can interfere with or mask normal speech, making it difficult to understand.
  • Performance: Noise is a distraction and can increase the number of errors in any given task. Tasks that require vigilance, concentration, calculations, and making judgments about time can be adversely affected by exposure to loud noise higher than 90 dB.

FAA Medical Certificate online application

Whoa! I just bumped into this information accidentally while doing some research on Airparks. Somehow I ended up on Rosamond Airpark’s website, and guess what I found? As just about everything else is migrating online (internet), FAA has already moved the FAA pilot medical certificate application online as well. I had no idea about this. I know the pilot practical test application (form 8710) was made available online a while back, but had no clue that the student pilot certificate and/or pilot medical certificate application can also be completed online at this site: https://medxpress.faa.gov/.

So, you can complete your medical application online, and the FAA Aero-medical examiner (AME) can review the application on his/her computer when you go visit for the medical. Yup. You still have to go see the AME. Maybe in the future there would be ways to save the trip and do the entire thing online. But for now, I think this is great! I am so liking this that I think I am going to go get me another medical anyways, even though I have about 4 more years before I need a renewal.

And yes, we will talk about medical certificate regulations in some other post sometime. I know this would be a good topic for the future.

Whiskey Compass

In one of my previous posts I talked about an ol’ pilot rule-of-thumb (we also call them memory aid) called “Whiskey Compass”. This was in relation to Alcohol and Aviation. Most of the newer generation pilots know this rule as “Bottle to Throttle”. Well the rule is 8 hours from bottle to throttle, and you can read more about it by clicking here to go to my other post.

This post is to explain a bit more about why the rule back then was known as“Whiskey Compass”.

One theory is that back then the compass, unlike nowadays, did not have kerosene in it, but was filled up with alcohol for the magnet to float around freely and to provide lubrication for the pivoting point. Also, compass was the only, or at least primary means of navigation. There were no VORs, or NDBs. So, if there would be alcohol in the compass, it would not work. And this was our memory aid – Whiskey Compass!

You consume whiskey, then stay away from the compass, i.e. don’t fly!

The second theory has got nothing to do with flying drunk, but still explains the origin of “Whiskey Compass”. As the compass had kerosene fluid in it; it was called, and as a matter of fact, it still is called a Wet Compass. As in aviation Phonetics, Whiskey is for W, so that explains Whiskey Compass, or W-Compass.

Maybe in the next article we will talk about the Whiskey Compass (wet compass in this case) a bit more.

Alcohol and Aviation

I was reading an article about when do you have to report a DUI or DWI related action (in a motor vehicle) to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)? You can read it here. It is true that any arrest, and/or conviction has to be reported to the FAA within 60 days, as required by FAR 61.15 . Some pilots have a misunderstanding that they only need to report the conviction and not the arrest, and, the others think that they have to report only when they go back for their Pilot Medical Certificate renewal. Both these are far from the truth.

Another thing we need to understand is that honesty here is always the best policy. FAA does occasionally check the National Driver Register against pilot, mechanic and other FAA certificate holder names. And if you have failed to report your incident within the applicable time frame, which is 60 days, and FAA comes across your name during it’s driver record search, you will definitely have something much bigger to worry about.

It is common for the FAA to not take any action against the offending pilot on the first instance of a driving DUI/DWI. Subsequent ones, I don’t know. I have not come across such a  pilot or a mechanic yet! If someone out there knows of such a dare-devil, please drop me a comment there with a contact information so I can enhance my knowledge from his/her experiences.

8 hours bottle to throttle is the minimum, as per FAR 91.17 .  That’s right, no matter how small the sip, you stay away from that ramp until at least 8 hours has elapsed. And that’s not all. 04% alcohol concentration in the blood or breath is enough to get you in trouble with the FAA as well. Perhaps it takes less that that .04% concentration for you to be affected. Or have you considered how badly you’re likely to perform while hung over? Quite a few studies have documented the loss of performance, judgment, and reaction time you can anticipate even after your blood alcohol content has dropped back down to acceptable levels.

So, remember, alcohol and aviation, for that matter just about anything physical, ;-), yes that too, is not a good combination and should be avoided at all times. Alcohol is to be consumed and enjoyed very responsibly.

Oh by the way, the ol’ pilot rule of the thumb to remember this (in case you are a forgetful person) is called Whiskey Compass rule. We’ll talk about it some other day.

Medications and Flying

Does this story sound familiar?

It’s Sunday morning, the last day of a three-day trip. You have four hours of flying ahead of you to get back home, but something about the air conditioner last night has left you with stuffy nose and sinuses this morning. You know from your training and experience that flying with congested upper airways is not a good thing. As it turns out, one of the others on the trip has some new over-the-counter sinus pills that are “guaranteed” to unstop your breathing passages and let you fly without any worries about the congestion. Should you take the medication?

Another scenario

You and your spouse are on the second leg of a five-leg, cross-country flight. While visiting relatives, you stayed up late at the party they threw in your honor, ate too much, and the next morning your stomach feels sort of queasy. Your spouse, a non-pilot, offers you a common motion-sickness pill prescribed by her doctor. Should you take the medication?

Get the facts

Just like any other decision (equipment, weather, etc.) that you must make when you fly, you should know all the facts before you can answer this question. There are several things that you need to know and take into account before you make the go/no-go decision. Add these to your check list:

  • First, consider the underlying condition that you are treating. What will be the consequences if the medication doesn’t work or if it wears off before the flight is over? A good general rule to follow is not to fly if you must depend on the medication to keep the flight safe. In other words, if the untreated condition is one that would prevent safe flying, then you shouldn’t fly until the condition improves — whether you take the medication or not.
  • Second, you must consider your reaction to the medication. There are two broad categories of medication reactions. One is a unique reaction based on an individual’s biological make-up. Most people don’t have such reactions but anyone can, given the right medication. Because of this, you should NEVER fly after taking any medication that you have not taken before. It is not until after you have taken the medication that you will find out whether you have this uncommon and unexpected reaction to the medication.
  • Third, consider the potential for adverse reactions, or side effects — unwanted reactions to medications. This type of reaction is quite common, and the manufacturer of the medication lists these on the label. You MUST carefully read all labeling. If you don’t have access to the label, then don’t fly while using the medication.

Look for such key words such as light-headedness, dizziness, drowsiness, or visual disturbance. If these side effects are listed or if the label contains a warning about operating motor vehicles or machinery, then you should not fly while using the medication. Side effects can occur at any time, so even if you’ve taken the same medication in the past without experiencing side effects, they could still occur the next time. For this reason, you must never fly after taking a medication with any of the above-noted side effects.

If you must take over-the-counter medications,

  • Read and follow the label directions.
  • If the label warns of significant side effects, do not fly after taking the medication until at least two dosing intervals have passed. For example, if the directions say to take the medication every 6 hours, wait until at least 12 hours after the last dose to fly.
  • Remember that you should not fly if the underlying condition that you are treating would make you unsafe if the medication fails to work.
  • Never fly after taking a new medication for the first time.
  • As with alcohol, medications may impair your ability to fly—even though you feel fine.
  • If you have questions about a medication, ask your aviation medical examiner.
  • When in doubt, don’t fly.

Prescription Medications

When your treating physician prescribes a medication for you, be sure to ask about possible side effects and the safety of using the medication while flying. Since most of their patients are not pilots, many physicians don’t think about the special needs of pilots when they prescribe medication. You must also discuss the medical condition that is being treated. You may want to ask your physician to contact your aviation medical examiner to discuss the implications of flying with the medical condition and the medication.

When your pharmacy fills the prescription, let the pharmacist know that you are a pilot. Pharmacists are experts in medication side effects and can often provide advice that supplements the information that your physician gives you. The pharmacist will provide you with written information about your medication. You should treat this just like the label of an over-the-counter medication mentioned above. Read, understand, and follow the information and instructions that are given with the medication. Never hesitate to discuss possible problems with your physician, pharmacist, or aviation medical examiner.

The Bottom Line

What you must remember about medications

Sometimes…

…you will develop a medical condition that is not safe to fly with. Whether you take a medication for the condition or not, you should wait to fly until the condition is either gone or significantly improved.

…you will have an ongoing (chronic) medical condition that your physician has prescribed a medication to treat. You should discuss the medical condition and treatment with your physician, pharmacist, and aviation medical examiner and make your flying decision based on their advice.

…you will have a medical condition that makes you uncomfortable but does not impair your ability to safely fly. If flying is very important, you may take either over-the-counter medications or prescription medications — within the guidelines suggested above.

Flying is important for many reasons. Not one of these reasons, however, is worth risking your life or the lives of those around you. Treat all medications with caution, and you’ll be around to become one of the “old” pilots.

MEDICAL FACTS FOR PILOTS Publication OK05-0005 Written by: Steve Carpenter, MD Prepared by: Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aerospace Medical Institute Aerospace Medical Education Division

Fit for Flight

Being Fit for Flight does not mean that you necessarily have to be a bodybuilder and all ripped with muscles, or a marathon runner. Looking ripped is probably more of a personal choice, but fit for flight is to stay in good shape. Anyways, looking ripped with muscles and a perfect looking body may have other benefits in the cockpit 🙂

The purpose of this brochure is to provide you with basic guidelines for developing a balanced physical fitness program and customizing a workout to fit your needs. We recommend that you consult a physician before starting any type of physical fitness program. Additionally, an exercise physiologist or professional
trainer can help you personalize a specific fitness program.

Benefits of Being Physically Fit

“Use it or lose it!” That old saying not only relates to certain flying skills but also to the human body. Muscles that aren’t used tend to atrophy and weaken. To keep muscles and the cardiovascular system working at their optimum levels, they must be stimulated and utilized. Being more physically fit will generally make you look and feel better. Additionally, people that carry too much weight or are bordering on obesity often encounter many health related problems, ranging from chronic backaches to advanced cardiovascular disease. Finally, a high level of personal fitness can help you to cope with the various emotional and physical stressors that are encountered in the flight environment.

Get a Physical

Before starting a physical fitness program, it is very important that you get a thorough physical examination. Make sure that you tell your medical professional of your intentions to start a fitness program and get some guidance. Also, it would be a good idea to consult with your AME (aviation medical examiner). These professionals can help to tailor a program that addresses the demands of the flight environment.

A Change in Lifestyle

Always keep in mind that becoming fit requires a lifestyle change: adjusting your diet, eating the appropriate types of food with ideal portions, deciding to walk a short trip rather than to drive it, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. These all require a different frame of mind and a change in your daily routine. That, in itself, can be a stressor. Your body will be tasking muscles and systems more than ever. With the accompanying muscle soreness and fatigue, many get discouraged and simply give up. Start out slow. Gradually increase the intensity of your program as your body adjusts to this new lifestyle. But…don’t quit!

Basic Components of a Fitness Program

An effective fitness program includes the following:

  • Warm-up
  • Flexibility and stretching
  • Aerobic conditioning
  • Anaerobic conditioning
  • Cool-down and stretching

The Warm-Up and Stretch

The warm-up is an essential part of your workout. It should be adjusted to meet the needs of the type of exercise you plan to perform. Warming your muscles gives the body a chance to deliver plenty of nutrient-rich blood to areas about to be exercised and lubricates the joints. The second part of the warm-up process
should include stretching. Its purpose is to increase and maintain muscle flexibility by increasing blood flow to the muscles. Stretching should never overextend the muscle or cause it to burn. With the increase in flexibility and range of movement, stretching decreases the risk of injury.

Aerobic (Cardio) Conditioning

Your workout should then involve an aerobic (better known as cardio) activity. Aerobic exercise is any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature. The exercise tasks the heart and lungs, causing them to work harder than when at rest. Some examples of aerobic activities:

  • Bicycling (on a stationary bike, if preferred)
  • Fitness walking (treadmill, if preferred)
  • Jumping rope
  • Running or jogging (treadmill, if preferred)
  • Stair climbing (or Stairmaster, if preferred)
  • Swimming
  • Organized sports like softball, basketball, volleyball, racquetball

Anaerobic (Resistance) Conditioning

The effectiveness of your workout would be greatly diminished if it didn’t include some type of anaerobic, or resistance training, as a basic component.

This type of training tasks a particular muscle or muscle group to increase its strength and/or tone. Exercises can be done by using free-weights, resistance machines, and resistance bands. While free-weights have the advantage of being the most effective, they also have the disadvantage of being less safe. Machines are inherently safer but are less effective. No matter which route you choose, you should always consult a Certified Fitness Professional for proper instruction on equipment use and customizing a “lifting program” tailored to your specific needs. Some examples of anaerobic exercise are:

  • Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Dead-lift
  • Bicep Curl
  • Triceps Extension
  • Military Press
  • Row

Cool-Down and Stretch

This is the finishing touch to your workout, a very important part of an overall workout because it keeps the body active, prevents the blood from pooling in your extremities, and flushes the muscles of lactic acid. The cool-down should be performed at a low intensity of effort, starting with the major muscle groups. Similar
to the start of our workout, the cool-down period should also involve stretching. A good cool-down with stretching also helps to limit muscle soreness later.

Nutritional Considerations

Proper nutrition, fluid intake, rest, and recuperation are important factors for any healthy lifestyle. As your exercise routine increases, these compone
nts become more important, as the body needs adequate supplies of these ingredients to function properly. Eating well-balanced meals helps to replenish the nutritional needs of muscles and aids in recuperating from your workouts. A well-balanced meal involves being aware of your intake—especially proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Most individuals involved in a moderate exercise lifestyle benefit from a diet consisting of meals that are 50-55% complex carbohydrates, 15–20% protein, and 25–35% fat. However, the carbohydrate and protein intake percentages should change, depending on the purpose of your exercise program. Dehydration is a problem for most people, especially when they begin a fitness program. Exercisers should drink more water than ever before to avoid fatigue and cramping. The average, sedentary person needs two to four quarts of water every 24 hours for normal functioning. Depending on the workout, the weather, and your physical condition, your water intake will need to be increased.

Your Exercise Program

  • Can be very simple or very complex in nature
  • Should fit your personal needs, lifestyle, and personality
  • Should start slowly and build as you adapt; the old sports adage, “no pain, no gain,” can be very harmful and should by replaced by “in all things, moderation.”

Just Do It!

Physical fitness is a proven component of a long and healthy life. Physical fitness can also prolong your aviation activities by helping you pass your flight physicals.
One again, being fit for flight is not the same as being all ripped with muscle and no fat. So just do it!

MEDICAL FACTS FOR PILOTS Publication No. AM-400/09/2 Written by: J.R. Brown Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aerospace Medical Institute

Physiological Training Classes for Pilots

If you are interested in taking a one-day aviation physiological training course with altitude chamber and vertigo demonstrations or a one-day survival course, learn about how to sign up for these courses that are offered at 14 locations across the U.S. by visiting this FAA Web site: www.faa.gov/pilots/training/airman_education/aerospace_physiology/index.cfm