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Thread: Handling motion sickness

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    Handling motion sickness

    I have seen an exercise program on the internet that is supposed to cure motion sickness. I struggle with this from time to time, and can't even consider any aerobatic maneuver as a result. Is anyone familiar with any such thing, or can they recommend any methods for coping with motion sickness, outside of medication or devices?

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    AcroGimp's Avatar
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    Don't fly on an empty stomach, don't worry about getting sick, and fly often. If you want the experience, find a friend or better yet an experienced acro instructor, and focus on having fun and flying the maneuvers yourself. A good instructor will know when to knock-off, and can help you with where to look which helps a lot.
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    steveinindy's Avatar
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    I find that ginger ale before a flight tends to help minimize the nausea associated with turbulence, etc. A light meal also tends to help but you want to stay away from massive or greasy meals or anything that tends to produce gas. Staying fully hydrated will also tend to help.

    The one medication that might be an option for you is Zofran as I know some flight attendants who use it before flights in rough weather. It's non-sedating and works pretty well for them. I carry it with me when I fly as a passenger and there's any chance of rough weather. Talk to your local AME to see if it's OK per the FAA when flying as a pilot though.

    As much as I hate to say it, some people just aren't cut out for aerobatics. I happen to be one of them because of my tendency to get sick (and a little scared) as soon as things get beyond the point of a stall or spin.
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    One thing we found when taking people for their first acro in the SF-260's, was to make sure that there was sufficient air flow in the cockpit and try to do the rides as early after sunrise or as late as possible prior to sunset. The air was the smoothest then and the indistinct horizon helped quite a bit. Also, being as smooth as possible in the manuevers and allowing a little settling after each helped. For those that had real problems, a description of what was going to be done on the next manuever and having them follow on the stick helped too. For those that got too queasy, an immediate return to straight and level flight with max airflow in the cockpit usually calmed things down.

    It takes a bit of time for most people to acclimate to the sensations from acro. I know that if I were to go do some with a friend now, it wouldn't take long for me to have to stop and catchup.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tex Sonex View Post
    I have seen an exercise program on the internet that is supposed to cure motion sickness. I struggle with this from time to time, and can't even consider any aerobatic maneuver as a result. Is anyone familiar with any such thing, or can they recommend any methods for coping with motion sickness, outside of medication or devices?
    Tex, I suggest you consult with a physician, preferrably one that understands your needs. Modern medicine has all kind of tricks to cope with motion sickness. Not really a one size fits all cure. Some motion sickness is not related to motion, so they need to figure out exactly what you're experiencing.

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    I have indeed found that flying frequently makes it better, and if I'm really concerned about it, a couple of cheese crackers and a sip of drink before the flight is best. It's just that I'd like to be better than I am about it bothering me and it sure seems like I heard about routines airshow pilots did to keep them at the top of their game where motion sickness is concerned.... wondered what they did. That said, even Sean D. Tucker takes a break in his awesome show to let his innards re-settle into their correct locations!

    Thanks all, for the responses, but still wondering about any exercises specific to the issue.... if there are such things.

  7. #7

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    Tex , make sure you do the flying; don't let some instructor or expert do a manuever "to show you how it is done" or you may be on the verge of sickness before you even get to your time to fly.
    Any good instructor can tell you how to do a simple roll. Just make sure you go real high and wear a chute. It may be that you can only do one roll per flight, and then you must come down or fly level. So be it,maybe your tolerance will build up, maybe you can even try a loop. I'd avoid spins and any negative gs. But do know how to get out of a spin if needed.
    I have read that Bob Hoover would get sick if he had to ride with another acro pilot.
    I have a low level acro waiver, mostly I do rolls, no problem. But one day I decided to do two rolls in sucession without level out between and suddenly I was hit with big veritgo for a few seconds. I don't know whether I let it yaw or what, but I never did 2 in a row again.

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    I know it sounds like hokey patent medicine, but I found eating a little ginger removes almost all motion sickness if done 20 minutes before doing a tilt-a-whirl.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

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    Make that ginger a ginger ale and mix with about 3 oz of Smirnoff and you'll never feel a thing!

    I have never been really airsick, but have been seasick and it is awful.
    Back in the 1800s a famous English lady went on a vacation to South Africa. The ship voyage was so rough and she was so miserable that she never went back to England, she spent the rest of her life in Africa, since without airplanes there was no other way to get home other than by ship.

    Mark Twain said that seasickness is the worst disease of all; that the others can only kill you,but seasickness can make you wish you were dead.

    Years ago a drug co was trying to develop a better anti nausea medicine than dramamine. The used "volunteer" cadets at the Corpus Christie naval air station. The put the men in a flat bottom boat and went out and anchored sideways to the waves. Then they came in an loaded them into the back seat of a plane and went up and did acro. I am not sure what the used to induce these guys to volunteer, but I guess some survived it.
    Out of this came a drug, scopalamine hydrobromide, brand name Triptone. I used it to go on a sailboat and to go out on a boat to scuba dive. As for as I can tell it worked and did not make you drowsy; but I think there were some side effects and it was taken off the market. I still have one tube of it left, often wonder about trying it.

  10. #10
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Some motion sickness is not related to motion, so they need to figure out exactly what you're experiencing.
    One word for you: otoliths. Pretty much one of the levels of Dante's hell so far as I am concerned.

    Make that ginger a ginger ale and mix with about 3 oz of Smirnoff and you'll never feel a thing!
    ...or keep your pilot's license.

    That said, even Sean D. Tucker takes a break in his awesome show to let his innards re-settle into their correct locations
    That's one more reason why I think Sean is packing a big brass pair: not only does he do the stuff he does in an airplane but he owns up to not being invincible when it comes to nausea.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



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