Motion sickness

oilcanbland

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Had my first lesson today. It went really well, except the fact that I got a little motion sickness. We were in a 152 boucing around on a sunny day. I'm not familiar concerning the regs on taking motion sickness pills before flying. Are you allowed to do that? Any other advice and would be appreciated.

Thanks
(and go easy on me, it was my first lesson)
 

1900cpt

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Not sure about the motion sickness pills, but they also have those wristband things. I think they have to do with presure points that are supposed to help.

If it helps you any, i got sick every flight for a week when i started. Some of it im sure had to do with anxiety....fearing if i would get sick again, and that just made it worse. Try to not think about it. Your body will get used to it and you will be fine.

Here i am 3000hrs later and doing great. Good lick and dont give up.

1900cpt
 

SDdriver

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I agree with 1900cpt, just give it some time. I remember when I just started and flying in those hot 152's on a summer day with all the bumps, geez those conditions are enough to make anyone sick. DOn't worry about it, as you get more time and get more comfortable it should pass. A lot of it seems to be mind control, if you are thinking about getting sick it just makes it worse. Try putting the vent in the windscreen blowing right on your face and take deep breaths. That helps a lot. Also drink a lot of cold water before going so that you don't dehydrate in the plane. And then if you do throw up it is just water. Avoid eating right before flying, give yourself at least a few hours before so your food can settle. I have only gotten sick a few times in the early years and the conditions were exactly what you described when it happened to me, so don't worry you'll pull through. Good luck with you lessons and fly safe!

SD
 

oilcanbland

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You hit the nail on the head. Worrying about getting sick again is what makes me sick the most. It probably won't actually be the bumps. It's the anxiety that you mentioned.

Thanks, you guys made me feel a little better.
(and not as much of a wuss)
 

alvin

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Give it some more time. I too got "weak" on my first lesson. I found if I eat about 1 hr before, I do well. Never had another problem through the rest of my ppl.

But ,a 1.5 hr x-cntry under the hood in moderate turb was about all I could take a couple weeks ago.....
 

bobbysamd

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When I was a new instructor I was teaching CAP cadets in a week-long solo encampment. One of my students would get airsick every flight. We had to cut his flights short because he would get airsick. We were in the first week of August in Oklahoma and the low-level turbulance was making him queasy. I was concerned because my student was getting behind and might not solo. I asked one of the more experienced instructors what to do. He said that people don't get sick during their solos. So, we went into the pattern on the next flight and as soon as he was landing the airplane consistently I turned him loose. He did fine.

Stay away from motion sickness medication.
 

oilcanbland

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We got off the ground at about 9:30am. I also got out of bed and went straight to the airport, without food.

That was probably my problem right there.
 

surfnole

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Back when I was doing my IFR training, I had too much to drink the night before. I don't think I was hungover...maybe a little sour stomach.

Anyway, it was a 90+ day in sunny/humid Florida, and I learned why you should have absolutely zero aftereffects until flying. We were on approach, and I was under the hood. We were getting bumped around due to the building cumulus. I broke out in a sweat and started feeling sick and disoriented because I could not see anything. I thought to myself that if this was real IFR, I would be in serious trouble. Live and learn.

I read Chuck Yeagers book and he talked about throwing up after a hard night of drinking and then getting in the cockpit for a test flight!
 

AWACoff

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I have found that a full stomach keeps your belly from "sloshing" around during turbulence. I too am one of the "bucket brigade". I would get queasy often during my initial training. Finally I filled a sicksack on my first dual x-country. I felt a lot better after puking my guts out into a sicksack. I did pretty well after that. The next time I got airsick was sitting in the jumpseat during training for an airline. The pilot flying was supposedly doing steep turns. All I know is that we were pulling G's/floating/pulling G's/floating...all without a discernable horizon. I was sweating my butt off and thought I'd puke for sure. Guess what...no biggy, the instructor was getting a little queasy himself with this abomination of "flying". For all of my fellow brothers and sisters in the Bucket Brigade...I salute you!
 

MsFan

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Twelve years ago I was one ride away from puking my way out of AF flight screening. I spent so much time worrying about barfing that it made it inevitable that I would. A buddy of mine gave me some of that over the counter motion sickness medicine (I'm spacing out and can't remember the name). Anyway, I took that and it relaxed me to the point that I didn't fixate on airsickness. Used it for maybe 5 rides and never got sick again. It's almost a placebo type thing. I think 90% of airsickness is caused by worrying about it too much. Take away that fixation and you start concentrating on attitude/altitude/airspeed and you don't think about getting sick.

Anyway, worked for me and I've logged over 3000 hrs since without a problem. Maybe try that if nothing else works. Or drink a fifth of whiskey the day before like Yeager did, but I don't recommend that one for many reasons.

K.C.
 

Timebuilder

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I have found a little ginger ale helps to settle my stomach.

A few weeks ago, I had to sit on the "potty seat" during training in the Lear. It was bumpy, and we were doing steep turns, and I couldn't see outside very well from my position while the other trainee was flying the airplane. I turned at least five shades of green, but fortunately had digested all of my breakfast already.

For you, I would do a couple of things. One, try to keep a cool airflow going in the cockpit. Open the window if you have to. Two, have your instructor take the aircraft controls and scan while you focus your eyes on the horizon.

The motion sickness comes from a lack of, or a disparity of visual inputs and kinesthetic inputs to the brain. That means what you are seeing, or failing to see, doesn't agree with what you are feeling.
 

tarp

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OCB,

Your in a pretty large group of fellow pilots. I'd say about 33% have true "motion sickness" and about 99.8% have had first flight butterflies.

True airsickness or motion sickness will usually go away after you adjust to the new environment. Some people lose it in two lessons, some in thirty but it does eventually go away.

Good opportunity to crack open the books! Most private pilot manuals either have the Aeromedical Factors section in the first chapter or the last chapter of the book. Find yours and start reading - there's good info.

PS - my first lesson in a C-150 was a hot bumpy summer afternoon. It's kind of hard to fly an airplane when you are trying to slip one hand under the seat to keep yourself connected to the airplane. My rather abrupt instructor noticed me trying to hang on, told me to tighten my seat belt and then made me put my hands in the air while he ran through some maneuvers. I then realized that I stayed connected throughout and a fear was erased. Those were some awfully big butterflies that day!
 

dmspilot00

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Having experienced it myself, I think I can offer a few words.

When I was a student my instructor started me off with relatively short flights, about .6 on the hobbs. We gradually worked up to an hour over the first three or four flights.

For me, a large part of my nausea came from vibration. We had two 152s where I learned to fly, and after flying both I found that one vibrated more than the other, so I tried to always fly in the better airplane. Also, slow flight tended to make me the most sick, and I think the increased vibration during the maneuver (slow airspeed with high RPM) was the cause.

For me, sometimes I think I got more sick when it was smooth, because the tactile inputs were missing. What I saw and what I felt did not agree. When it was bumpy (but not very bumpy), what I saw and felt usually did agree!

I never did have to use a sick-sac in a plane. The only time I felt I really needed it when I flew in the back seat of a plane with a friend of mine and his instructor. If you feel that you are going to need one, you need to get down. I would not recommend waiting until you get sick to determine it is time to land.

After my first few lessons where the nausea started to pass, but for about my first 10 hours, driving in the car on the way home after a lesson usually made me more sick. Wait about 20 minutes after you land if you find this is the case.

You can buy ginger capsules or candied ginger, it is supposed to help and I used it for my first 20 hours or so. If you decide to eat it in the car, make sure you have some water...it burns!
 

bobbysamd

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Motion Sickness

I recall reading in Chuck Yeager's autobiography that he suffered from airsickness during his early flights. He got over it and years later broke the speed of sound!
 

AZaviator

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wristband

As 1900cpt briefly mentioned, you might want to look into getting one of those wristbands. I had a student who got airsick just about everytime we'd go up flying. He bought one of the wristbands and wore it for a few weeks and gradually quit wearing it and eventually didn't need it anymore.

I don't think they're too expensive $40-60? and you can order them from Sporty's, or a flight school might have one. Just a suggestion.
 

Timebuilder

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There are two models avialable. One has a fixed life and a sealed case. The other, more expensive model has a replaceable battery.
 

TurboS7

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I will always remember when I was five years old puuuuking all over my grandfather's 172, I missed the bag. I have always had a tender stomach, I think it was because I wasn't breast fed. Anyhow I always fly with a full stomach, that really helps. Schedule your flying lessons in the early morning or evening when it is smooth. When you pull G's or start bouncing around tighten up your stomach muscles, it helps. Don't let people like my wife make you feel bad. She never gets sea sick, she can go out in a fighter and sit in the back and while pulling 7'gs and not feel sick and love every minute of it. Oh yes, she was breast fed when she was a baby. Most of us pilots feel sick and when those neg g's come----look out. Have fun and enjoy.
 

avbug

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I like to strike students who have a strong constitution about the abdomen prior to a flight. Several good blows induce vomiting, leaving nothing to come up during the flight. (Dry heaves only build good abs). For women, children, and small animals, I alternate between using syrup of ipicac or a tongue depressor (never a finger, even old folks bite hard). Get it all out in the open and out of their system.

The flight always goes better after that.

Seriously, a little fresh air, and look outside the cockpit; far outside. Look at the horizon. If you find you're getting sick, then stop doing whatever it was that made you sick. Most folks who have this probem experience it with turns of 180 degrees or more; especially steep turns involving changes in direction.

A tolerance can be built up, but take your time. If air work is making you sick, go do landings. Shorten the duration of the flights, and shoot for morning or evening flights when it is likely to be more calm. If sickness comes on, go do something else, or end the flight. Airsickness is both psyiological, and psychological. Don't allow it to jade you or feed itself. Cut it off and go back up later.

It IS beatable. If you can't lick it, however, try eating something that tastes as good coming back up as it does going down the first time...and the second time, and the third time. Pick foods for their aftertaste, and you'll be a contented camper. Good luck!!
 

oilcanbland

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Hey, bobbysamd. If you get this, I was just curious as to why you said to stay away from the motion sickness medication. Do you mean staw away from over the counter drugs?
 

bobbysamd

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Medical deficiency

Theoretically, according to 14 CFR 61.53, taking ANY medication means that you have a medical condition that would render you unable meet the requirements of your medical:

Sec. 61.53 - Prohibition on operations during medical deficiency.

(a) Operations that require a medical certificate. Except as provided for in paragraph (b) of this section, a person who holds a current medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter shall not act as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person:

(1) Knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to meet the requirements for the medical certificate necessary for the pilot operation; or

(2) Is taking medication or receiving other treatment for a medical condition that results in the person being unable to meet the requirements for the medical certificate necessary for the pilot operation.

(Emphasis added)

Obviously, you need to use some judgment. Every medication has some sort of side effect, but it is not unreasonable to take Tylenol for a headache and fly after the headache passes. The FAA can approve prescription medications on a case-by-case basis for those who need them. So many of the motion sickness meds, though, have antihistimines, which induce drowsiness.

Best thing is stay away from them. Don't worry, your airsickness tendencies will pass soon.

An interesting pilot medical site is www.leftseat.com .

Good luck with your lessons.
 
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