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Hypoxia at 21000 ft.

 

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tvandijck  (D 30374)

Feb 14, 2007, 2:02 AM
Post #1 of 128 (10549 views)
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Hypoxia at 21000 ft. Can't Post

It's been a year now since we made this "jump".
We're still unsure what exactly was wrong, but after the carefull briefing by the dropzone, and listening carefully to the pilot during the flight, we still got hypoxic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXa4w4aYKEk

Both landed safely, one under canopy after an uneventfull skydive, although the first 50 seconds unconsious. The other, me, passed out, and woke up at 12-14k sitting in the door, apparently ready to jump out. All I can remember is getting off the ground, and waking up sitting in that door, wondering where everyone had gone.

Anyway, I cut the video short to 3 minutes, but the full video is about 11 minutes, so considering that the movie starts with both of us suffering from hypoxia, the next 11 minutes are pretty boring, until the end.

Now obviously this could have resulted in a very different ending, but I would like to mention that although this might have been a life threatening situation (I'm not exactly sure how much) we are both still alive..... kind of...


(This post was edited by tvandijck on Feb 14, 2007, 2:17 AM)


Peej  (B 2456)

Feb 14, 2007, 2:33 AM
Post #2 of 128 (10505 views)
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Re: [tvandijck] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post


There's a clicky for you.

edited to add: So i'm battling to understand here, were you one of the guys in the red gear or were you the guy videoing the whole thing? And surely exiting the plane in that condition isn't a good idea?


(This post was edited by Peej on Feb 14, 2007, 2:57 AM)


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Feb 14, 2007, 3:20 AM
Post #3 of 128 (10482 views)
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Re: [tvandijck] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

That video is shockingCrazy. I'd rather put seat belt on and ride the plane down. It could be an expensive high altitude jump, but its just money.


darkwing  (D 4164)

Feb 14, 2007, 3:35 AM
Post #4 of 128 (10477 views)
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Re: [tvandijck] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

It is astonishing. It raises several questions. I'm more than a little confused about what was going on. If you woke up in the door, then you werren't one of the two "stars" of the clip. The video guy obviously knew things were screwed up, but didn't do much. So is the poster the video guy?

It seems to me to be a massively poorly planned and executed jump, but I would like to hear some details. This is a great wake up to the ignorant masses who think they are too tough to get hypoxic.


yoink

Feb 14, 2007, 4:28 AM
Post #5 of 128 (10461 views)
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Re: [darkwing] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

That is unbelievable.

Either a majority of the people on that plane were suffering hypoxia or there's some pretty callous skydivers around...

Someone's obviously struggling in the door ar 21 grand and others are shouting 'GO!"... Shocked

It's a great video of just how screwed up your judgement will get under those conditions though.


(This post was edited by yoink on Feb 14, 2007, 4:28 AM)


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Feb 14, 2007, 7:30 AM
Post #6 of 128 (10383 views)
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Re: [tvandijck] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

I can tell you exactly what went wrong. You were above 18k, you didn't pre-breath for thirty minutes, there was no proper supervision in the back of the plane (phys-tech), you were using shitty a shitty O2 system, and that guy who was all hypoxic was reason enough to take the plane down.

It's this callous disregard for safety as it relates to proper O2 operations that is, without a doubt, going to get somebody killed soon. Probably not on one of these "once per boogie" King Air jumps, but on a world-record big-way RW jump. The systems currently in place on those jumps are positively LAUGHABLE by military standards. It's serious shit, people.

Want to protect yourself from such danger? Carry your happy asses to the nearest USAF hypobaric facility and get yourself some proper training. SEE what your limitations are under proper supervision in a controlled environment before you go volunteering to fly slot on the latest and greatest jump with nothing but a nasal canula stuck in your factory diver and no pre-breathing whatsoever.

I have had this conversation with PLENTY of big-way record guys and most just blow it off. Bill Von Novak gave a seminar on it at PIA this time, but unfortunately I was tied up elsewhere and missed it.

Concerning that video: That pilot was dead wrong for not taking that plane down after that first guy started showing CLEAR signs of hypoxia. The fact that he was allowed to exit was just criminal in my mind. Unbelievable!

Chuck Blue
D-12501
MFFJM (among other things). No, you can't borrow my Gentex, mask, or O2 bottles. Buy your own proper gear.


DougH  (D License)

Feb 14, 2007, 8:31 AM
Post #7 of 128 (10350 views)
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

That video is shocking, I can't believe they let that guy exit!!! He wouldn't have been able to put himself back on the bench at that point!!!!


gontleman

Feb 14, 2007, 8:34 AM
Post #8 of 128 (10344 views)
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Re: [DougH] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That video is shocking, I can't believe they let that guy exit!!! He wouldn't have been able to put himself back on the bench at that point!!!!
Last time I saw someone moving like that, we had just finished asphyxiating them {edit} and they were just regaining their vision. Yeah. Ya do dumb things when you're young.


(This post was edited by gontleman on Feb 14, 2007, 8:37 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Feb 14, 2007, 10:12 AM
Post #9 of 128 (10281 views)
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Re: [DougH] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

>That video is shocking, I can't believe they let that guy exit!!!

If the O2 problems were systemic, then everyone was as dopey as that guy. It's one of the biggest problem with monitoring O2 usage - your judgement goes first, and if you don't have the judgement to know you are impaired, then you can't take any steps to mitigate the problem.

Personally, I take a bailout bottle with me on high altitude jumps now. They're relatively cheap ($80, a good regulator is $120) refillable and provide a backup source of O2 if the aircraft system fails. This will not help everyone else, of course, but at least if I'm oxygenated I can close the door and tell everyone that they're not jumping.

As Chuck mentioned, a chamber ride is invaluable to learn what your own personal response to hypoxia is. Once you identify it, look for those feelings in yourself - then act FAST. Once you notice hypoxia starting you have very little "useful consciousness" time left, and it's best to use that time to fix the O2 system or get the plane descending. (Note that if you do get the plane descending you will have done the right thing, but everyone will blame you for ruining their skydive because they will claim they were all fine. That's life.)

Another way to monitor this is to bring a pulse oximeter. This is a little device that clips on to your finger and monitors your O2 saturation. If it gets below 80% or so - don't jump.

I gave a talk at PIA this year about the problems of high altitude skydiving, and as Chuck mentioned I think this might be one of those things where someone has to die before anything changes. Right now supplemental oxygen is used in a very haphazard way, and even minor problems with an O2 system (as we saw here) can have very bad results. So far we've been saved by the fact that _usually_ people wake up when they get to denser air, but that's a bad thing to rely on.


ladyskydiver

Feb 14, 2007, 10:14 AM
Post #10 of 128 (10276 views)
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

Chuck,

Is there a website that one can go to in order to find the closest USAF hypobaric facility?


dbattman  (D 27577)

Feb 14, 2007, 10:14 AM
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Re: Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

Just as an aside guys (I'm sure a lot of you know this), but if anyone is curious they can try contacting their local Naval Air Station, Civi Air Patrol, Air National Guard unit, etc., and inquire about receiving a ride in a hypobaric chamber. When I was doing flight training the club instructuors would recommend a trip to Dobbins for their students as part of the program for a nominal fee (I think it was like $50 at the time). Hypoxia hits everyone differently and a dry run bumping the envelope would be useful for anyone considering playing with high alt.

If anyone has a few good starting points of contact this would probably be a good place for them.

Edit- Chuck already mentioned that. My bad for poor reading comprehension.


(This post was edited by dbattman on Feb 14, 2007, 10:24 AM)


MarkM  (C 35089)

Feb 14, 2007, 10:15 AM
Post #12 of 128 (10272 views)
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Re: [tvandijck] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

That is some scary shit dude. I'm really disappointed that someone who wasn't hypoxic didn't take control of the problem jumpers.

@Chuck, I didn't think you needed to pre-breath for a 22k jump?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Feb 14, 2007, 10:17 AM
Post #13 of 128 (10266 views)
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Re: [MarkM] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

>Chuck, I didn't think you needed to pre-breath for a 22k jump?

The USAF requires pre-breathing for any altitude over 25K. Even so, pilots with fast-climbing aircraft are getting DCS (decompression sickness) from climbing to even 20,000 feet rapidly.


DougH  (D License)

Feb 14, 2007, 10:22 AM
Post #14 of 128 (10254 views)
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Re: [billvon] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I gave a talk at PIA this year about the problems of high altitude skydiving, and as Chuck mentioned I think this might be one of those things where someone has to die before anything changes. Right now supplemental oxygen is used in a very haphazard way, and even minor problems with an O2 system (as we saw here) can have very bad results. So far we've been saved by the fact that _usually_ people wake up when they get to denser air, but that's a bad thing to rely on.

Do you have a slide show or was it just a talk? I wish I was there to listen to it!

Edit: I just saw your post in this forum, thank you for sharing it with us!


(This post was edited by DougH on Feb 14, 2007, 10:26 AM)


Scoop

Feb 14, 2007, 10:24 AM
Post #15 of 128 (10245 views)
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Re: [tvandijck] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

Only plays for 13 seconds when I try. Have tried refreshing. Could you possibly send it to me? I don't have any problem watching other YouTube vids


tvandijck  (D 30374)

Feb 14, 2007, 10:32 AM
Post #16 of 128 (10231 views)
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Re: [Peej] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

So, to clear this up...
The guy in red, eventually jumping is a friend of me.
The guy in blue (completely, even my head) sitting next to him is me.. The other person "helping" the guy in red out the plane, was some girl we met on the DZ. And the guy filming was someone else.

I did not jump, but merely because I was unable to. When I woke up sitting in that door, I realised that I'd better move back a bit, but it was all kind of unreal at that point.

And the reason why I put the video up, is mostly because it is a year ago, and might be usefull to show other people the effects of Hypoxia and the dangers of it. And just for the record, jumping out really didn't have anything to do with the jump being expensive. Nor me, Nor the guy in red that jumps out, actually remembers ANYTHING of the jump, let alone make the decision to jump out because it was an expensive jump. We had headaches after the jump making it totally impossible to jump the rest of the day, so in regard to that, this pretty much ruined one day of awesome skydiving.. Money really was no issue at all, we largely made up for this the next day....


(This post was edited by tvandijck on Feb 14, 2007, 10:36 AM)


Beerlight

Feb 14, 2007, 10:35 AM
Post #17 of 128 (10220 views)
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Re: [ladyskydiver] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

Go to http://www.faa.gov/...erospace_physiology/

the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) has a cooperative agreement with military facilities that own hypobaric chambers.

Call them, tell them where you are located, when you would like a class and they will "try" to set you up with the nearest chamber facility offering an FAA class. Need a Class III medical or better and pay $50.

DJ DeMuth is who to ask for when scheduling.....tell em Buck sent ya!

p.s. and if any of you wanna travel for a "free" course, NASA does just that down in Houston, TX. They don't offer it as often as they used to, but I can find out when their next one is if ya like...........


(This post was edited by Beerlight on Feb 14, 2007, 10:38 AM)


ladyskydiver

Feb 14, 2007, 10:35 AM
Post #18 of 128 (10215 views)
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Re: [Beerlight] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

Cool. Thanks! Smile


peek  (D 8884)

Feb 14, 2007, 10:46 AM
Post #19 of 128 (10197 views)
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

A guy I know somehow got a copy of this video because he was at the DZ and asked for it. I think the guy doing the video had second thoughts later and told him to not make it public. Only a few of us have seen it since he had it.

I'm really glad it is now public. It is important for people to be scared shitless by this type of thing.

It is my (unverified) understanding that the pilot had sufficient oxygen, but that the jumpers only had about 10% of the flow they needed.


jumpdr  (C 106094)

Feb 14, 2007, 11:55 AM
Post #20 of 128 (10161 views)
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Re: [peek] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

I did a chamber ride up to 25,000ft about 6 years ago. Within less than 3 minutes of removing my mask I was completely useless - it doesn't take long! I have a video somewhere...
At 21,000 ft the Time of Useful Consciousness is about 10 minutes and that's if you were decompressed to that from ground level instantaneously, not having spent a while in an aircraft slowly decompressing and going hypoxic.
The scary thing is, if you're in a commercial aircraft flying at 36,000 ft, if you suddenly lost pressure, your TUC is about 40 seconds. Those masks that drop from the ceiling do nothing, because even oxygen at 100% (which those masks couldn't achieve anyway) is not at sufficient partial pressure at that altitude to keep your blood oxygenated.
Anyway, slightly off topic... :)

Edited to add: Did anyone else notice that the person with the red rig (you can tell it's a girl from the shape of her arse!) 'helping' the hypoxic guy out had really loose leg straps?! Looks like she probably forgot to tighten them - bet she felt that on opening!! Shocked


(This post was edited by jumpdr on Feb 14, 2007, 12:05 PM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Feb 14, 2007, 12:15 PM
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Re: [jumpdr] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

>The scary thing is, if you're in a commercial aircraft flying at 36,000
>ft, if you suddenly lost pressure, your TUC is about 40 seconds.
> Those masks that drop from the ceiling do nothing, because even
> oxygen at 100% (which those masks couldn't achieve anyway) is not
> at sufficient partial pressure at that altitude to keep your blood
> oxygenated.

At sea level, the pressure is 14.7PSI; oxygen makes up 21% of the air. That's a partial pressure of oxygen (ppO2) of 3.1psi.

At 36,000 feet, atmospheric pressure is 3.4PSI. 100% oxygen would result in a partial pressure of 3.4psi, higher than you get on the ground. However, as you noted, most emergency O2 systems are insufficient to get you 100% oxygen. In most scenarios, onboard oxygen is used only until the plane descends to below 10,000 feet, which can be accomplished pretty rapidly in an emergency. About the only time you'd stay at higher altitudes is if you were doing a trans-oceanic flight with no place to divert to; in such cases, it might be critical to remain at higher altitudes to have enough range to reach an airport.

At 42,000 feet, atmospheric pressure is about 2.4PSI, so even pure O2 won't give you that 3PSI you'd get at sea level.


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Feb 14, 2007, 12:32 PM
Post #22 of 128 (10126 views)
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Re: [billvon] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>Chuck, I didn't think you needed to pre-breath for a 22k jump?

The USAF requires pre-breathing for any altitude over 25K. Even so, pilots with fast-climbing aircraft are getting DCS (decompression sickness) from climbing to even 20,000 feet rapidly.

What do you mean by rapid? King Air rapid? Or Air Force jet rapid?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Feb 14, 2007, 12:46 PM
Post #23 of 128 (10113 views)
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Re: [kelpdiver] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

>What do you mean by rapid?

Greater than 2000ft/min.


brettski74  (C 3197)

Feb 14, 2007, 1:23 PM
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Re: [billvon] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

Yours and Chuck's responses are great, but it does raise a few questions in me.

Firstly, with the bailout bottle, how do you travel with that? I'm sure it's empty when you travel, but given that compressed gas is considered dangerous goods, does anybody ask questions when they see a gas bottle in your luggage? Do you declare it when you travel? Have you travelled with it?

With regard to pre-breathing, are you actually breathing pure oxygen? For those not aware, oxygen is toxic. This is why when applying oxygen to trauma patients, we generally use a fairly low flow-rate. I'm not totally qualified to give oxygen, so I don't know all the ins and outs, but I have some knowledge from my prior work as a ski patroller. I was taught to never give pure oxygen (ie. high flow rate), as this will damage the lungs and can produce oxygen toxicity. So is it really pure oxygen in the system, or is it mixed with something else to reduce the partial pressure of oxygen? Is oxygen toxicity something that is considered during this pre-breathing time you talk about?


(This post was edited by brettski74 on Feb 14, 2007, 1:32 PM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Feb 14, 2007, 1:50 PM
Post #25 of 128 (10074 views)
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Re: [kelpdiver] Hypoxia at 21000 ft. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
>Chuck, I didn't think you needed to pre-breath for a 22k jump?

The USAF requires pre-breathing for any altitude over 25K. Even so, pilots with fast-climbing aircraft are getting DCS (decompression sickness) from climbing to even 20,000 feet rapidly.

What do you mean by rapid? King Air rapid? Or Air Force jet rapid?

Even WWII fighters could achieve 4-5K/min. I thought that planes like Mullin's were also climbing 2K/min, it certainly did when I did the high altitude jump at Rantoul.


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