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skydiving oxygen system legality?

 

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pchapman  (D 1014)

Jul 17, 2012, 7:43 PM
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skydiving oxygen system legality? Can't Post

 
Are all the oxygen systems in US aircraft fully legal? Or are we supposed to talk about the whole industry's oxygen systems only in hushed tones?

I don't know all the rules. But are the systems that are bolted or screwed into place all approved through a 337 form or similar? Or do we maintain that they are all "temporary" and not "attached" to the aircraft, because only such things don't need approval?

Some installations appear more temporary with hoses strung up only on special occasions, while others have for example aluminum distribution tubing attached by screws to the cabin walls.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jul 17, 2012, 9:22 PM
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Re: [pchapman] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

Why ask the question if you don't want to hear the answer?

There are two types of legal oxygen systems. Most airliners (Twin Otter, Skyvan, etc.) - certified to carry passengers above 10,000 feet AGL - have certified oxygen systems.
Airliners with pressurized cabins (Boeing, Airbus, etc.) have emergency oxygen masks that drop out of the ceiling.

Airliners without pressurized cabins need an oxygen mask - for every passenger if they plan to cruise above 12,500 feet for more than 30 minutes (note minor variations in regulations in different countries), these are the sort of oxygen masks you tend to see in jump planes operating above 12,500 feet.

A third option is the temporary oxygen masks you sometimes see in privately-owned airplanes (Bonanza, Mooney, etc.) these typically hang off the back of the pilot's seat. For flight below 18,000 feet, nasal cannulas may be enough to raise blood oxygen levels.

Speaking of blood oxygen levels, it is important to monitor blood oxygen levels to ensure that you are absorbing enough. The simplest way to monitor blood oxygen levels is with a gadget that clamps onto your finger.


jshiloh

Jul 18, 2012, 1:39 PM
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Re: [riggerrob] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Airliners without pressurized cabins need an oxygen mask - for every passenger if they plan to cruise above 12,500 feet for more than 30 minutes (note minor variations in regulations in different countries), these are the sort of oxygen masks you tend to see in jump planes operating above 12,500 feet.

I'm curious here. I haven't looked into the issue in depth. But I notice you used the term "mask." From what I recall, the regs only specify that "supplemental oxygen is used" but don't specifically require a mask. I've seen at least one DZ using an oxygen system that does not have a mask, just a tube that passengers suck on. At the time, I refused to jump at altitudes over 15k at that facility because I was not willing to use their oxygen tubes (sanitary concerns). I now wonder if the system itself was legal or not...


sundevil777  (D License)

Jul 18, 2012, 2:06 PM
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Re: [riggerrob] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Airliners with pressurized cabins (Boeing, Airbus, etc.) have emergency oxygen masks that drop out of the ceiling.

Those masks are connected to a short term supply of oxygen from a chemical reaction type oxygen generator unit, not hooked up to bottled oxygen. There are only a small number of exceptions, when the airline wants to pay a lot more for bottled passenger oxygen, but it is very rare.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Jul 18, 2012, 4:18 PM
Post #5 of 32 (2382 views)
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Re: [pchapman] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

>Or do we maintain that they are all "temporary" and not "attached" to the
>aircraft, because only such things don't need approval?

Depends. I believe the Perris otters had the manifolds installed under a 337.


headoverheels  (D License)

Jul 18, 2012, 6:13 PM
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Re: [jshiloh] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
[ (sanitary concerns). ...

I carry my own alcohol swabs.

I find the tube, shoved into a full face helmet, to work quite well, much better than nasal cannulas, and without the tendancy to dry my nose and cause nosebleeds (if using multiple consecutive days).


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jul 19, 2012, 7:32 AM
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Re: [jshiloh] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

"
In reply to:
... just a tube that passengers suck on. At the time, I refused to jump at altitudes over 15k at that facility because I was not willing to use their oxygen tubes (sanitary concerns). I now wonder if the system itself was legal or not...
"

.......................................................................

Ignore sanitation and legality, because few of those simple tubes provide enough oxygen to keep you alert above 15,000 feet.


sundevil777  (D License)

Jul 19, 2012, 7:49 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
"
In reply to:
... just a tube that passengers suck on. At the time, I refused to jump at altitudes over 15k at that facility because I was not willing to use their oxygen tubes (sanitary concerns). I now wonder if the system itself was legal or not...
"

.......................................................................

Ignore sanitation and legality, because few of those simple tubes provide enough oxygen to keep you alert above 15,000 feet.

What should a person look for in a good system? I've only used oxygen when I jumped at 24k, and that was with a real mask that sensed vacuum (inhalation) to deliver oxygen. If I get on a lower altitude dive that is going to use the low tech systems, what should I want to see?


(This post was edited by sundevil777 on Jul 19, 2012, 7:50 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Jul 19, 2012, 12:43 PM
Post #9 of 32 (2211 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

>What should a person look for in a good system?

Bailout or in-plane?


sundevil777  (D License)

Jul 19, 2012, 1:24 PM
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Re: [billvon] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>What should a person look for in a good system?

Bailout or in-plane?

In plane system.

Is there something a person can do to most effectively use whatever is provided?


totter

Jul 19, 2012, 1:52 PM
Post #11 of 32 (2186 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What should a person look for in a good system?

This applies to the temporary installed system most found at DZs.
Being one that has rigged aircraft for big ways this is what I would look for:
1) What type of regulator is installed on the tank. Is it one designed for Oxygen breathing use or one purchased from a welding supply store. One that is designed for actual oxygen breathing (i.e. like those sold by Mountain High) will deliver the correct volume of O2 for the entire aircraft with no guess work. A regulator design for welding takes some trial and error to get the flow right.
2) What type of material is the supply manifold made of. Is it just a PVC/ABS plastic plumbing pipe with outlets or is PVC or Aluminum/Copper tubing. And also how many supply lines. The con for the PVC pipe is that most of the O2 goes to the people closest to the regulator. I was always partial to the PVC tubing and in a Skyvan or Otter used 2 supply line per side (one per side that fed the rear seats), so that everyone had the proper supply.
3) How is it installed (used loosly). Is it up out of the way hanging from a side wall/ceiling or is it laying on the benches/floor where things can get pinched.
4) Are there flow meters installed. There should be one per supply line. A simple one is just an In Line device that turns from Red to Green when the proper amount of O2 is flowing. Though there are some that insist that if they can't feel it blowing on them it isn't enough.
5) Are the cannulas new? It isn't that expensive to purchase new cannulas from a medical supply store. I think it ran about $50 for 200 cannula when we had big ways. I would make a hole in the bag just big enough so that I could install the adaptor on the end of the hose and leave the rest in the bag. The jumpers were appriciative when they looked in the aircraft and saw this.

There are other things to look for, and I'm sure some will add on, but these i feel are the big ones.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Jul 19, 2012, 3:24 PM
Post #12 of 32 (2165 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

>In plane system.

I think in-plane you are generally best off with a cannula. It's simple, it works even if you're unconscious, and it doesn't dry out your throat too much.

Generally good systems do NOT use plastic pipes in the manifold. Plastic (PVC, PBT, vinyl) burns like crazy in pure oxygen.

Most aircraft systems use "metered orifice" regulation which is a fancy way of saying holes in a pipe. The pressure in the pipe and the size of the hole determines the flow. In such systems the bigger the manifold diameter the better. A tiny manifold will mean that the people by the door get less O2 than the people near the front.


totter

Jul 19, 2012, 3:59 PM
Post #13 of 32 (2147 views)
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Re: [billvon] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Generally good systems do NOT use plastic pipes in the manifold. Plastic (PVC, PBT, vinyl) burns like crazy in pure oxygen.

PVC pipe, as in plumbing pipe found at Home Depot
I agree yes to the statement.
But there are other PVC & poly products that are used and sold for the low pressure side of an oxygen system.

The link is for the Mountain High website.
http://www.mhoxygen.com

Go to hardware, low pressure.


(This post was edited by totter on Jul 19, 2012, 7:34 PM)


adamUK  (C 104423)

Jul 19, 2012, 7:43 PM
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Re: [billvon] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
burns like crazy in pure oxygen.

Is pure oxygen used or is it just air enriched with oxygen? We had oxygen systems at work and they had to be cleaned and degreased prior to commissioning to prevent fire. That would be too onerous for aircraft based systems? I thought oxygen was toxic at high concentrations?


excaza  (C License)

Jul 20, 2012, 5:57 AM
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Re: [adamUK] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

Pure oxygen is used most of the time. If you just use air you're going to be breathing in nitrogen and you will get the the bends depending on what altitude you're at and how long you're there.

edit: made my sentence make sense


(This post was edited by excaza on Jul 20, 2012, 10:25 AM)


weekender  (C License)

Jul 20, 2012, 8:11 AM
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Re: [excaza] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Pure oxygen is used most of the time. If you just use air you're going to be breathing in nitrogen and you can will the bends depending on what altitude you're at and how long you're there.

i thought you got bent because the partial pressures INCREASE. In this case they are decreasing. Am I wrong? As long as the plane does not fly at an altitude below sea level or above 1ATA, you should be fine i would think.

Also, someone mentioned pure o2 and fire hazards. I'd agree with them on it being something a lay person should not be cavalier with. I've blended plenty of scuba tanks with pure o2 and was trained to be very careful for a reason. I've read and seen some scary accidents just putting on regulators or turning valves. Slow and gentle is good.


(This post was edited by weekender on Jul 20, 2012, 8:14 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Jul 20, 2012, 8:39 AM
Post #17 of 32 (2027 views)
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Re: [weekender] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

>i thought you got bent because the partial pressures INCREASE.

It's a decrease after saturation. That's why you only get DCS on the ascent in a dive.

In olden timey days we never saw planes climb fast enough to pose a risk of DCS. But doing a 30K dive out of Mullin's King Air - you could indeed have that sort of problem.


kenthediver  (A License)

Jul 20, 2012, 9:02 AM
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Re: [weekender] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

You get the bends because you dive at an atmospherc pressure greater than sea level atmos pressure (every 10 meters of water descent the atmosphere doubles!), and your blood absorbs more oxygen and nitrogen, which, if you surface too rapidly, the gas molecules expand and get trapped in the veins, causing the limbs to bend. As for Pure Oxygen - diving beyond a certain depth will require Nitrox or even a tri-mix, n order to minimise the potental for oxygen poisoning - very little chance of either oxygen poisonnig or the bends while sky-diving. Skydiving reduces atmospheric pressure by climbing above ground level, and then falling back down increases pressure to sea level. Only danger would be if you did a sink hole jump, and even then you would need to drop thousands of feet below ground level for the AIR pressure to affect you (sea pressure (liquid) has a far greater effect due to its density / weight!)


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Jul 20, 2012, 10:23 AM
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Re: [totter] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have used a system where every 4 jumpers had their own bottle and it was with the Mountain High regulators on the bottles. The bottles were belted in to the plane and someone monitored the O2 flow for their group of 4. It allowed each jumper to keep a high flow of O2 no matter where they were in the plane and it also made sure even if there was a bad regulator preventing full O2 flow the entire plane would not be impacted and would allow for the others on the plane to notice the situation. I liked this since the pilot was on their own bottle and if they had an issue could tap into the jumpers bottle to make sure they were good.


weekender  (C License)

Jul 20, 2012, 11:16 AM
Post #20 of 32 (1978 views)
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Re: [billvon] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>i thought you got bent because the partial pressures INCREASE.

It's a decrease after saturation. That's why you only get DCS on the ascent in a dive.

In olden timey days we never saw planes climb fast enough to pose a risk of DCS. But doing a 30K dive out of Mullin's King Air - you could indeed have that sort of problem.

I agree that it happens when the pressure is decreased. my point was you must first be saturated. in order to do that you must increase the partial pressures of the gases, like when scuba diving. going in a plane decreases pressure so breathing compressed air will not increase your risk of getting bent. my post might not have been that clear but i was responding to the other gentlemens comment and not discussing DCS in general.


excaza  (C License)

Jul 20, 2012, 11:32 AM
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Re: [weekender] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

Decreased pressures will cause the absorbed nitrogen to come out of solution, whether you're coming up from a dive or going to altitude isn't relevant.


totter

Jul 20, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Re: [PhreeZone] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I have used a system where every 4 jumpers had their own bottle and it was with the Mountain High regulators on the bottles.

I had looked into the 4 place system, from Mountain High, but it was decided to stay with the large bottle and parallel connected manifolds. It wasn't hard to adapt the MH regulators to the large bottles.
Those 4 place systems, sold by Mountain High, are truely portable and could never be scrutinized for their legality.

In reply to:
since the pilot was on their own bottle

Agreed. Always used the small pilot's rig. It could fit behind the seat, the pilot could add O2 when they wanted and the bottle would last 3-4 attempts before re-filling.


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
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Jul 20, 2012, 2:06 PM
Post #23 of 32 (1921 views)
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Re: skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

Do not confuse and or compare diving with skydiving, each has its issues and very few people are capable of explaining it correctly or recognizing that there are differences between the two because of the similarities . Yes, you can get bent and or experience DCS from rapid ascent to high altitudes among other things while skydiving. If you are so inclined, do a search on high altitude jumps, both BillVon and I have posted quite a bit of information on the topic over the years in various threads, all of it based on physiological facts, not here say,urban legend or perpetuated misinformation around the DZ bonfire. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about it and sucking on a small tube between your lips is not the right way, we've just been incredibly lucky over the years as a whole community but with individual incidents scattered here and there where luckily we haven't seen a death yet.


JohnRich  (D License)

Jul 20, 2012, 3:02 PM
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Re: [excaza] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

One other factor here with aviation O2 is moisture. One of the early attempts at a high altitude record killed Nick Piantanida because moisture in the oxygen froze the regulator such that he couldn't get any oxygen, and he died from lack of oxygen. That's why aviation oxygen is dry. As much as we hate the way it dries out your throat and sinuses, there's a good reason for that.


DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Jul 20, 2012, 5:41 PM
Post #25 of 32 (1876 views)
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Re: [pchapman] skydiving oxygen system legality? [In reply to] Can't Post

The pilot is the only one that should worry if its legal. You should only worry that it works...


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