Flight Physiology

A study of specific issues or problems that confront the human body in the flight environment.


Hypoxia, or hypoxiation, is a pathological condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply.

Hyperbaric Chamber

Chamber in which you can simulate a higher pressure than you normally experience at sea level.
i.e. a ”diving chamber”.
Often used for treatment of decompression sickness caused by accidents in diving activities.

Hypobaric Chamber

Chamber in which you can simulate a lower pressure than you normally experience at sea level.
i.e. ”altitude chamber”
Often used to familiarise flight deck and cabin crew with the hazards and symptoms associated with sudden exposure to high altitude.

BIBS mask

(Built in Breathing System) is designed to supply pure oxygen during therapeutic treatment in a hyperbaric chamber

Decompression sickness

Decompression sickness (DCS; also known as “divers disease” or “the bends”) describes a condition arising from dissolved gases coming out of solution into bubbles inside the body on depressurization. DCS most commonly refers to a specific type of scuba diving hazard but may be experienced in other depressurisation events such as flying in unpressurised aircraft.
Since bubbles can form in or migrate to any part of the body, DCS can produce many symptoms, and its effects may vary from joint pain and rashes to paralysis and death.

Spatial disorientation (SD)

Spatial disorientation is the inability to correctly interpret aircraft attitude, altitude or airspeed, in relation to the Earth or point of reference. Spatial disorientation is a condition in which an aircraft pilot's perception of direction (proprioception) does not agree with reality. While it can be brought on by disturbances or disease within the vestibular system, it is more typically a temporary condition resulting from flight into poor weather conditions with low or no visibility. Under these conditions the pilot may be deprived of an external visual horizon, which is critical to maintaining a correct sense of up and down while flying.