For those who are drawn to the cockpit like a moth to a flame it is well known that the thrill of the experience is more than enough to outweigh what might be considered the “hazards” of that pursuit.
“One of the areas that we emphasize when we conduct our Cessna 208 Training,” Dale Wolcott, President of TURBINE TRAINING in Manhattan, Kansas shared, “is that pilots need to be acutely aware of the special health considerations that they face - - especially if they fly frequently.”
Some of those "issues" include, but are not limited to:
- Deep Vein Thrombosis - Much like sitting in front of a computer screen all day, pilots face this "threat" if they sit for a long time without moving around.
- Hypoxia - Inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain.
- Hypothermia - A condition manifested by the fact that the body gets too cold.
- Dehydration - Not enough water.
- Fatigue/Stress - It has been found that, apparently, one of these directly affects the other.
"We feel," Jason Wolcott, TURBINE TRAINING Vice President, explained, "that one of the best ways to combat this situation is first through educating yourself to the hazards, and then educating yourself as how to avoid or prevent them."
These are pretty well known "risks", and now there is a report that says there is a new "hazard" that we need to be concerned about - - UV Rays! A study conducted by Dr. Martina Sanlorenzo, a member of the dermatology at MOUNT ZION CANCER RESEARCH CENTER at the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA in San Francisco, showed that an hour of flying exposes a pilot to the same amount of UVA rays as approximately twenty minutes in a tanning bed. If we extrapolate that to flight times, a six hour flight would indicate that you would have the same amount of UVA Rays exposure as two hours in a tanning bed - - which is, well, about six times the amount of recommended exposure!
"There are several ways to directly combat this problem," Dale advised, "and, as usual, most of them can be classified as 'common sense'."
These include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Wear Sun Screen
- Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants