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TOPIC: Air Sickness

Air Sickness 1 month 1 week ago #489

I am a TFO in our Helicopter unit and the last couple of times I have gotten a little air sickness which I havent gotten before. Is there anything I could take to help with this that wont effect me when operating?
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Air Sickness 1 month 6 days ago #490

  • Harald J Brink
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Hello sir, Hello Robert,

That is a horrible feeling, getting air sick during a patrol flight or any other mission. We recently hired some new TFOs and one of them has/had the same problem: air sickness. Not all the time and not during every flight but he had it on a regular base. Problem with getting air sickness and being a TFO is that those two things won't go together. The sickness, at a certain moment, starts to influence your TFO skills. Problem with our new TFO was that he is a good TFO. So we started to look around in the aviation community to see if we could come up with a solution to help the man. And we found it! The Royal Netherlands Air Force Center for Man in Aviation in Soesterberg developed an air sickness training (8 day course). In those 8 days aviation psychologists train you how to beat air sickness. The first week the make you air sick all the time. Not in an aircraft but on th ground in a chair. After those two weeks 85% of all the participants become (almost) never air sick again. Contact details:

You can contact the Centre for Man in Aviation by telephone:
training +31 346 33 43 76, assessment centre +31 346 33 43 79.
Or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Good luck!

Harald Brink
TFO Instructor
Dutch Police Air Support Unit
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Air Sickness 1 month 5 days ago #491

  • Lee Majors
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If you've never gotten it before and now all of a sudden it's an issue you may have a touch of a sinus infection or a blockage of some sort in your inner ear / sinuses. The one time in roughly 25 years I came close enough to being sick that I couldn't continue the flight this was the problem. If this is what it is it may go away with time, or you might want to visit your doctor for a look to make sure you don't need treatment.
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Air Sickness 2 weeks 3 days ago #495

  • K.W. Evans
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This is a tough deal for a new guy trying to prove himself. DO NOT GIVE UP ON THIS. When I first learned to fly there was a guy at the school that had made over 25 training flights and got sick on every one of them. It got better over time, but he did not give up. What was said earlier about a sinus infection is something to look into.

When I started flying for the police department I began to have trouble with airsickness. My dad was a pilot and I grew up in the back of a plane. What I noticed was the airsickness came when flying with certain pilots. I struggled through it and it rarely bothered me after the first six weeks or so. Remember that people were not meant to fly, if we were we would have the same type of ear as a bird. We can learn to adapt to this.

When I started flying for the police a lot of the pilots thought it was fun to see if they could make you sick. It is not so bad these days and you should be able to ask a pilot that is a pro to show you some straight and level rather than all the pilot stuff they know how to do. If your pilot will tell you that he is going to turn or climb descend or whatever it will help some.

Finally, Dramamine and other OTC meds can help, be careful of side effects like drowsiness. Also there are some elastic bands with plastic buttons on them that can be bought from SPORTY'S. These are worn on your wrists and I am told they work very well if you wear them before takeoff.

Verify that your plan is ok with your department but there are ways to deal with air sickness.

BTW: I have been a pilot for over 30 years and there are times when I TFO that I get a bit queasy.

all the best
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