Tuesday, March 4, 2008


The brain receiving conflicting messages about the state of the body causes motion sickness, or airsickness. A pilot may experience motion sickness during initial flights, but it generally goes away within the first few lessons. Anxiety and stress, which may be experienced at the beginning of flight training, can contribute to motion sickness. Symptoms of motion sickness include general discomfort, nausea, dizziness, paleness, sweating, and vomiting.

It is important to remember that experiencing airsickness is no reflection on one's ability as a pilot. If prone to motion sickness, let the flight instructor know since there are techniques that can be used to overcome this problem. For example, avoid lessons in turbulent conditions until becoming more comfortable in the airplane, or start with shorter flights and graduate to longer instruction periods. If symptoms of motion sickness are experienced during a lesson, opening fresh air vents, focusing on objects outside the airplane, and avoiding unnecessary head movements may help alleviate some of the discomfort.

Although medications like Dramamine can prevent airsickness in passengers, they are not recommended while flying since they can cause drowsiness and other problems.

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