Real Answers from Real Pilots

Fainting

(Justin) #1

Have been thinking about getting into aviation and possibly ATP school. I took my first introductory flight today. I loved it and everything went great until our descent to land. I started sweating extremely bad and my body started tingling right before we landed. I have never passed out before so I’m not sure how that feels but it seemed like I was about to pass out. I have flown on major airlines before with no problem but this was my first time in a smaller aircraft. Is this normal? I want to obtain my private pilots license but I’m nervous this will happen again. Any thing I can do to help it? Thanks!

#2

Justin,

Riding in the back of an airliner is a heck of a lot different than actually flying an airplane of any size. While I would not say that your response is normal, it isn’t that abnormal either. I would recommend that you take a few more flights and see how your reaction changes.

Chris

#3

Justin,

Feeling some stress, anxiety or even fear the first time you go up in a small airplane is completely normal. Passing out however is not. The fact is if it continues you won’t be able to continue. One of the questions on the FAA Medical applications is “Do you suffer from or experience dizziness or fainting spells?”.

As Chris said (and as you discovered for yourself) sitting on the back of a large jet is VERY different from sitting up front in a small airplane. I recommend you take a couple of more flights. Make sure you eat prior and are well rested and see of things improve.

Adam

(Tory) #4

Justin,

Food, water, keep your eyes outside the aircraft 80% of the time, and try not to focus on being perfect. Go up a few more times and see how it goes.

Tory