Real Answers from Real Pilots

Flight Sickness

Hi all,

I’ve recently flown several flights with ATP as a new student, but have gotten really air-sick each time. I notice that this happens particular when any positive G’s are introduced. There’s essentially no turbulence whenever the air-sickness strikes, so I’m not really sure what to do about it.

Is this something that I can overcome with more practice, or something that people can’t get over? I’ve noticed that it even sometimes occurs on smooth, commercial flights as well. I’m trying to figure this out soon so I can determine whether or not I should even remain in the program.

Thanks

Ryan,

Frankly I’m curious, since you say you’ve experienced this in the past why
you didn’t address before you started training? Regardless, depending on
the extent of the sickness it may or may not be something you can overcome?
Obviously you can’t take any drugs but I do know a few people who wear the
pressure bands on their wrists and that seems to help (although none of
them are pilots). I recommend you discuss it with your instructor.

Good luck,

Adam

Hey Adam,

I had thought that being at the controls might help, thought it hasn’t seemed to. My instructor also suggested the bands, so perhaps I’ll give those a shot.

Thanks!

Ryan,

The motion sickness that you are describing is something that many people experience and can sometimes be part of a larger problem involving the inner ears. If the bands don’t work you might consider going to a doctor and discussing your condition, but be aware that could cause you issues in regards to your FAA medical.

Some people are able to get over this, some don’t. If it continues much longer you might want to reevaluate your careers goals as this will be an issue that you face every time you go to work.

Chris

Hey Chris,

I’m really appreciative of your response and understand the reasoning behind it.

Thanks!

Ryan,

I’ll add on here that I used to get headaches all through private every time I attempted steep turns (positive G). It eventually disappeared though.
I have also seen a few students that got sick every once in a while, but they finished the program and went on to become instructors.

How many hours have you flown? I would fly at least 30-40 hours before I made a decision, but if it does persist, maybe call it after getting the private license?

Yarden

As a passenger, maybe 100. As a pilot, under 10. Lol. I’ve noticed the same things with positive G’s though. Almost any amount of them leaves me feeling awful for a pretty good amount of time.

Ryan,

When you say 100hrs as a passenger, do you mean in an airliner? Because that doesn’t matter too much…
If you have flown 100hrs in a GA aircraft and you still get sick then that might be a problem…

Yarden

I meant in a passenger airliner. I’m going to keep working through this and I’ll let you know how it goes. Going flying again on Monday.

One of my friends experienced the same symptoms as you while he was in the early stages of his PPL training. He said it eventually went away with time. I would guess your body may just need time to adapt to the various movements and feelings of flight.

Yeah that’s my take on it too. If you only have a few hours actually flying then I say give at few more chances. Try flying earlier in the morning when the air is smooth, and see how you feel without maneuvering too much. Try to move step by step. I now many flight schools dive right into maneuvers on the first few flights, not letting you get a chance to ‘adapt’

Keep us updated.

Yarden

Hey all. So sorry for my delayed response. As it turns out, a few flights was all I really needed to acclimatize. I’m feeling 100% better now.

I did buy a little nausea relief wrist band that made a surprising difference during the maneuver phase of training, but I’m glad that that’s all over with!

Thanks for all of your insight, see you in the skies!

Glad to hear and glad it all worked out.

Adam