Fighting G-LOC (how not to sleep while flying)
Emergency Maneuver Training will expose the pilot to forces and accelerations that he/she is unlikely to have experienced in previous flight activities. Increased G forces are a serious matter that demand a heightened level of awareness as to the risks. Subjecting oneself to increased positive G force does not necessarily mean that you will simply go unconscious as this is the final stage of exposure. The risk from high G's is not limited to large increases (+3 or more) either, low increases in G force over a long period of time can be just as dangerous.
There are several levels of exposure to increased G leading to unconsciousness:
Gray-out: The onset of increased G forces will begin the migration of blood from the head. The vision is the first thing to go. Tunnel vision occurs at this stage with the tunnel rapidly getting smaller.
Black-out: All vision is gone but you are still conscious and aware except for the total lack of sight.
G-LOC: G induced Loss Of Consciousness. You are sleeping and your body goes limp. The good news is that whatever force you were applying to the flight controls has ceased. Within a few seconds you will wake up in a confused state as the G load returns to normal and your heart pumps blood back up into your brain. You may have dreamed that you were flying and woke up to discover that you really are! It can take several minutes to completely regain your facilities.
The military has been studying this for years and developed techniques to maintain control of your body during high G flight. The most effective technique is the "HooK" maneuver. In the following article, Matthew Soltis describes his experience with high G flight and the application of the Hook maneuver:
Power Breathing, the
Jet Jock Style
Cautions, Disclaimers, and Whatnot
Matthew G. Soltis
Former Marine Corps Officer and Aviator
Present middle-aged scientist getting back in shape
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