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Single pilot in a business jet at FL450

This is a hostile environment. The "Time of Useful Consciousness" in case of a rapid decompression is 6 seconds. This is why an oxygen mask above FL350 (single pilot) and above FL410 (multi crew) is mandatory as per FAR91.122. Happy Landings, Guido ( More...

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siriusloon 11
Great video. I've had the privilege of flying in quite a few different types of military fighters and trainers in several countries and I've been through the Canadian air force's "high altitude indoctrination" course several times, too, which includes decompression chamber sessions.

It's SOP to always wear the oxygen mask in those aircraft types. The cockpit of a fighter or trainer doesn't maintain a fixed cabin pressure like an airliner or bizjet, but rather has a pressure differential from the outside air pressure. I'm in the middle of packing for a move and my books from the HAI course are already packed, but IIRC, the differential is either 8000 or 10,000 feet.

In other words, if you're flying at 35,000 feet, the cockpit is at either 25,000 or 27,000 feet. Failure of a canopy seal, for example, will quickly match the inside and outside air pressures and won't leave you more than a few seconds to put your mask on, which is one reason why they're worn at all times.

The percentage of oxygen increases the higher you fly, but can be set to 100% manually at any time, and you can also select positive pressure breathing, which takes some practise to master. You just let the air in and have to forceably exhale. It's a lot harder than it sounds when you have to do it.

The Blue Angels have a waiver to fly their shows without a mask and just use a boom mike instead of the usual one inside the mask, but I believe they use a mask for transits between shows. Quite honestly, it makes no sense to me that they don't use a mask at all times because smoke or fumes in the cockpit are far more serious without your mask on.

As part of the chamber training, we had to work in pairs at 25,000 feet with each of us taking our mask off while the other kept an eye on you. Then we had to do a series of simple tasks and look for the effects of hypoxia. Standard clues like blue lips and fingernails aren't any help with a mask and gloves on, so you have to learn how your body reacts to lack of oxygen.

Then we did an explosive decompression from about 5000 to 18,000 feet. The air turns white from condensation (and they turned the lights off) and you have to find the O2 control panel and set it to 100% oxygen and pressure breathing. The thick steel walls of the chamber bang like it was hit by a bus, too, and all of the effects caused one guy on the course to be totally disoriented and the student next to him had to reset his switches on his control panel. We had the advantage of knowing we'd have an explosive decompression in the next three minutes, but in an aircraft, there's rarely any hint of a warning.
Guido Warnecke 3
Thank you very much for your very interesting, inside information.
Happy Landings,
Victor Engel 4
Guido, I always appreciate your videos. Professional and informative.
Guido Warnecke 2
Thank you very much, Victor.
Happy Landings,
Chris Dierking 3
It's actually 91.211*
Guido Warnecke 3
you are correct, Chris.
A typo from my side.
Happy Landings,
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
Really ?
I'll have to correct my down load !
Because I copied the 91.122 !
Any way, no dam,age done.
ThanX to our friend Chris Dierking to you to point out.
Happy flying.
Er.A.K. Mittal 2
Great VDO. ThanX for the twin info. Second being the legal provision for mad caps like me !
Keep it up my friend Guido Warnecke.
Guido Warnecke 2
You are very welcome!
Happy Landings,
Sean Siff 1
Guido, I am also a big fan of your work! Your videos are an inspiration and also helped give me the motivation to wipe the dust off my headset and get my BFR done.

Thanks again, and I look forward to your next video.

Do you ever land at KBED?


John Motazedi 2
Awesome pilot great commentary and quite educational.
Guido Warnecke 3
Thank you!
Happy Landings,
cheefpilot 2
Do you always wear the mask above FL350 or do you just do it when the camera is on? Seems like that would be uncomfortable for any length of time.
Guido Warnecke 5
The above FL350 rule is only for single pilot operation. We rarely do single pilot on these flights. Multi crew it is above FL410.
Happy Landings,

[This poster has been suspended.]

Only one guy needs to wear it though.
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Which one ? The one enjoying the scenery ?
ha ha

[This poster has been suspended.]

James Carlson 1
134.99! heh.

If it's type certificated for single pilot, and you can get opspecs approved for single pilot operation, I don't see anything in the current 14CFR135 that would explicitly prohibit it. A lot of "ifs," though.
Ralph Wigzell 2
Thanks for the interesting video.
Jouko Rissanen 2
When is the last time you experienced a decompression as a pilot or as a passenger?
Indo agree with the FAR and would feel lonely at 45 alone.
Guido Warnecke 1
I agree, that the risk is minimal. Ni reported decompression in biz jets, however malfunctions. In one case the oxygen valve was closed and crew forgot to open it.
Happy Landing,s
Keith Candline 1
Payne Stewart would be the exception to "N[o] reported decompression in biz jets".
Jeff Coghill 2
Capt. Warnecke always puts out great videos. I learn something new from this consumate professional pilot every time I watch. Thank you, sir.
Absolutely fascinating video.
Tom Jones 1
Jeff said it all. Another outstanding video!
James Irwin 1
Beautiful view and quite instructive. Thanks.
Here too Guido, great video as always...
Martin Doyle 1
Great, as always. As someone who flies in congested NE airspace, how do you allocate your attention between in cockpit tasks and visual traffic separation? Or do you rely mostly on TCAS and ground radar advisories for traffic avoidance, esp. below 10K?
Cary Alburn 1
Just a little jealous--my airplane tops out at about 15,000', and its climb rate in the last couple thou isn't all that wonderful! On the other hand, I'm only burning about 11.5-12 gph in a full power climb, and 9.8 at cruise.

Different rules, of course, but I usually go on oxygen at about 10,000' these days--age makes barely complying with FAA regs by waiting until 12,500' a bit foolish and insufficient.

Nice video--also watched the King Air short field TO--it's nice to see professionalism showing in a cockpit cam rather than some foolish stretching of the regs.
Roger Curtiss 1
I am a big fan of your videos. I learn something each time I view one. I do find that the red print of the text often appears fuzzy and is difficult to read. I don't know if others have this problem but perhaps a different shad would make the text easier to read.
Again, thank you for posting these great videos.
James Elza 1

Excellent work once again. Thanks for sharing. I hope my skills are as good as yours one day.

Jimmy Elza
mattdavis 1
Guido, I love the videos. Please keep them coming!
Guido Warnecke 1
Thank you, Matt.
Happy Landings,


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