Some students and even some veteran pilots experience air sickness from time to time. In fact for my first 10 hours of flight training (about 20 years ago now) I was sick during every lesson.
Eventually the sickness disappeared but I learnt a few things along the way. Below I have outlined a few of my tips:
Eat something before you fly
I am still amazed at how many new students have heard that it’s best not to eat anything before you fly or you might get sick. Nothing could be further from the truth. You need something in your stomach otherwise you are guaranteed to get sick. However that doesn’t mean you should go and fill up with a stack of pancakes and a chocolate milkshake. If you suffer air sickness keep your diet simple when flying.
Food to Avoid
Food you can eat
Here are some foods I have found work well for me:
Wear loose cotton clothing
Make sure your clothing is light and can breathe. If you get hot you are more likely to feel sick.
Have plenty of ventilation
Choose an aircraft that has plenty of air vents and plenty of ventilation. If idling for a long period at the holding point or while sitting and chatting to the instructor before the flight, have the canopy wide open
Drink plenty of water
This one is a important: you will get air sick if you’re dehydrated. So sip on pure water before you fly and take a bottle of water in the air to sip on.
Tell the instructor if you feel sick
It amuses me how some students would prefer to vomit all over the cockpit than to suffer the embarrassment of having to let the instructor know that feeling sick. I know know the tell-tale signs all too well: students become quieter, they start sweating, their face becomes pale and they don’t react very quickly.
It’s important to tell the instructor as soon as you feel a bit queasy. The instructor can then make things more comfortable for you, to try to avoid any impending projection.
Damien Wills, May 2015
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