Physiological Training Course. The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) offers a 1-day training course to familiarize US civil aviation pilots and flight crews with the physiological and psychological stresses of flight.
Why Is Training Necessary? Pilots who are knowledgeable about physiological phenomena encountered in the aviation environment are better prepared to deal with such potentially fatal in-flight events as:
- loss of cabin pressure
- spatial disorientation
- trapped gas problems
- decompression sickness
- acceleration forces leading to gray-out, black-out, or even unconsciousness
- noise, vibration, and thermal stress
- self-imposed stresses that can magnify any of the above physiological events.
Flying Above 10,000 Feet? The US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14, Part 61.31 (g)(2)(i), indicates that high altitude flight physiology training be attended by a person acting as a pilot in command of a pressurized airplane that has a service ceiling or maximum operating altitude, whichever is lower, above 25,000 feet MSL. Contact your local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) to identify all training requirements to comply with this regulation.
For these reasons, CAMI offers physiological training for civil aviation pilots, FAA flight crews, and FAA aviation medical examiners at our facilities in Oklahoma City, Okla. In addition to the basic academic contents, this course offers practical demonstrations of rapid decompression (8,000 to 18,000 feet AGL) and hypoxia (25,000 feet AGL) in a hypobaric (altitude) chamber, as well as a safe, practical demonstration of spatial disorientation in the General Aviation Spatial Disorientation Demonstrator.
For a Training Site Closer to You. The FAA's aviation physiology course is offered to civil aviation pilots at some US Air Force and the US Army physiological training facilities across the US. Individuals wishing to attend an aviation physiology course can attend the training at the following locations:
- Andrews AFB, MD
- Beale AFB, CA
- Brooks AFB, TX
- Columbus AFB, MS
- Fairchild AFB, WA
- Ft. Rucker, AL
- Holloman AFB, NM
- Langley AFB, VA
- Laughlin AFB, TX
- Little Rock AFB, AR
- Moody AFB, GA
- Offutt AFB, NE
- Peterson AFB, CO
- Randolph AFB, TX
- Shaw AFB, SC
- Tyndall AFB, FL
- Vance AFB, OK
Scheduling. CAMI's Airman Education Programs obtains a current list of training dates available from each base and makes them available to those interested in the training. You can access these dates by calling (405) 954-4837. To schedule the training, we need the following information:
- Full Name
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
- Mailing Address
- Daytime phone number
- Date & class of FAA medical held
- Primary aircraft type
- Country of origin (If other than U.S., include passport number)
- Driver's license number and issuing state
- If driving your vehicle to training, list vehicle year, make, model, color, tag number, and licensing state
Applying. When you are assigned a training date we will mail you an application and a notification letter. The application must be completed and mailed to the address provided no later than 14 days prior to the scheduled training, along with the fee, made payable to the Federal Aviation Administration. Take the notification letter, along with your current medical certificate, to the base on the day of training. There is a course fee, which is non-refundable and is not transferable.
Restrictions. Participation in an altitude chamber flight will not be permitted if the applicant:
- does not hold a valid class I, II, or III medical certificate
- has an acute respiratory and/or systemic infection
- has a beard
- has been scuba diving within 24 hours
- has donated one unit (500 mL) of blood within 24 hours or donated more than one unit of blood within 72 hours of the scheduled training
- has consumed any alcoholic beverage within 8 hours or is under the influence of alcohol
- has not completed the required academic portion of the aviation physiology course
- is less than 18 years of age
Certificate: Upon completion of the course, students receive a certificate noting that they have completed the FAA's Physiological Training course. No logbook annotation is made.
Note: While it is not necessary to be a pilot to attend the training; an FAA medical certificate of any class is required to participate in the altitude chamber flight.
Basic Survival Skills for General Aviation Pilots. CAMI's Aviation Medical Education Division offers a free survival course for general aviation pilots at its facilities in Oklahoma City, Okla. Topics included in this 8-hour introductory course:
- basic knowledge and skills to cope with common survival scenarios.
- psychology of survival
- hotland and coldland environments
- signaling and fire starting methods
- how to easily assemble and use a personal survival kit.
Practice sessions are conducted using a thermal chamber, a ditching tank, and an emergency smoke evacuation aircraft simulator.
About the CAMI physiological training staff. The training team has extensive military and civilian experience in aviation physiology, survival, first aid, and SCUBA diving.