Austintatious

fun and scary day at FL210

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Flying along at FL210   Making killer time albeit in terrible vis.  I moved my seat back and just moments afterwords began to feel aweful.  Which for me personally is a sign of hypoxia (thank goodness I am not the euphoric type!).  I immediatly check my flow gauge and see it at 0.  I see the hose plugged in, Next glance is to bottle pressure... 1500.... next thing is the knob, twist it towards open, still nothing, twist the small brassknob wide open, nothing... about 10-15 seconds has gone by at this point... I have 1 last thing to check before popping the boards and heading down... I grab the Scott connector and move it and sure enough it was loose... I shove it in and flow is restored... a few deep breaths and I feel better.  Decide to got to fl190  to increase margins a tad.  Back to 90+ blood sat within a min of getting O2 flowing again.

Problem is the female Scott connector is worn internally and it is possible to rotate the Male part without pushing it in first.  My leg hit the tube and rotated it and it popped out enough to stop flow.  I'll be replacing that receptical in the near future!

Be careful out there, know your symptoms of hypoxia!

 

Ps, in the descent from 210-190. I hit 298 knots ground speed.

20191108_104206.jpg

Edited by Austintatious
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Austin,

You didn’t mention your secondary source of quick O2...

Got one?

Need some ideas...?

Thanks for making this awesome post...

Running out of O2 can happen in so many ways...

Recovery from the loss can be sketchy...

When replacing the worn parts... there are two manufacturers with similar but different parts... make sure you get a set with both parts from one supplier...

PP thoughts only, stuff I have read about on MS... I only ran out of O2 once... :)

Best regards,

-a-

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Carusome,

I indeed do not have a second source of O2.  I would be open to ideas.  I can see it being a necessity if crossing mountainous areas.

I had previously decided on 210 as a good maximum altitude to fly at.  My reasoning is as follows.

-TUC aT 22000 is 5-10 min

- I am in good health

- I can come down at 2000fpm with speed brakes and small power reduction.

This puts me at 15000 feet in 3 min and 11000 feet in 2 more min.

In my estimation, if needed I can descend fast enough from 210 to prevent loss of useful consciousness.  

The problem must be detected early, which for me is pretty easy because I feel like garbage when hypoxic, very recognizable  for me thank goodness.  And any higher than 210 and I have little confidence that I could get down fast enough.

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TUC is one hard line...

Loss of knowledge of the time passing happens faster... much more insidious...

See how your heart rate jumps when you can’t figure out what broke... more O2 gets used at a higher HR...

So while you are problem solving... and think only a minute or two has elapsed... it may be 10 minutes already...

That is on top of your notification time...

How much time was it between the O2 part disconnect and you receiving the low O2 sensation...?

 

no answers required...PP pontification continues... :) 

it would be much better to have a portable O2 bottle... take a few hits... measure your O2 level.. then proceed with problem solving...

Did you measure your O2 level, or only after your O2 was restored? 

 

You could be right with your logic... And...

Now, you know there is a better way... and...

Tom has given an example...

We have lost Mooney pilots due to O2 problems... one with some pretty high end equipment... the other with some really good flying knowledge...

You have great control/knowledge of your symptoms...
 

But, It is a real gamble to rely on the 5 - 10 minutes of TUC... and hope descending to 10k’ works...

 

Do you have a level off at 10k’ feature on your AP?

That would be a great idea to have pre-set... so when you need it.. push the button and go...

 

Again, the challenge of complex decision making, pushing buttons and error checking... goes out the window much faster than the TUC numbers...

Put it in the category of drinking a couple of six packs... hard to tell how impaired you are because of the impairment...

the difference... it is hard to adsorb that much alcohol in such a short period of time...

Nobody is going to say you did anything wrong... just informing you that there are better ways...

I’m probably as old as your father... can you tell?  :)
 

The FLs can be one lonely place when the O2 stops flowing...
 

An informed consumer is MS’ best customer... -Men’s Warehouse (a place to buy nice suits...)

So as a PP, and only fly a NA Mooney... have a real back-up portable O2 system... a second O2 monitor...and alarm system for the primary O2 system...

All the info you can get... so you can fly in the FLs for a really long time...

Did I mention... I only ran out of O2 once... :)

Best regards,

-a-

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41 minutes ago, ArtVandelay said:

Buy a can or two of this, put in your flight bag :
180ece2b0ddf9817c2d53c1786b7ee48.jpg


Tom

Does that work? I have a couple next to the POH in the passenger side back pocket but I’ve never tried one at altitude?

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ILC,

You have the qualifications to do a great test...

Bring a safety pilot with you...  :)

Like formation flying... discuss all the details, plans B, and C, in advance... follow the plan...

Realistically, a real back-up O2 system isn’t that costly... your close friends and family wouldn’t be happy with your decision to not spend the extra AMU...

Again, this is for the Fls where TUC is awfully short. Altitude to lose to O2 not required levels, is a long way... E-descent under impaired conditions may not be good...

E-descent...

  • speed brakes deployed
  • gear down
  • flaps up
  • Throttled pulled back
  • Prop pushed in
  • max AS with gear down (160kias (?) Check the limitations printed on the IP and POH)
  • While finishing Reading the Checklist... :)
  • The get down now VS is multiple thousands of fpm... under controlled flight...

For some, as Austin pointed out... there may be solid ground keeping you from descending in some areas to a safer altitude...

PP thoughts only... not a cfi...

 

Best regards,

-a-

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9 minutes ago, carusoam said:

ILC,

You have the qualifications to do a great test...

Bring a safety pilot with you...  :)

Like formation flying... discuss all the details, plans B, and C, in advance... follow the plan...

Realistically, a real back-up O2 system isn’t that costly... your close friends and family wouldn’t be happy with your decision to not spend the extra AMU...

Again, this is for the Fls where TUC is awfully short. Altitude to lose to O2 not required levels, is a long way... E-descent under impaired conditions won’t be good...

For some, as Austin pointed out... there may be solid ground keeping you from descending in some areas to a safer altitude...

PP thoughts only... not a cfi...

 

Best regards,

-a-

Do you ever sleep?! If we’re actually going high, I actually carry a portable bottle (D size maybe?) in addition to the built-in tank with a cannula already attached and the valve shut off. Figure I could get that on really quickly. Those cans were $5 at Big 5 so I figured I would get a few and try them out sometime, I just haven’t had the opportunity to do it. Even removed most of the shrink wrap so I wouldn’t have to fumble with it.

Anyone who flies with me knows the rule - if you go to sleep in my plane, you’re going to wake up with a pulse-ox on your finger!

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I have no doubt that the tiny cans of O2 will work as designed...

Just no room to fumble... and their volume is really limited...

Thanks for staying up with me!

:)

Best regards,

-a-

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Does that work? I have a couple next to the POH in the passenger side back pocket but I’ve never tried one at altitude?

I’ve tried them but not at flight levels, restored my O2 back to normal levels in seconds.


Tom

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To add more data points... I have the Precise  flight cannulas with a medium size portable bottle.On the way to Oshkosh at 11500 i Iooked back at the bottle,  something in the back seat had bumped the silicon hoses coming out of the bottle during turbulence. This sheered them off. I noticed it because I was getting loopy. I first checked the flow gauge, it was zero, then I saw both lines sheered due to dry rot at the fitting. I tried to MacGyver/ splice and reattach the hoses with my pocket knife etc but the silicon was dry rotted too badly. It would not have mattered anyway because the bottle was no longer flow regulated and it had dumped the 1200psi down to 100psi. I bought some new hose at Oshkosh and had the bottle serviced. 
 

The little o2 can is a great idea. Thanks Art!

-Matt

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TUC is not universal across the population.  I was very glad to have the opportunity to sit in the PROTE chamber at the Mooney Summit; It was, to say the least, and eye-opener. I am in my mid-50s and not fat. I am not a smoker. But I was ready to start playing with yarn within 2 to 3 minutes, whereas another pilot in the chamber was solving differential equations seven or eight minutes into the test. I’m glad @Austintatious Knew his symptoms and took decisive action.  I strongly encourage anyone flying in the flight levels to seek out a PROTE or altitude chamber training session.  Experiencing your symptoms and how quickly the onset of the stupids comes can save your life.

 

+1 on the second source of O2. I have the mountain high pony bottles https://www.mhoxygen.com/product/co-pilot-deluxe-kit/ and check the bottle’s charge before every excursion into the flight levels.  As others have mentioned, preselecting 12,000 and a 800-1000Fpm descent without commanding it on the autopilot means you’re one button push away from breathable air.

-dan

Edited by exM20K
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9 hours ago, ArtVandelay said:

Buy a can or two of this, put in your flight bag :
180ece2b0ddf9817c2d53c1786b7ee48.jpg

My 252 spends a lot of time in the flight levels. But if I'm on the mask (above 18K) one of these bottles is sitting in my lap. I want it easy access and ready to go if I need it I also have my Altitude pre-select set for lower altitude and a 1000 ft/min down. 

I also use the O2D2 system which I bought in an effort to conserve O2 and go further between fills. But I now see it as a safety feature in that it gives me an audible notification of each breath as long as its full of O2. If the good stuff quits flowing, it will alarm AND I won't hear the next breath. 

All these little things have now become second nature and I'm confident that it increases the safety of flight in the flight levels in my unpressurized airplane.

 

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10 hours ago, ArtVandelay said:

Buy a can or two of this, put in your flight bag :
180ece2b0ddf9817c2d53c1786b7ee48.jpg


Tom

I purchased one of those maybe 10 years ago - they are very lightweight meaning - there is nothing in them.  If you pack O2 into a small space it would weight a lot meaning it has a lot of O2 molecules in there.  This thing in the picture is a toy and not for real life aviation use.  

If you are going to fly high you need a second O2 system as some kind of backup, and fully at the ready and not hidden away in a bag needing for you to fish around the back seat, find it, set it up and then don it.

This thing is small, but the cartridges are very dense/heavy - they look like the size of Co2 cartridges you would use for am air pistol as they have the identical shape but they are much bigger.  

https://www.mhoxygen.com/product/co-pilot-deluxe-kit/

In a small bag dedicated to this one item, with this thing in it for all my mid and upper teens flights- 3 cartridges in a little bag, one of the cartridges already have screwed on with the little mask ready to go - so grab, twist and go.  They claim 30 min at 15,000 for one cartridge which seems hard to believe - but I will say this - those cartridges are impressively heavy which means there is a lot of O2 squeezed into a small space - I suspect the density of the air is higher than in a normal aviation O2 tank.  And you get 3.   Anyway this is a really nice compact so easy to handle system.

If I am flying to 20 and up, which is very very rare, but I do occasionally, I am as a rule carrying one of my other full sized O2 air bottles with regulator etc ready to go.  Make sure your second system is just that - ready to go so you are not trying to find and setup something.  Oh - there is no problem carrying extra bottles for me when going high - I have never flown in O2 needed environment with people in the back seat not because its a rule but because that kind of flying seems to either be solo or with maybe one other person.  So the big O2 bottles sit behind the co-pilot seat.  One bottle or two they use mostly the same space so why not carry two.  And if you carry a second, why not keep a second regulator and tubes on that second one?

Edited by aviatoreb
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4 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

My 252 spends a lot of time in the flight levels. But if I'm on the mask (above 18K) one of these bottles is sitting in my lap. I want it easy access and ready to go if I need it I also have my Altitude pre-select set for lower altitude and a 1000 ft/min down. 

I also use the O2D2 system which I bought in an effort to conserve O2 and go further between fills. But I now see it as a safety feature in that it gives me an audible notification of each breath as long as its full of O2. If the good stuff quits flowing, it will alarm AND I won't hear the next breath. 

All these little things have now become second nature and I'm confident that it increases the safety of flight in the flight levels in my unpressurized airplane.

 

...as I said that particular system seems too flimsy for actual use - it is too light - meaning there is almost no O2 in it.  Try this system https://www.mhoxygen.com/product/co-pilot-deluxe-kit/

But - to your other point - I agree completely - I too use the O2D2 which is fabulous in so many ways - as you said - conserves O2 but I agree it is like a safety feature that you hear and FEEL every single puff of O2 it delivers every single breath you breath which is very reassuring as you KNOW when it is working every second you breath.  And the audible alarm if it is not happy. I can hear the alarm over my head set - but I wish it had a feature to pipe that alarm into my head set to really alarm me!  Still - pretty good.  I keep my O2D2 strapped to the ceiling slightly behind my head and between the pilot-copilot seat - this is a good place for two reasons.  1) since I use portable O2 tanks it allows my tanks behind the copilot seat - to have the tubes go up to the O2D2 then down to my head which is a very clean tube line and much less likely to tangle, twist or get sat on.  2) the unit itself is near my head so alarms are closer to my ears and also I can glance and see the light blink as I breath to further confirm it is delivering O2.

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I've never had the opportunity to try it in the flight levels, but a friend that flies pressurized things way up there a fair amount of time did some training in a chamber where they demonstrated that you can keep your saturation levels adequate at 25kft by deliberate deep breathing.   He said it worked on him well enough, but you have to know when you need to do it and that's not always the case.   I'm glad in this case the symptoms were caught quickly and you were able to get it sorted out.

Might be something to try in similar situations.    I've done it around 12k if I started feeling light headed and it worked well enough.   Done it a few times at similar altitudes with the pulse oximeter on and it did make a positive difference.

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40 minutes ago, aviatoreb said:

...as I said that particular system seems too flimsy for actual use - it is too light - meaning there is almost no O2 in it.  Try this system https://www.mhoxygen.com/product/co-pilot-deluxe-kit/

But - to your other point - I agree completely - I too use the O2D2 which is fabulous in so many ways - as you said - conserves O2 but I agree it is like a safety feature that you hear and FEEL every single puff of O2 it delivers every single breath you breath which is very reassuring as you KNOW when it is working every second you breath.  And the audible alarm if it is not happy. I can hear the alarm over my head set - but I wish it had a feature to pipe that alarm into my head set to really alarm me!  Still - pretty good.  I keep my O2D2 strapped to the ceiling slightly behind my head and between the pilot-copilot seat - this is a good place for two reasons.  1) since I use portable O2 tanks it allows my tanks behind the copilot seat - to have the tubes go up to the O2D2 then down to my head which is a very clean tube line and much less likely to tangle, twist or get sat on.  2) the unit itself is near my head so alarms are closer to my ears and also I can glance and see the light blink as I breath to further confirm it is delivering O2.

I get your point, but I'm only going to use it for a couple of breaths. It's for emergency use only and only enough to push the button on my altitude pre-select to send me to lower altitudes and thicker air.

BTW... I don't think the weight is from the O2, but from the strength of the container needed to hold a large volume of O2 under pressure. But your point is the same. If the container is flimsy, it can't be holding much O2 under pressure.

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33 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

I get your point, but I'm only going to use it for a couple of breaths. It's for emergency use only and only enough to push the button on my altitude pre-select to send me to lower altitudes and thicker air.

BTW... I don't think the weight is from the O2, but from the strength of the container needed to hold a large volume of O2 under pressure. But your point is the same. If the container is flimsy, it can't be holding much O2 under pressure.

I am worried there might be only a couple of breaths in it which would be disappointing in an emergency.

You might be right that the majority of the weight may well be from the container itself.  I think though my standard M (I think they are M) cell larger O2 tanks do noticeably change in weight from empty to full.

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14 minutes ago, aviatoreb said:

I am worried there might be only a couple of breaths in it which would be disappointing in an emergency.

You might be right that the majority of the weight may well be from the container itself.  I think though my standard M (I think they are M) cell larger O2 tanks do noticeably change in weight from empty to full.

Actually, all standard O2 cylinders are now designated Mx....I own an M22 (old designation was JD).  Cylinder weight can vary,  but the gross weight of a full cylinder is not substantially greater than an empty cylinder.  Only cylinders containing liquefied gas will exhibit a significant increase in filled weight.

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Just now, neilpilot said:

Actually, all standard O2 cylinders are now designated Mx....I own an M22 (old designation was JD).  Cylinder weight can vary,  but the gross weight of a full cylinder is not substantially greater than an empty cylinder.  Only cylinders containing liquefied gas will exhibit a significant increase in filled weight.

Hmmm... so is it my imagination it’s much heavier when full?  Could be - I have a vivid imagination.

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From the MH website.

Add oxygen gas weight at 0.085 lbs per cubic foot. 

So my 115 cu/ft kevlar tank in the tail is 9.8 lbs heavier when full. Interesting...;)

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Interesting thought...

Around the chem lab... cylinders were weighed to see how much gas was still in them...

Propane bbq tanks get filled while sitting on a scale to determine how much to charge the customer... for a partial filled liquid tank.

Now for the interesting part...

Does anyone add the weight of the O2 itself to the WnB calculations? In a similar way as TKS tanks...

Some quick calculations... 80 cubic feet of Omay weigh about 6Lbs...(?)

Does the small can of oxygen tell how much is in there?  Weight or volume?

 

So I went on line... the Boost comes in three sizes... the largest size has the volume to allow for 200 one second breaths... of 10 liters of 95% O2...

And it is intended for aviation use...

Looks like a couple of minutes to allow for getting the second bottle activated... and E-descent intentions advised to ATC...

PP thoughts only...

Best regards,

-a-

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1 hour ago, EricJ said:

I've never had the opportunity to try it in the flight levels, but a friend that flies pressurized things way up there a fair amount of time did some training in a chamber where they demonstrated that you can keep your saturation levels adequate at 25kft by deliberate deep breathing.   He said it worked on him well enough, but you have to know when you need to do it and that's not always the case.   I'm glad in this case the symptoms were caught quickly and you were able to get it sorted out.

Might be something to try in similar situations.    I've done it around 12k if I started feeling light headed and it worked well enough.   Done it a few times at similar altitudes with the pulse oximeter on and it did make a positive difference.

Nope. We were all trying to not get stupid in the PROTE.  Only one of six was able for any period of time > 3 mins.  IIRC the PROTE was at 29,000

-dan

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From the BOOST website:

Pocket Size Boost Oxygen canisters contain over 2 liters of Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen. This equates to approximately 40 seconds of continuous oxygen flow. People report enjoying anywhere between 15-40 inhalations of varying length. Medium Boost Oxygen canisters contain 5 liters of Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen, which is up to 100 one-second inhalations. Large Boost Oxygen canisters contain 10 liters of Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen, which equates to over 200 seconds of continuous oxygen flow, or over 200 one-second inhalations.

From www.aqua-calc.com, a liter of oxygen weighs 0.05 ounces.

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9 minutes ago, PT20J said:

From the BOOST website:

Pocket Size Boost Oxygen canisters contain over 2 liters of Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen. This equates to approximately 40 seconds of continuous oxygen flow. People report enjoying anywhere between 15-40 inhalations of varying length. Medium Boost Oxygen canisters contain 5 liters of Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen, which is up to 100 one-second inhalations. Large Boost Oxygen canisters contain 10 liters of Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen, which equates to over 200 seconds of continuous oxygen flow, or over 200 one-second inhalations.

From www.aqua-calc.com, a liter of oxygen weighs 0.05 ounces.

Interesting... I use the large canister in my plane for emergency use.

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