Your body's ability to combat G's, both positive
and negative, depends not only on keeping in good
shape but also knowing how to combat G's. As you
all know, you are sitting at one +G browsing this
website. If you weigh 150 pounds now, then under
five or six +G's, you will weigh 750 or 900 pounds!
That is a lot of force trying to flush all the
blood from your head down to your toes. You can
be in the best shape of all, but if you don't
strain against the +G's, you will lose too much
blood and could pass out...that's very bad.
In my time flying F-16's, we experience high
levels of +G forces, up to nine sustained! There
are a few key techniques I use to make sure I
don't pass out.
1. Keep in shape by lifting weights and running
a couple times a week for a short amount of time.
2. Take a deep breath just prior to pulling any
+G's.`(more than three to four)
3. Strain against the +G's by tightening the
muscles in my legs, stomach and chest.
4. Take a breath every three seconds. (only if
you are pulling +G's longer than that)
The Air Force put me through centrifuge training
before I started flying the F-16. Here is a video
of me sustaining 9 G's for 15 seconds. Here, you
can see the breathing and straining techniques
I am talking about. 9 G VIDEO
I realize that flying aerobatics in most planes
today will not put you in the high +G environment
of the F-16. Therefore, you may not need to strain
very hard, depending on your individual tolerance
level. When I started flying the Pitts, I thought
I wouldn't need to strain very hard or at all
since my +G tolerance is pretty high. However,
what I have found flying the Pitts is that if
I take a deep breath and strain, along with breathing
every three seconds, my overall energy level is
higher throughout my flight. I don't get as tired
as I did before. My guess is that you, like me,
want to be as alert as possible all the way until
I land and shutdown. This is why I recommend that
you treat any +G's, whether it's three or four
or more, with a serious approach of wanting to
stay on top of them. If you ever feel like you
are behind the power curve and getting light headed
or tunnel vision from too many +G's, abort the
maneuver if you can. Anlayze why you feel the
way you do, is it that you didn't strain at all?
Maybe it's just not your day for pulling +G's?
That happens to everybody once in a while. The
key to staying alive is to throttle back, even
go home land, and try another day.
The other side of the coin are negative G's.
I do not have a lot of experience pulling -G's,
so I won't give any advice on how to combat them,
except for one very important thing. Do not use
the technique I gave you on +G's to combat -G's.
This technique is designed to push the blood up
to your head and when you pull -G's, that is exactly
what you don't want. Please find a qualified aerobatic
instructor and ask him/her about how they deal
with the negatives.
I hope this helps a little bit, remember, don't
do anything in your plane you haven't done with
a qualified flight instructor first. This means
pulling G's as well. It's always better to find
new things out when there is someone else there
to make sure everything goes well. Good luck!
Living the Dream,