Projects:EASA PPL/Human Performance and Limitations

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  • Astigmatism
  • Myopia: optical image forms in front of retina
  • Presbyopia: loss of elasticity of crystalline lens, due to ageing, long sightedness
  • Hypermetropia
  • Rods: night vision
  • Cones: day vision
  • Dark adaptation: 30min
  • Light adaptation: 10sec
  • Degradation of night vision: starting 5000ft
  • Fovea: best day vision (cones), no night vision, used for reading
  • Optimise night vision: adapt, avoid blinding, do not focus on the point to be observed
  • Autokinetic illusion: staring at at point of fixed light appears to move
  • Empty field myopia: no object to focus on


    • Eustachian tube: connecting throat and middle ear
    • Middle ear: hammer, anvil, stirrup
    • Inner ear:
      • Vestibular apparatus: sacculus and utriculus, 3 semicircular channels
      • Otoliths (in utriculus and sacculus): affected by gravity and linear acceleration
      • Semi circular canals: angular acceleration
      • noise
    • Coriolis illusion: head movements during turns -> spatial disorientation
    • Dont fly with a cold: pain and damage to eardrum can result, espacially during fast decents
  • Pilots vertigo: dizziness, tumbling sensation caused by contradictory impulses

Blood cycle

    • Allow transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide, chemical substances to transport information
    • Pulmonary artery: -oxygen, +carbon dioxide
    • carotid
    • aorta
    • pressoreceptors: in carotid and aortic arterial vessels
    • alveoli: carbon dioxide partial pressure is higher in the blood, so it moves out of blood
    • Exercise: double the heart rate for 20+min, 3x per week
    • Smoking: 5-8% less oxygen transport
    • Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia): headache, lack of concentration
  • Arteries: to tissue
  • Veins: return from tissue
  • Blood pressure (standard); 120/80
  • Heart rate: 60-80 beats/min
  • Blood flow: 5 L/min
  • Divided attention: multitasking, (not delegation)
  • Skilled: trains regularly, know yourself, keep resources free for unexpected
  • G force tolerance increase: Bend forward, tension abdominal muscles
  • G force tolerance decrease: Low blood sugar, obesity, hypoxia
  • Hyperventilation: Dizziness, Muscular spasms, visual disturbances, breath in bag, control breath rate and depth
  • Scuba diving: Forbidden, decompression sickness, -> pain in the joints (the bends)
  • Hypoxia:
    • Fatigue, Euphoria, Lack of concentration, Blue lips and finger nails, unconscious (Daltons Law)
    • Short term memory impairment starts at 12000ft
  • Decompression sickness: dissolved gases from tissues and fluids of the body (Henrys law)
  • Barotrauma: gases increase or decrease in body, facial sinuses, middle ear, dental cavities
  • Otic Barotrauma: worse during descent, because eustation tube is closed, pressure can not equalize

Lungs / Breathing

  • Volume: 6L


  • Daltons law: Hypoxia (Sum of multiple gases partial pressures = total pressure of gas mixture)
  • Boyles law: Rising air expands
  • Henrys law: Decompression sickness, gas bubbles moving out of solution
  • Grahams law:
  • Law of diffusion: oxygen transfer from alveoli to blood

Seat of the pants

  • Receptors: muscles, tendons, joints
  • Body temp: <35°C shivering will cease, apathy

Runway perception

    • narrower than normal: lower than it appears, landing short, should flatten the approach
    • wider than normal: higher than it appear, landing long
    • dropping off: approach is higher than normal -> result in long landing
    • in fog: runway appears further away than it actually is
  • Alcohol:
    • 15mg / 25ml per hour
  • Memory
    • Cocktail party effect: pick up relevant information unintentionally
  • Attention guided by: level of automation, salience of information, expectations
  • Decision making: voluntary+conscious process to select a solution for a problem
  • Communication: send information in line with the receivers decoding capabilities
  • Check list: important items first
  • Status vs Role: status defines hierarchical position and recognition by group, role defines behaviours and functions
  • Behaviour: Attitude and personality, adaptable
  • Alarm phase (stress): increased arousal (due to adrenaline), increase heart rate, respiration, decrease stress resistance
  • Resistance phase (stress): activation of autonomic nervous system (ANS), long-term psychosomatic disorders
  • Stress: mobilization of resources, required to cope with the stressors
  • Jet lag: Adjustment takes longer when traveling east
  • Orthodox sleep: physical recovery
  • Fatigue: Chronic short-term and acute


BMI = Mass / Height²