Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sky-Ox Oxygen System

I recently purchased an oxygen system for use in the Archer. I figure once I get my instrument rating we could get some use out of this when filing or flying at higher altitudes. Mary and I also want to expand our travel distance and spread our wings to fly more to the west. No, not California west, at least not anytime soon, but more of maybe the Midwest or central states. Now a bit about the system.

The FAA Requires Use Of Supplemental Oxygen - When flying above 12,500 ft. for more than 30 minutes, or flying above 14,000 ft., pilots and crewmembers are required to use oxygen. Above 15,000 ft., all occupants, including passengers, must be provided with supplemental oxygen.

Dangers of Hypoxia (oxygen deficiency) - The chances of HYPOXIA increase with altitude. Decreased night vision beginning as low as 5,000 ft. above sea level. At 10,000 ft. forced concentration, fatigue, headache. At 12,000 ft. & above, deterioration of alertness and mental efficiency.
At 14,000 ft., forgetfulness, incompetence, indifference, distinct impairment of mathematical and reasoning capabilities make flying hazardous. At 17,000 ft., serious handicap and collapse may occur. Smokers will experience these syptoms 3,000 - 4,000 ft. lower. Pilots impaired by hypoxia are usually unable to judge level of impairment, similar to the effects of alcohol.

And now the facts on my new system...

This Forty Cubic Foot complete system is a self
contained unit with no installation required. It’s easy to use and has no FAA weight and balance change necessary. The oxygen system includes a pressurized cylinder with oxymizer cannulas, lines, a flow indicator, quick disconnects, and a spare mask. The SK 11-40 complete oxygen system is easy to refill with aviation-grade breathing oxygen (MIL-027210, Type1) It's lightweight cylinder, about 30 lbs, is easy to fasten to the back of a cockpit seat or in our case sitting between the two back seats makes it truly portable. The adjustable flow regulator allows you to set by altitude or special flow. As you change altitude, adjust the flow control valve for more or less oxygen (the upper gauge shows altitude and flow setting, the lower gauge shows remaining cylinder pressure).

The SK 11-40 oxygen system’s flow does not have to be adjusted if using more than one outlet. You can easily check the charts provided with cannulas for proper flow setting. This oxygen system’s oxymizer cannula reduces oxygen usage over 50%, when compared to others on the market. It can be used up to 18,000 ft, and stores oxygen in a pendant reservoir. The pendant rests on your chest, not your lip. You’re free to drink a beverage & talk in total comfort.


-mb said...

Gary – thanks for discussing this important topic and giving us a pithy brief on the SkyOx. A book by Robert L Cohn "They Called it Pilot Error; True stories behind GA Accidents" discusses 26 stories where the NTSB just calls it "pilot error", several stories make a strong case that hypoxia is more likely the contributing factor, especially with high ALT night flying ops. I looked forward to a demonstration. -mb

Pilot Bob said...

Let us know what/how well it improves night flight. I'm very interested in that.

Also, did you get the blood/oxygen thing that goes on your finger?

Gary said...

Thanks MB! we'll get to try it out as soon as I find a smaller tank maybe 15CF.

Bob, I'll give a PIREP as soon as we try it out. As I mentioned above, I'm looking for a smaller tank. The 15cf should last 10-13 hours the 40cf would last me and Mary a couple of years! :)

No, I didn't get the pule/ox yet but I'm looking to make the purchase .

Steve said...

Where'd you end up buying this little unit from, Gary?

Not like I fly high enough to need anything like this yet, but it's something to keep in the back of my mind. I do think it would be wise for me to get a PulseOx sort of device though, especially if I'll be doing any night flying.

Gary said...

I purchased the unit from a guy in your neck of the woods. It was on the classifieds on the AOPA forum. It was a great deal for the 4 place, however, I would like a smaller tank.

Pulse/Ox is a good idea, I'm shopping for one now.

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