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The Importance of Correct Cabin Pressurization
The process of pumping a conditioned air inside the cabin of an aircraft is called cabin pressurization. Its main purpose is to provide a safe, relaxing, and comfortable environment for the passengers and the crew even in high altitudes.
For aircraft, the air is produced by the gas turbine engines. The compressed air is being taken from the compressor stage of the gas turbine engines. Thus, the compressed air is being carried at high pressure, usually with the use of cryogenic tank – a tank that is used to store frozen biological material.
In aircraft, the term equivalent effective cabin altitude refers to the pressure inside the cabin. This means that the equivalent altitude above mean sea level and the atmospheric altitude are of the same level. The mean sea level simply refers to the sea level.
Because of the structural limits of the aircraft’s main body section, the altitude during the flight is never kept equally at a sea level. For a commercial passenger aircraft including charter private jet, the cabin altitude is being programmed according to the rise of the aircraft from the airport of origin – 8,000 feet maximum.
The cabin altitude remains to be at its maximum level while cruising. When the aircraft descends, the cabin altitude also reduces to match with the ambient air pressure.
For Boeing 767, a commercial airline, the cabin altitude is about 6,900 feet for 39,000 feet.
Without the proper level of cabin pressurization, one may experience several physiological problems. So, it should not go below 8,000 feet.
The following are the physiological problems that one will experience if there is no enough cabin altitude:
Sluggish thinking, loss of consciousness, and dimmed vision are some of the symptoms of hypoxia. Hypoxia refers to the state where the alveoli of the lungs lack oxygen, leading to lung tension. If hypoxia lasts long, it will result in brain tension, eventually death.
If someone is suspected with hypoxia, oxygen supplementation is immediately administered. This can either be through an oxygen mask or a nasal cannula.
2. Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness occurs when there is too high and too low cabin pressure. It also known as the acute mountain sickness or altitude illness, or simply, hyperventilation. The passengers may experience these following symptoms: nausea, fatigue, sleeplessness, headaches, and pulmonary edema – the accumulation of fluid in the air spaces of the lungs.
3. Decompression Sickness
Decompression sickness is also known as generalized barotrauma, the injuries that are caused by a sudden and rapid decrease in the air or water pressure. Symptoms may include tiredness, forgetfulness, stroke, headache, thrombosis, and subcutaneous itching. Decompression sickness may be treated through the full-pressure suit, the same with altitude sickness.
Barotrauma is defined as the physical damage to the body tissues due to a difference in pressure between gas spaces. The passengers with barotrauma typically experience discomfort, pain in the gastrointestinal tract, and the teeth. This may not be as severe as the other physiological problems, but if this is left untreated, it may cause pneumothorax – the presence of air in the cavity that eventually causes lung collapse.
At Charter Flight Group, our top mission is to provide safe, calming, and comfortable charter private jet flight to every passenger, so we always perform cabin pressurization accurately before any flight.