First of all, shout out to Bill Hicks at the Scottsdale location for the warm welcome and giving me a well rounded idea of the program. Thanks, Bill!
Second, I have nothing but great respect for anyone, pilot, student, instructor, or otherwise, that pursues aviation. That one hour I spent behind the controls was demanding both mentally and physically, and I wasn’t even in charge of anything.
I wish I could say I was the Maverick up there, but I wasn’t. About 30 min into the flight, I got clammy and started sweating like a juicy pickle! Bill gave me a barf bag which stayed firmly wrapped around my mouth just in case. Never ended up using it as intended, but wow, didn’t think I’d feel nauseated like that since I’ve never gotten sick on a plane before. I think I was chasing the instruments and bobbing all over the place so I’m sure that didn’t help any.
Anyone have a similar experience? Any tricks for powering through the motion sickness?
Michael, that statement says it all. Newsflash, know why you weren’t Maverick up there? Because you’re not a pilot. Not even close. The single biggest cause of Intro Flight airsickness is people putting WAYYYYY to much pressure on themselves. They see this first flight like it’s a job interview and this will determine whether or not they’ll actually be Maverick. An intro flight is simply that, an introduction to the training environment. The only one in that cockpit who had any expectations of your performance and abilities was you. Bill didn’t. Bill simply expected you to look out the window and take it all in. Why were you chasing the instruments? Probably because you did a little reading and thought you knew a thing or 2 (and maybe you did), but that wasn’t why you were there.
My advice? Try it again but next time RELAX, accept the fact that pilots are made, not born and enjoy with zero expectations.
Don’t beat yourself up over it! Motion sickness is very common when you first start. Flying in the back of an airliner is very different than a small Cessna or archer. Being nervous, bumping around and looking inside is a recipe for disaster.
I can tell you from personal experience, it will get better. I thought I couldn’t become a pilot because after 10 hours of flying, I was still getting sick. Wise airline pilots I know encouraged me to keep going because they too experienced that early on. Turns out, I got over it by about 20 hours. Your body adapts and you learn ways to cope and control it when you feel it coming on. The best thing you can do, keep flying and relax! Enjoy the view and no matter what symptoms come on, keep breathing through it, eyes on the horizon and get some airflow on ya.
This is very common, usually people adjust to it with a few flights. I suspect that Adam was right and you were placing too much pressure on yourself. None of us were Maverick on our first flight. Heck, I am still nowhere near Maverick. Relax, try another intro flight and this time just enjoy it, in no way worry about your performance. See if that makes a difference,
Thanks for the advice and relating it to your own personal experience. Good to know it will hopefully go away with time and that it might take some time for that to happen.
I never really got a sense of “sit back, relax and enjoy the ride” from watching the 15min intro video and taking the subsequent quiz. The video went over controls, how to maneuver the plane, rate/time problems and fuel load calculations. So I think the expectation was that the intro flight was to be treated as a bit more seriously than just a sight-seeing tour. And how do I know what goes on behind the scenes after the flight ends? Maybe the CFI gives a recommendation? Who knows? I think those are some of the questions running through any prospective student’s head. Mainly, I’m just happy to hear it’s all probably just a temporary issue that will pass with time, so not a total deal breaker.
That is valuable feedback regarding the intro flight, I have passed it onto the appropriate people. Thank you.
This kind of motion sickness should not be a deal breaker at all, the east majority of pilots get used to it in time.
I would also recommend focusing on the horizon and minimizing your head movement. 80-90% of your time should be spent looking outside. That usually solves most people’s problem.