How pilots in S. Korean Air Force are trained to withstand massive centrifugal forces
Updated: 2022-06-23 13:28:51 KST
At this special training center in South Korea pilots in the military receive a special type of training to cope with huge centrifugal forces while flying at high speeds.
To find out what this actually feels like, I went through "high G training."
"In order to pass this test, I need to withstand six times the force of gravity for 20 seconds inside this cockpit. Let's see if I can pass the test and not pass out."
I made it through the warm-up, where I was put through 4G or four times the force of gravity.
The force was raised gradually at point-one G per second while I practiced a special type of breathing technique they taught us.
But, during the actual test, the force was raised by 1G per second, all the way up to 6G.
I lasted for just two seconds before losing consciousness.
This is because the extra force caused blood to rush to my feet, and my heart couldn't pump hard enough to bring this heavier blood to the brain.
At the training center, I also went through "ejection training" aimed at preventing serious injury when pilots are ejected from a fighter jet.
Pilots learn how to position themselves before pulling the handle.
This is essential for survival as the ejection process subjects pilots to forces as much as 20 times that of gravity.
Fighter pilots also go through "hypoxia training," where they learn how to withstand low-oxygen environments while flying at high altitudes.
During the training, we first breathed in 100 percent oxygen for 15 minutes, before the simulation chamber reached 25-thousand feet.
We took off our masks for about three minutes, and tried to solve simple math problems.
After about a minute, I felt very dizzy like many other people sitting next to me.
And it became extremely difficult to work through those simple problems because of mental confusion caused by a lack of oxygen.
Pilots are required to go through all of these training exercises regularly.
"All pilots in our Air Force are trained every three years at this training center. This regular training can help prevent accidents that can occur during an actual flight."