View Full Version : Coping with dry air

Flying Fritz
30th Oct 2016, 16:27
Hi! I was wondering what colleagues do to cope with the effects of dry air on the flight deck/aircraft.

I'm flying short haul only, but during long working days and after, I can clearly feel the effects like a sore throat, which built up over consecutive working days.

Might be an age thing or might be just me. Does anybody have issues with that? Must be worse on long haul flights, I assume. In the Dreamliner, apparently there are humidifiers installed, which raises the humidity level from 5% in a conventional aircraft to 15%. Best environment for us is around 40-60%.

Any thoughts on that?

Thank you very much!

30th Oct 2016, 22:50
I must admit I've not noticed but I'm lucky in that the aircraft we operate is highly pressurised so I'm rarely exposed to a cabin alt above 3500/4000 and occasionally lower. I don't know what this does to the humidity but it is certainly comfortable and you feel fresher after a long day.

The company does however as a policy provide a couple of bottles of water to the flight deck per pilot and encourage you to drink a couple a day.

31st Oct 2016, 05:04
Not a pilot, but when I fly, or when the air is dry at work (it's typically around 25% in the aircon tower cab) I use a nasal spray containing xylitol (which promotes good bacterial balance) or an atomiser (just regular water) sprayed directly onto the face two or three times an hour.

Makes a difference.
There's something to that xylitol. I hardly ever get a cold or flu, now.

Flying Fritz
31st Oct 2016, 10:26
Thanks for that, guys.

Staying hydrated of course, but that does not really help your respiratory system, does it? I drink plenty of water on every sector, but still get a sore throat on long sectors, and my nose gets very dry, so I think the spray is a good idea, thanks for that!

Any other airline pilots out there who can share how this effects them? Does it effect you at all? Difference short haul / long haul, age, aircraft type?

Thanks again!!

Private jet
31st Oct 2016, 13:46
I'd occasionally get a bit of a nosebleed after a lot of flying, especially if we went somewhere cold like Reykjavik or Innsbruck in the wintertime where the cold air is relatively dry on the ground too.

31st Oct 2016, 14:36
Friend swears by it but not yet convinced that when he lived in Phoenix one thing he always did was ensure there was water in every room, not always to drink just in open containers, bottles.

His view was evaporaton was in a normal room with no water so adding multiple additional sources would keep some water in the air.

31st Oct 2016, 19:20
I can offer some obvious and not so obvious advice that works for me. Drink plenty of water or other hydrating liquid. Adjust the overhead outlets so no air blows directly on your face and stop down the feet warmer valve from fully open as well. See that you consume enough lipids. Spend some time at the night stop in the sauna or create your own with the shower and hot water.

31st Oct 2016, 19:59
Lip balm. That is all.

31st Oct 2016, 21:18
Lip balm. That is all.

ER didn't BA pilot get in trouble for applying that in cockpit this weekend................ if Mail is to be believed

wings folded
1st Nov 2016, 05:00
Beer is the answer.

Flying Fritz
3rd Nov 2016, 09:55
Thanks again. I found that a lot of pilots (including myself until recently), are not aware and take the effects as normal. I am testing a device, which is a bit like a humidifier, just a bit more sophisticated. When I let others try, they tend to then realize. Of course, one is probably more tolerant than the other, that is why I was asking.

Still interested in your opinions, ideally with age and aircraft type, long haul or short haul. Very much appreciated!

Beer is rather a short term fix, I believe, but thank you, wings folded!