PDA

View Full Version : Turbulence and cabin temperature


Check Airman
31st Aug 2018, 01:35
Hi all,

I flew with somebody who'd insist on selecting the packs to high flow and lowering the cabin temperature in turbulence, saying that the increased airflow and cooler temperature made it more comfortable, and decreased air sickness. Couldn't find that written anywhere. Nobody else has heard of that. Has anyone here heard of that, and if so, can a reference be provided?

Thanks

compressor stall
31st Aug 2018, 02:10
I’ve never seen it written, but not being hot and stuffy is a first step to avoiding motion sickness.

parabellum
31st Aug 2018, 02:39
No reference but I agree with compressor stall, remember when using North Sea ferry services in winter, the inside cabin was no place to be if one was feeling even only slightly nauseous, the cabin would be hot and airless and possibly foul smelling. Out on deck a blast of cold fresh air restored one to feeling normal very quickly. I too would crank the cabin temperature down a few degrees if in prolonged turbulence.

AerocatS2A
31st Aug 2018, 10:28
I agree that airflow and cool air can help if you are feeling sick but I doubt you’d notice a significant difference in a passenger jet.

pattern_is_full
31st Aug 2018, 14:52
This is for smaller aircraft pilots, but the principles still apply: https://www.aopa.org/go-fly/medical-resources/health-conditions/ear-nose-throat-and-equilibrium/motion-sickness

Motion sickness is the body's natural response to a disconnect between the middle ear's balance mechanism and other body senses of motion (muscle "position sensor" nerves, vision). In our evolution before "vehicles", the most likely cause for such a disconnect was ingesting poisonous food, so the evolved response is to empty the stomach ASAP. Perceived warmth (fever), a subnormal amount of oxygen (think: cyanide) and smells (rotted food) also make the body believe it is poisoned, so removing as many of those cues as possible is good.

Check Airman
31st Aug 2018, 17:10
Thanks for the replies guys. I agree that conventional wisdom is that some cool fresh air would probably be good, but isn't the cabin of an airplane already a pretty comfortable environment? If so, as Aerocat pointed out, would changing the pack output really do much?

I'm just trying to see if this theory is merely anecdotal, or if there's any science or evidence behind it.

Escape Path
1st Sep 2018, 02:10
That depends. I've seen some skippers do crazy things with the AC of the airplane. Ranging from not selecting APU bleed before main door opening in a 30ºc destination (and before external AC being connected) to "save fuel/money/whatever" to others going crazy with it and selecting 18-19ºc for the whole cabin (and flightdeck!) on a red-eye flight "because cold makes them not fall asleep". Jeez.

I'm a big supporter for pax comfort and try to do as many things as possible within reason to make an enjoyable experience for the pax. Certainly having the proper temperature aids in comfort and I gather that this "technique", so to speak, would be for a case of a somewhat prolonged turbulence. Don't know how other things, for example speed, would come into the equation as a slower speed can make a turbulence feel more "rhytmic" instead of plain bumpy. Perhaps a combination of various factors or methods can aid to counteract motion sickness.

I just recalled that many moons ago when I was a kid and used to travel by car with some family members, who are quite prone to get motion sickness, they used to lower the windows of the car whenever they started to feel it kick in. It did help them to a certain extent; I don't see a reason why it shouldn't work on an airplane too...

stilton
1st Sep 2018, 05:56
Always turn down the cabin temp
in turbulence, a hot stuffy cabin is
the worst in any conditions but especially
when it’s bumpy


I prefer it cooler myself, no matter how
much water I drink I get dehydrated in
flight whether I’m up front or riding in the
back, a warm cabin aggravates that


Having said that I rode on a VS A340
once that was so cold I could see my
breath, several complaints made no
difference to the temperature

Fratemate
2nd Sep 2018, 09:16
Having said that I rode on a VS A340
once that was so cold I could see my
breath

OOhhh, lovely :) Our bunch insist that we fly around with a minimum of 25 degs and often we'll be asked to turn it a bit more. It seems that Asians are cold blooded and anything below that temp they'll start to freeze. It's absolutely ridiculous when you're in the cabin, it's hotter than Hades and the cabin crew come around offering blankets. If you're at the back of the aircraft then you won't get offered a blanket because they've all been taken.

Hand-in-hand with that goes the number of requests for seats etc to be cleaned because of vomit. Believe me, more than I ever had in previous airlines where the absolute max was 23 degs.

AerocatS2A
2nd Sep 2018, 10:07
I'm a firm believer that you can always put more clothes on, but there's only so much you can take off before the police turn up. Erring towards too cool a cabin would be my preference.

CaptainMongo
2nd Sep 2018, 15:49
Also note for Airbus there is a “Cabin Air Poor Quality” non normal unannuciated checklist which may assist in evacuating odor associated with vomit.

I have used this in the past when notified by FA’s of undesirable odors in the cabin. I hack a clock and run this configuration for 15 minutes or so.

parabellum
3rd Sep 2018, 01:18
If so, as Aerocat pointed out, would changing the pack output really do much?

Obviously it will depend on the aircraft. Some aircraft the cabin temp. is controlled only from the flight deck but on larger aircraft each zone can be regulated by the cabin crew as well, within certain limits, defined by where the controls are set on the flight deck. From my experience it is possible to lower the cabin temperature significantly using the flight deck controls. Again, my experience only but I find hot, stuffy air round my face at any time is uncomfortable.

Check Airman
3rd Sep 2018, 04:30
This thread has showed me that there is at least some anecdotal evidence that more, cooler air may help, so thanks for that. I'm also in agreement that a hot, stuffy cabin is no fun in turbulence.

I'm still of the opinion though that if we're starting with a comfortable cabin environment, lowering the temperature will just cause a cold, bumpy ride.

@parabellum, newer A320's allow the cabin crew to control the temperature in the manner you've described.

meleagertoo
3rd Sep 2018, 12:18
Tried this the other day in a 737 getting a very rough ride over the alps.
Not less than 3 minutes after nudging the temp selectors back from 2 o°clock to 1 o°clock position get a call from the Aft Galley complaining they were cold, temp back up. Can't win :rolleyes:
Pretty standard in a 737. The point at which the cc in the rear galley are complainng of the cold is right about when you have it perfectly set for the pax. Overheated 737s often seem to be a result of flight deck setting temps to suit occopants of the rear galley rather than the cabin.

Check Airman
3rd Sep 2018, 17:04
Tried this the other day in a 737 getting a very rough ride over the alps.
Not less than 3 minutes after nudging the temp selectors back from 2 o°clock to 1 o°clock position get a call from the Aft Galley complaining they were cold, temp back up. Can't win :rolleyes:

Well did the ride impove? 😆

Yaw String
13th Sep 2018, 21:06
Note: If the LC airline precharges for a blanket,expect 16-18 degrees..just perfect for turbulent flight..
For god sake,nobody point that out to them,or they will boast!!!