Re: 42,000 feet

Date:         18 Mar 97 03:14:50 
From:         tschell@s.psych.uiuc.edu (Terry Schell)
Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana
References:   1
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Andrew Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@jhuapl.edu> writes:

>     I recently flew at 41,000 feet in a commercial airliner (actually FL
>410, I assume).  According to a friend, at around 42,000 feet free
>flowing oxygen is no longer adequate for maintenance of life, and
>pressure breathing is required.  Therefore, the emergency oxygen system
>(as an SWA flight attendent put it: "these are not party hats") on
>commercial aircraft would not be sufficient.  Does this limit the
>practical ceiling of commercial flights?  What is done for emergency
>oxygen on the Concord?

I think you will find it SOP on all pressurized airliners to reduce
altitude dramatically in the event that they lose cabin pressure. Think
of the oxygen mask as a method for keeping the passengers conscious
long enough to get the plane down to an altitude that people could
survive without the masks on.

Sincerely,
Terry "oxygen-deprived" Schell