Here at Sky Combat Ace, we regularly knock the socks off of any and everyone that comes through our doors seeking the ultimate adventure. One thing that some people actually have started to request after seeing videos of our customers who have experienced “G-LOC” aka G-Induced Loss of Consciousness (in Laymen’s terms- you pass out via our planes pulling more G’s than your body can handle…most of the time the customer knocks themselves out from pulling back too hard on the controls trying to recreate a maneuver we show them).
That got us thinking, we perform these crazy aerobatic stunts at up to 250 mph sometimes 14 times a day — and a former F-16 fighter pilot myself, I’m able to pull up to 12 G’s safely and unaffected, but what EXACTLY happens to those of you who request to pass out, and sometimes take that little 7-second nap after sometimes only pulling as little as 5 G’s?
Here’s the research to help you better understand the coveted G-LOC, which, will come as good news to all you would-be adrenaline junkies who actually are daring enough to request it— turns out it’s safer than most think, and most of you knuckleheads lose more brain cells knocking a few back at the local casino here in Vegas than knocking yourselves out in our Extra 330’s.
How Does G-LOC Work?
Gravity induced loss of consciousness is better known as G-LOC. It occurs when the excessive gravitational force is applied to the body causing a loss of consciousness. G-force is force times the force of gravity, on average a person can withstand anywhere between 2-5 g-forces relatively unaffected.
A healthy person will G-LOC around 5-6 Gs but can withstand up to 9 Gs. When extreme positive G-force is applied (IE Tail slides, Hammerheads, and our favorite, the Lomcevak), blood drains away from the head towards the feet (which is why we flip you knuckleheads upside down to get that blood going back towards your noggins).
After high intensity or longer duration, a few things can happen before a G-LOC (IE times when we instruct you in the safety briefing to tell us when you’re experiencing any or all of these symptoms so we can ease off the throttle):
Recovery is prompt following the removal of the G-force. A period of disorientation can occur and vivid dreams have reported during unconsciousness… we once had a member of the Canadian Tenors who came out to fly with us that he was so glad he experienced G-LOC with us because he was back at home having Christmas dinner with his family who he hadn’t seen in months!
Glad we could oblige! While anyone who goes into a G-LOC can look a little like they’re either doing the funky chicken dance or just plain have been sleeping for hours on end, here are the more politically-correct symptoms:
After proper oxygenation (again, the part where we wake you up from your quick slumber by inverting the plane), the only symptoms that may persist are a little fatigue. No one has ever died from a G-LOC, except maybe die from embarrassment from their video.
If you’d like to see how many Gs you can handle, check out our flight experiences and give us a call!