Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pulse Oximeter

Roku. I got this streaming device for Christmas and have really started to enjoy it. In addition to playing Angry Birds I've been making the time to watch AOPA Live. One of the features has an AME discussing various medial topics and common problems pilots might see. He recently did a segment on oxygen deficiency and recommended the use of a pulse oximeter.

I took off today in beautiful weather. Clear blue cool skies with a scattered layer of little puffy clouds. I flew over home plate and got a request to "rock your wings". Fun. First event was to play in the pattern at KPTW (Heritage Field). Interesting because the westward runway uses right hand turns and since I hadn't practiced them in awhile I wanted to refresh that sight picture. The entry lap was a bit close but subsequent circuits smoothed out nicely. The actual landings were all above average...I was in the groove.

I departed to the north, switched frequencies and listened to a Citabria make his calls at Pottstown Muni. Just a beautiful day. During the climb I took a break and did some steep turns (add rudder going to the right, almost none to the left) then continued up to 6500'. Smooth air, I set the autopilot to roughly north, scanned for traffic and reached for my new device. It doesn't do well in bright sunlight so I adjusted heading to put us in the shade. I did see a decrease in O2 level after 10 minutes. Nothing dramatic, but still as expected a slight effect. My thought is that for long cross country flights at altitude, landing at night, it might be a good idea to take a reading and maybe a shot of O2. (Especially for old guys and those flying IFR.)

Back to Butter Valley. All the Sunday fliers were out so it was difficult to fit in my position calls. Talk fast and get off the frequency! I descended too fast at idle and let the oil temp get down to 120°. Sally told me about it as I advanced the throttle during my level off. I must remember to monitor that more closely. By the time I entered the pattern the temp was back up so I could use my normal power settings. Two more laps and we were done for the day.

I hope the August weather stays this way. Beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. I have an O2 tank but haven't used it yet. I really need to try it out and see if it helps me on the long cross countries and night flying.