It only takes a few seconds for the heads-up — if you know what you’re feeling. And in an airplane, those few seconds spell the difference between getting back safely — or not.
We’re talking decompression — one of the things the flight attendants or video tell you about when they’re demonstrating the deployment and use of those bright yellow oxygen masks.
“It can happen real fast,” said Dr. Warren Jensen (pictured above), a flight surgeon and Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Aviation in the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. Jensen also runs the school’s altitude chamber, where students learn how to deal with decompression and hypoxia, a condition that occurs when the body is deprived of oxygen, such as when an airplane loses cabin pressure.