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G-LOC, pronounced 'GEE-lock', is the abbreviation of G-force induced Loss Of Consciousness, a term generally used in aerospace physiology to describe a loss of consciousness occurring from excessive and sustained g-forces draining blood away from the brain causing cerebral hypoxia. The condition is most likely to affect pilots of high performance fighter and aerobatic aircraft or astronauts but is possible on some extreme amusement park rides. G-LOC incidents have caused fatal accidents in high performance aircraft capable of sustaining high g for extended periods. High-G training for pilots of high performance aircraft or spacecraft often includes ground training for G-LOC in special centrifuges, with some profiles exposing pilots to 9 gs for a sustained period. Such centrifuges are made by AMST Systemtechnik in Austria (Austria Metall SystemTechnik), Latacoere in France, the Environmental Tectonics Corporation (ETC) and Wyle Laboratories in the USA.

Effects of g-forces

Under increasing positive g-force, blood in the body will tend to move from the head toward the feet. For higher intensity or longer duration, this can manifest progressively as:

  • Greyout - a loss of color vision
  • Tunnel vision - loss of peripheral vision, retaining only the center vision
  • Blackout - a complete loss of vision but retaining consciousness.
  • G-LOC - where consciousness is lost.

(Under negative g, blood pressure will increase in the head, running the risk of the dangerous condition...
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