Motion sickness is a common problem for aerial photographers. Flying in small aircraft is a quite different experience from flying in very large jet airliners. People all have a different tolerance of motion, but a light aircraft flying through rising air, perhaps over a desert, can make most people feel ill. Helicopters sometimes cause motion sickness, but hot-air balloons provide a very stable platform
Numerous aspects of aerial work can upset people. Some suffer from nerves and are consequently tense even before leaving the ground, while others complain of high cabin temperatures, lack of air circulation or stomach-churning drops in to air pockets. If motion sickness begins to affect you, don't look at the spinning propellers and keep your eye away from the viewfinder for a few minutes. The best focus for the eyes is arguably the horizon because it gives a fixed reference for the brain.
In broad terms, there are a few precautions that may help to avoid motion sickness:
- Avoid heavy meals containing spices or fat prior to a flight.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Sit over the wing over or under the wing of a fixed-wing aircraft where motion is at its minimum.
- Face in the direction of travel and keep your eye on the horizon where possible.
- Keep near a supply of fresh air and try to avoid sitting close to someone who is affected by motion sickness.
- Various motion sickness treatments are available - consult your doctor if necessary. Dramamine, Stugeron, wrist bands etc may help particular people.