The problem of spontaneous pneumothorax is serious enough in normal occupations; in aviation it becomes more critical because of the victim's possible incapacitation and subsequent inability to control the aircraft. Also, the role of decreased barometric pressure in flight as an etiology of pneumothorax must be considered and evaluated for risk. Some high-level military and civil aviation policy based on the few cases available might well be in order as a guide for future cases.
Report of a Case
A 29-year-old pilot of a Navy F9F8 Cougar (high-performance jet aircraft), while his aircraft was being chased by another jet, performed a power dive from 30,000 to 10,000 ft. in an attempt to evade the chaser. Shortly after starting his pull-out and while under a stress of 6 G, which was maintained for about eight seconds, he experienced a rather sharp pain under his left scapula. (In aviation, in expressing the
Markovits AS, Phillips RB. LUNG COLLAPSE IN AVIATION. JAMA. 1957;164(14):1569-1571. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.62980140004007a