[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 3, 1957


Author Affiliations

Flight Surgeon, Air Transport Squadron 23 (Lieutenant Markovits) and Flight Surgeon, Senior Medical Officer (Captain Phillips), Naval Air Station, Atsugi, Japan. Dr. Markovits is now at the Mendocino State Hospital, Talmage, Calif.

JAMA. 1957;164(14):1569-1571. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.62980140004007a

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