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Lieutenant Zhang Jian Zhi-Ying, aviation doctor of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing of Air Force, rides on IDF combat aircrafts to understand the pressure faced by pilots during missions. (photographed by journalist Cho, Yi-Li from Military News Agency)
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Aviation Doctor Rides with Fighter Aircrafts Unsung Hero of the Pilots Protecting Our Airspace

Publication Date: 2019/03/08

(reported by journalist Cho, Yi-Li from Military News Agency on March 6th in Zuoying) “Pilots guard the airspace, and aviation doctors protect the pilots.” Lieutenant Zhang Jian Zhi-Ying, aviation doctor of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing of Air Force, solemnly stated that “this is the mission of a aviation doctor”.

Apart from having ridden the AT-3 trainer aircraft for multiple times during the 18 months of her tenure as a aviation doctor, lieutenant Zhang Jian Zhi-Ying also rode the IDF combat aircraft repeatedly to experience various flight combat topics in order to understand the pressure of flight environment faced by pilots, so that she could assist with and grasp on the physical and mental health conditions of the flying officers, making her the unsung hero of the pilots protecting our airspace; Zhang, an eighth-grade comrade, is also one of the few female aviation doctors who have ridden IDF combat aircraft in Taiwan.

After completing the 7-year education at the National Defense Medical Center, Zhang Jian Zhi-Ying began her training of aviation medicine at the Aviation Physiological Training Center. Regarding discipline, she received the study of aviation physiology and various faculties including spatial disorientation, altitude hypoxia, and big G-force environment, whereas for skills, she had to pass trainings including sea rescue, disorientation device, and anti-G centrifuge; finally, she had to undergo flight training, and actually rode the T-34 trainer aircraft to verify what she had learnt. After passing the tests, Zhang Jian Zhi-Ying put on the flying eagle medal, and stepped into the aviation medicine field, then decided to serve as an aviation doctor at the aviation department of the R.O.C. Air Force Academy.

While serving as the aviation doctor at the R.O.C. Air Force Academy, Zhang Jian Zhi-Ying rode the AT-3 trainer aircraft; as it was the first flight after being distributed to a troop, and that fact that the aircraft was different to the previous models, each turn and roll conducted by the flight instructor would cause apparent discomfort to the physical body, hence she understands first hand about the flight pressure may be encountered by rookie cadets.

Zhang Jian Zhi-Ying began serving as the aviation doctor at the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing of Air Force from last year. While riding on the IDF combat aircraft, the training airspace, topics, and the G-force sustained during flight made her understand that the physiological changes for the pilots during missions including high altitude, low temperature, low pressure, hypoxia, spatial disorientation, motion sickness, and high G-force environment are not only verification of aviation physiology, but also made her respect these pilots for their protection of the airspace from having to sustain a long period of ordeals that are beyond human limits.

During her experience of riding in IDF combat aircrafts, what left the deepest impression in Zhang Jian Zhi-Ying was the moment of the combat aircraft executing offensive and defensive training, where the high turning G-force would cause a rapid increase in the heart rate as well as a heavy pressure in the thoracic cage, and sometimes the G-force may elevate to 7 or even 8 G, which leads to instant hypoxia, and the mask would press on her face, with the heavy feeling in the physical body comes afterwards, so that is when she had to perform anti-G gestures to overcome the pressure of the moment.

Zhang Jian Zhi-Ying deepened the understanding of aviation medicine through the process of riding on fighter aircrafts; she hopes to continue refining and researching in the aviation medicine field to assure the healthiness of pilots and flight safety, so that flights can be even safer, ensuring and maintaining the combat capability of the Air Force.

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