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Liberi_Fatali
09-04-2005, 01:28 PM
I've heard todays pilots often use amphetamines to stay awake on long flights (and its safer to let a pilot who's high on speed take care of an multimillion dollar aircraft than having a sober pilot). Is there any information out there of ww2 era pilots on drugs? I suppose there wasnt a big taboo on drugs those days. If they did, what substances would they use and what for? I can imagine Luftwaffe pilots took amphetamines later in the war? I hope im not breaking any rules by discussing drugs like this, but im really curious about these sorts of details.

Dont be shy, share your knowledge please!

LStarosta
09-04-2005, 01:48 PM
German soldiers blitzkrieged on amphetamines.

AFSG_Bulldog
09-04-2005, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by Liberi_Fatali:
I've heard todays pilots often use amphetamines to stay awake on long flights

Well if they are flying high they can loose their certificates. The regulations are quite specific about medications and alcohol and flying. They even frown on pilots taking aspirin and flying.

But I do recall speaking with a WWII TBF/TBM pilot once. He said it was common to drink all the way to the target and sober up on the way home. I asked why did they drink on the way to the target? And he answered that no sane person could do what they did sober.

berg417448
09-04-2005, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by AFSG_Bulldog:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Liberi_Fatali:
I've heard todays pilots often use amphetamines to stay awake on long flights

Well if they are flying high they can loose their certificates. The regulations are quite specific about medications and alcohol and flying. They even frown on pilots taking aspirin and flying.

But I do recall speaking with a WWII TBF/TBM pilot once. He said it was common to drink all the way to the target and sober up on the way home. I asked why did they drink on the way to the target? And he answered that no sane person could do what they did sober. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


They are not going to lose any "certificate" when they take the amphetamines prescribed to them by the flight surgeon! I know that this was done during the Gulf War because I have read a few articles about it.

The U S A F uses amphetamines (Dexedrine) as stimulants for pilots, and calls them "go-pills". After a mission is over, the Air Force issues a "no-go pill' (Ambien?) to help the pilot sleep.

MEGILE
09-04-2005, 03:39 PM
I always fly after a hit of Coca Cola. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

3.JG51_BigBear
09-04-2005, 03:47 PM
Two reserve pilots, well one pilot and his RIO, were involved in a friendly fire incident during the fighting in Afghanistan. The media tried to make a big deal out of their use of stimulants but after they heard enough experts say it was standard practice they shut up about it.

3.JG51_BigBear
09-04-2005, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by AFSG_Bulldog:
But I do recall speaking with a WWII TBF/TBM pilot once. He said it was common to drink all the way to the target and sober up on the way home. I asked why did they drink on the way to the target? And he answered that no sane person could do what they did sober.

That sounds like BS to me. I'm sure he said it but I can't imagine a squad of twelve heavy torpedo bombers trying to keep formation and stay on course while half of them are getting **** faced.

JunkoIfurita
09-04-2005, 05:44 PM
Two reserve pilots, well one pilot and his RIO, were involved in a friendly fire incident during the fighting in Afghanistan.

I remember that incident - they accidentally shot up a platoon of New Zealander tanks, right? After they'd been already warned of the prescence in the area...

BTW, just because it's standard practice doesn't make it correct practice.

It does have a historical precedence, though - as far back as the 1950s, at least. When Pillip K. **** (SF author) was at his peak in the mid-50s, writing over 120 short stories and a few novels in one year to get by, he was writing with the use of amphetamines - a relatively new stimulant at the time. He was getting the amphetamines through a contact within the military - at the time they were a drug under development and (like LSD later) little was known about the detrimental affects to judgement and long term health.

EDIT: By the way, I imagine military grade amphetamines bear very little resemblence to the dirty, mixed up stuff you get as street level Speed.

----

spitzfiya
09-04-2005, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by 3.JG51_BigBear:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AFSG_Bulldog:
But I do recall speaking with a WWII TBF/TBM pilot once. He said it was common to drink all the way to the target and sober up on the way home. I asked why did they drink on the way to the target? And he answered that no sane person could do what they did sober.

That sounds like BS to me. I'm sure he said it but I can't imagine a squad of twelve heavy torpedo bombers trying to keep formation and stay on course while half of them are getting **** faced. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly lmao...I can hardly ride a bicycle when im ****ed...

Kuna15
09-04-2005, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by spitzfiya:
Exactly lmao...I can hardly ride a bicycle when im ****ed...

Yeah same goes for me. I never even tried anything except my Legs MK.II when I was drunk. Anyway believe or not I did not drink alcohol for over two years now. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

berg417448
09-04-2005, 05:58 PM
A drug called Pervitin was in use by some soldiers in WWII:

http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,354606,00.html

LEBillfish
09-04-2005, 06:08 PM
MethAnphetamine was an over the counter drug used by many pilots on all sides.....Have an advertisement for it I can post dependant on where this goes...

huggy87
09-04-2005, 06:23 PM
I tried to get my skipper to give me the pills when I was in Iraq and afghanistan. It is not like anyone takes the pills for a performance edge, like steroids. It really is just a tool to get by. Sometimes operational neccesity requires that you fly long missions without much rest. I nearly killed myself while landing at the boat once after coming back from a mission and having been awake for 30+ hours. We were the first carrier to afghanistan and we had just switched to night ops. It takes your body awhile to adjust to going 180 out from its usual cycle.

Anyway, it is much more prevalent in the USAF. I don't know any pilots personally in the Navy who have taken them, although it is officially allowed. You have to have your CO's and the flight surgeon's permission, and have tried the pills once in a non-flying environment. When I asked my skipper for them, it was right after the aforementioned afghanistan incident, and with all the bad PR he wanted no part of it.

WarWolfe_1
09-04-2005, 10:57 PM
from what I've read of it, the pills are no stronger than nodoze or minithins. although a handful.....well you know.

Liberi_Fatali
09-05-2005, 04:26 AM
Thanks, much more replys than I expected. But what about ww2 pilots? German soldiers were pumped up on speed, so I guess pilots too. What about russian or english pilots? Did stimulants have a effect on BoB for example, like pilots who can fly more sorties on one day?

mauld
09-05-2005, 05:46 AM
Aircrew in bomber command were issued pep pills also known as stay awake pills i dont know exactly what it was they were given but have found a few references in books i have read. One in particular was of a crew whose mission was scrubbed after they had taken there pills and went out for a night on the tiles fueled up on pills.

Chuck_Older
09-05-2005, 07:50 AM
Originally posted by berg417448:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AFSG_Bulldog:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Liberi_Fatali:
I've heard todays pilots often use amphetamines to stay awake on long flights

Well if they are flying high they can loose their certificates. The regulations are quite specific about medications and alcohol and flying. They even frown on pilots taking aspirin and flying.

But I do recall speaking with a WWII TBF/TBM pilot once. He said it was common to drink all the way to the target and sober up on the way home. I asked why did they drink on the way to the target? And he answered that no sane person could do what they did sober. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


They are not going to lose any "certificate" when they take the amphetamines prescribed to them by the flight surgeon! I know that this was done during the Gulf War because I have read a few articles about it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, I doubt a commercial airline has a flight surgeon http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif He's not talking about military flying here

georgeo76
09-05-2005, 08:15 AM
Mehtanphetime has PR problems. Just like the crack scare of the 80s, lazy reporters have published rumors, supposition, and myth because it's scarier than the truth, and nobody ever calls their BS.

Now I'm not saying that Meth is safe, but its often less dangerous than being exhausted. The idea that a pilot may occasionally use it should not be a huge concern.

LeadSpitter_
09-05-2005, 08:09 PM
Its been showed many times before but still makes me crack up the guy in the tree

British LSD tests on troops

http://www.muchosucko.com/video-armytripouts.html&cat=v

TheGozr
09-06-2005, 02:01 AM
The bigest problem is to be prepare to pee, when you forgot to get your bottle or what ever sudanly flying become a torture. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif yep!

ploughman
09-06-2005, 02:12 AM
I've never seen that vid of troops on LSD. That's hilarious. I do hope they weren't exercising withlive ammunition. The guy in the tree 'gone to feed the birds' is operating to a completely revised mission plan. Thanks.

jds1978
09-06-2005, 06:50 AM
I believe the Nazi's referred to speed as "Marching Powder"

Bluedog72
09-06-2005, 02:37 PM
Sure you arent thinking of 'Brazillian Marching Powder'...common euphamism for cocaine?

blakduk
09-06-2005, 06:21 PM
Liberi_Fatali- here's a link describing (very briefly) a history of the use of psychoactive drugs in the military. http://www.monochrom.at/cracked/comments/warndrugs.htm
(A few of the details are inacurrate but it serves as an introduction)
Some people are surprised at just how old 'designer' drugs are. For example ecstasy (MDMA) was first synthesized in 1918 by a german chemist. During WW2 benzedrine was the drug that was most commonly distributed to RAF pilots, however many refused to take them feeling it adversely affected their performance.
As for the tales of pilots getting drunk before they flew (or whilst approaching their target) i wouldnt pay much attention to that- the pilots were serious about survival and having reaction times dampened by alcohol would certainly not have increased their survival chances. When they were on leave however....

WWSensei
09-06-2005, 07:09 PM
We used "go pills" and "no-go pills" when I flew Vipers. Not all the time and I certainly never used them in combat. The most common use was when you were ferrying from CONUS to Europe and/or SouthWest Asia. 20-24 hour flights is draining and you wanted to be on your toes when it was refueling time...

See, large amounts of coffee aren't exactly available and bringing a thermos is, well, let's just say the pisspacks can only hold so much...

-HH- Beebop
09-06-2005, 08:34 PM
I wouldn't be surprised to find out that some form of benzedrine or dexedrine was issued to pilots in WWII. As mentioned before little was known about their long term/detremental effects. Imagine the Mustang pilot flying for 10-12 hours escorting bombers. Landing was probably more practice and muscle memory than skill at times.
I would see this as maybe being more common among fighter pilots as bomber crews had others present to help keep them awake and the pilot had a co-pilot. Attacks and battle damage was probably more than enough to keep the crew awake on the way home in some cases I would imagine.
Towards the end of the war German pilots may have lived on the stuff, constantly doing sortie after sortie. At least most American pilots/crews (generally) got a bit of a breather between missions. This might explain how a German 'super Ace' would get shot down after 100+ kills and god knows how many missions. He certainly had skills up the wazoo but amphetamines day after day, and the judgement eventually goes wonky.

Enforcer572005
09-06-2005, 08:53 PM
ive heard Vietnam era pilots refer to them as stop and go pills, especially needed sometimes during linebacker ops. some of them preferred not to use them,but some had to i guess.

Refueling would sure be a time for max reaction time i would assume, especially in an F-16. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

huggy87
09-07-2005, 12:02 AM
Refueling would sure be a time for max reaction time i would assume, especially in an F-16. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Not for a viper guy. They just lay back and let the tanker slide it on in. We navy types have to stab at a moving basket like a teenager on prom night. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

Xiolablu3
09-07-2005, 02:12 AM
You would be surprised, there was LESS of a taboo about drugs in a lot of ways. It is the press since the 50's and 60's which has done a lot to demonise drugs. (see the American 50's films about marijuana turning people into psycho killers http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif)

Sme drugs can be dangerous off course when in the wrong hands, but doctors prescribed Amphetamines for people a lot in those days so pilots taking them is oprobably true and pperhaps a good idea if they are tired to (improve reactions etc (as long as it is in moderation otherwise you will get reports of pilots seeing angels in the sky etc http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif))

Hitler used to take 3 injections of a cocktail of drugs a day which included a lot of speed. Probably why he got so paranoid towards the end.

Just a note about drugs :-

Think about it, would it be better to prescribe drugs to addicts for about 1 a day so that they could go to work and pay their taxes and lead a normal life, without having to worry about scoring etc or dying through getting 'dirty' drugs.

OR letting gangsters make millions by selling addicts cut drugs, therefore making the user have to commit crime to fund his drug habit because the price of drugs is so high (because they are illegal) and therefore crime rising and costing people more money through 'treating' addicts who want nothing more than to be left alone to take 'their drug of choice' (much like a man who likes a drink can go to a pub.) Any Drugs COULD cost the same as sugar or vegetables, its the fact they are illegal that makes them really expensive.

Cars kill many more people than drugs do, but we dont ban cars, we make the roads/cars SAFER. Why not try that attitude with drugs?

Sorry to rant but I feel strongly about this one.

Max.Power
09-07-2005, 04:38 AM
Originally posted by 3.JG51_BigBear:
Two reserve pilots, well one pilot and his RIO, were involved in a friendly fire incident during the fighting in Afghanistan. The media tried to make a big deal out of their use of stimulants but after they heard enough experts say it was standard practice they shut up about it.

Amphetamines and amphetamine like compounds cause psychosis after prolonged or copious use. CNS effects of amphetamine use include: Overstimulation, restlessness, dizziness, insomnia, euphoria, dysphoria, tremor, headache, exacerbation of tics, Tourette's syndrome and psychotic episodes (which are rare at recommended doses but not unheard of). In a study, cocaine addicts taking cocaine, amphetamines and other sympathomimetic compounds (such as ephedra) could not tell the difference between their respective highs. War is an extreme set of circumstances and I understand that, when lives are at stake, extreme measures must be taken. On the flip side of the coin, amphetamines are not without their risks, and I would have to say that either stupidity or psychosis played an important role in that FF incident, neither of which is acceptible in a military setting.

flakwagen
09-07-2005, 07:22 AM
They gave my brother 'uppers' during his military flight training. I think a combination of the drugs and an inpcompetent flight instructor is what caused him to wash out midway through the program. He did well in civilian flight school and had no problems learning how to fly a Cessna. He already had his civilian pilot license before he joined the air force.

Then came military jet training, better living through chemistry, and a female instructor who seemed to do nothing but accuse him of "using too much oxygen", whatever that means. He'd start out the day well but she had him 2nd guessing himself by the end of the day and the drugs made him so hyper that he could barely control the stick at times.

I'm secretly glad he failed because he'd likely be over in Iraq risking his a** on a daily basis if he'd gotten a decent instructor and been allowed to train without being drugged up. But I felt and still feel sorry for him.

I understand that drugs might give veteran pilots a slight edge. But I can't understand why anyone would think it is wise to drug up someone who is learning how to fly. Apparently this is the norm today.

Flak

Xiolablu3
09-07-2005, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by flakwagen:
They gave my brother 'uppers' during his military flight training. I think a combination of the drugs and an inpcompetent flight instructor is what caused him to wash out midway through the program. He did well in civilian flight school and had no problems learning how to fly a Cessna. He already had his civilian pilot license before he joined the air force.

Then came military jet training, better living through chemistry, and a female instructor who seemed to do nothing but accuse him of "using too much oxygen", whatever that means. He'd start out the day well but she had him 2nd guessing himself by the end of the day and the drugs made him so hyper that he could barely control the stick at times.

I'm secretly glad he failed because he'd likely be over in Iraq risking his a** on a daily basis if he'd gotten a decent instructor and been allowed to train without being drugged up. But I felt and still feel sorry for him.

I understand that drugs might give veteran pilots a slight edge. But I can't understand why anyone would think it is wise to drug up someone who is learning how to fly. Apparently this is the norm today.

Flak

They wouldnt do it without a massive study into whether it improved reaction times etc, but of course there will be people who have bad reactions to it, like people can have bad ractions to alchohol or paracetamol. I guess your brother was just unlucky.

The fact is, what works for one pilot, may NOT work for another.

The instructors should have taken note that your brother was having a bad reaction to it and tried something else.

We are not all the same. That said I htink drugs can be useful in some cases where a person has to stay awake a long time or needs to be put to sleep. Hell morphine is basically heroin and thats been used a lot in medicine over the years as a painkiller.

There is a lot of hysteria about drugs which makes the real truth hard to discover without actually doing them yourself. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

stathem
09-07-2005, 01:29 PM
There's quite a bit regrding this in Clostermann's "The Big Show" if you read between the right lines (near the end, when he was flying Tempests on 3 sorties a day)

When you think of how erm, jittery, normal civilians can get when exposed to prolonged and repeated use of amphetamines (and whatever downer you use to come down), and then factor in the rigours of facing such a high risk environment over and over, watching your friends die, you can see why pilots needed good breaks between tours.

IMPO it was a lot more common than we understand today. Think of the rear gunner on a Lanc, 8 hour flight, got to have 110% concentration for a large part of it...in the middle of the night...

huggy87
09-07-2005, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by flakwagen:
They gave my brother 'uppers' during his military flight training. I think a combination of the drugs and an inpcompetent flight instructor is what caused him to wash out midway through the program. He did well in civilian flight school and had no problems learning how to fly a Cessna. He already had his civilian pilot license before he joined the air force.

Then came military jet training, better living through chemistry, and a female instructor who seemed to do nothing but accuse him of "using too much oxygen", whatever that means. He'd start out the day well but she had him 2nd guessing himself by the end of the day and the drugs made him so hyper that he could barely control the stick at times.

I'm secretly glad he failed because he'd likely be over in Iraq risking his a** on a daily basis if he'd gotten a decent instructor and been allowed to train without being drugged up. But I felt and still feel sorry for him.

I understand that drugs might give veteran pilots a slight edge. But I can't understand why anyone would think it is wise to drug up someone who is learning how to fly. Apparently this is the norm today.

Flak

Oh boy. Did you actually read anyone else's post? Sensei and myself have both flown fighters and sensei himself has taken the pills. Once again, they are not to give an edge. They are to get by when you are not adequately rested. I have never heard of a flight student getting uppers. The air force takes ridiculous measures in regards to crew rest and a stud should have no need for them. No offense to your brother, but you have only heard his side of the story. Getting a private licence and flying a cessna is a lot less demanding than flying a T-38.

flakwagen
09-07-2005, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by huggy87:


Oh boy. Did you actually read anyone else's post? Sensei and myself have both flown fighters and sensei himself has taken the pills. Once again, they are not to give an edge. They are to get by when you are not adequately rested. I have never heard of a flight student getting uppers. The air force takes ridiculous measures in regards to crew rest and a stud should have no need for them.

Did you read my post? Of course the pills give you an edge. You wouldn't have been as alert if you didn't take them. If you don't understand that that gives you and edge over someone who hasn't popped pills then I don't know what to say. As for a student pilot not needing pills, I agree. The **** things should be banned in a training unit. A school is the last place I'd expect that sort of thing to go on.

Flak

huggy87
09-07-2005, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by flakwagen:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by huggy87:


Oh boy. Did you actually read anyone else's post? Sensei and myself have both flown fighters and sensei himself has taken the pills. Once again, they are not to give an edge. They are to get by when you are not adequately rested. I have never heard of a flight student getting uppers. The air force takes ridiculous measures in regards to crew rest and a stud should have no need for them.

Did you read my post? Of course the pills give you an edge. You wouldn't have been as alert if you didn't take them. If you don't understand that that gives you and edge over someone who hasn't popped pills then I don't know what to say. As for a student pilot not needing pills, I agree. The **** things should be banned in a training unit. A school is the last place I'd expect that sort of thing to go on.

Flak </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

There is no reason for a student to be given go pills. They have mandatory crew rest of 12 hours which the air force follows religously. If he needed any kind of medication to get through flight school he had deeper issues. I have been in this business almost 9 years and instructing for the last two. I have seen several attrites, or soon to be attrites welcome a medical reason as an excuse to get out. Believe me, it would be much easier to tell your family that the air force kicked you out because of medical reasons or a mean instructor than owning up that you either couldn't cut the mustard or no longer wanted to try.

LEXX_Luthor
09-07-2005, 07:53 PM
Lt. Doug Rollow€s gunner, Pvt. Reed Ramsey, has a different idea. He knows that the Japanese will wait until an American gunner flips his empty ammunition can overboard before closing in to attack. It takes a gunner 30 seconds to reload his weapon, and in that time, an aggressive Zero pilot can score a kill. <span class="ev_code_yellow">Ramsey flips out a beer can</span>, and a Zero dashes over, fooled. Ramsey opens fire, shreds the Zero, and sends it hurtling away.

Midway, 4 June - 2nd paragraph ~> http://www.usswashington.com/dl04ju42b.htm

Where the beer can come from?



mmm, I wonder about doctors in their 36 hour internships. The problem is the system forcing them into such fraudulent hours.


LStar::
German soldiers blitzkrieged on amphetamines. So that was Germany's secret tactic. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Max.Power
09-08-2005, 08:49 AM
I've had my hands on some ephedrine for excercizing... and I don't know if I'd want to be ground pounding in a combat situation on that stuff. It sounds like a receipe for a heart attack.

"We feel that, when the troops are storming defensive positions, their adrenalin levels are not high enough. I feel they may not be experiencing enough stress. The only sensible thing is to enhance their fear responses by feeding them amphetamines."