What is a ‘red-out’ and how is it caused?

Red-outs and black-outs usually happen to pilots making rather tight manoeuvres. If the plane makes a tight turn in a certain direction, blood is ‘left behind’ and rushes to the lower parts of the body. Without enough oxygen in the brain the pilot can even pass out; this is called a black-out. If the plane makes a sharp turn downwards, the opposite happens and blood rushes to the pilot’s head. All the blood vessels expand painfully and everything looks redder to the pilot; this is called a red-out.

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