G-Force, Jerk, and Passing Out In A Centrifuge

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Thanks to the Starrship team for arranging this! I’m also over on their channel, flying with the Blades: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWY3-1gOrxk • At the Royal Air Force training centrifuge in Farnbrough, pilots learn how to avoid G-LOC: g-induced loss of consciousness. Let’s talk about g-force, about jerk, and about how to keep circulation flowing to your brain.


* Isn’t 3.6g a really low g-tolerance? *
Yep. Turns out I would not qualify to be a fighter pilot. The average range for g-tolerance is 4-6; no-one was expecting me to pass out. The centrifuge team do not deliberately try to G-LOC people! To be fair, though, I’d done a few earlier runs with only minor effects.

* What g was the RAF person at the start pulling? *
That’s Marcus, from the Starrship team, and he was successfully pulling 6.5g with the help of g-trousers: they plug into a compressed air source in the plane (and in the centrifuge) and act as a lower-body tourniquet to keep the blood up top. They are very effective.

* Why did you shake and shudder when regaining consciousness? *
Those are called “myoclonic convulsions”, which is a fancy medical term for “muscle jerks”, and they’re a common side effect of recovering from G-LOC.

* What did it feel like? *
I’ll answer this in more detail in a video over on the Matt and Tom channel soon, but in short: I don’t remember it. I was doing the breathing maneuver, then everything was wobbly, then we were stopped!

* Is this a sponsored video? *
No: the RAF and Starrship had no editorial control over this, and no money changed hands. Obviously, though, they gave me a spin in the centrifuge, and I’m collaborating with them over on their channel too!

The RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine, the Starrship team, and the folks at Qinetiq.

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33 Responses

  1. Tom Scott says:

    If you have questions (what did it feel like? why did you convulse? isn't 3.6g a really low tolerance?) pull down the description, I've answered a few there! And if you see someone ask a question that's in the description, please point them there.

  2. Finders Bleepers says:

    I had the windows XP shut down theme in my head for some reason.

  3. K0nst4nt1n96 says:

    Looked like your brain did a post on self test like a computer booting up.

  4. kloosmitsoos xD says:

    I know how 5g feels hahahah i thought my legs are gonna explode

  5. kloosmitsoos xD says:

    I mean 5 g are eazy

  6. 晋三安倍 says:


  7. Earthworm Jim says:

    I Came Here For Jerk Chicken, Yet I Found Nothing….

  8. SCP 173 alternate account says:

    I’m getting dizzy

  9. Snakey Mations says:

    I release 25 gs when I have bowel movements

  10. Snakey Mations says:

    We didn’t evolve at all.


  11. Daisy is a gryphon says:

    I have a G tolerance of 10.2.

  12. TheJwwinter says:

    Would an ant or a cat on that seat feel the Gs ?

  13. Brandon Walters says:

    I must try somehow

  14. Chrnan6710 says:

    3:34 reminds me of trying to start a car in the cold

  15. TheCookieJar says:


  16. HoldShiftt2Run says:

    I would hate to sit in the middle as well.

  17. Sid Filips says:

    Hey i have been in a rolling coaster last night and i felt the g force

  18. Peter Houle says:

    upon exiting the centrifuge, you could have pulled a Solo and flipped the monitor a "space quid" and muttered "sorry about the mess".

  19. Peter Houle says:

    the RAF uses lots of breakfast cereal terms. I've just enjoyed myself a bowl of Jerks before watching this, as a matter of joke.

  20. BeGarbled says:


  21. Arich Manas says:

    To be fair, acceleration is the rate of change of velocity, not speed

  22. Kingseeker 1089 says:

    I thought it said "Jerking off, passing out in a centrifuge"

  23. Tiago Miranda says:

    Tom went from Tom Scott to White Scott, to Red Scott, and back to Tom Scott.

  24. Windoof 10 says:

    Nice Thumbnail 😀

  25. Norlex says:

    Actually the highest g's that a person has ever sustained is 214G

  26. Anonymous says:

    3:20 some one make this a GIF

  27. DragonGirl14332 AJ says:

    I can’t quite see, ah.

  28. Lunicat Gaming says:

    Only around 3.8g is when you passed out, I did 5 and I didn’t pass out

  29. last guard says:

    Even this thing looks soo dangerous and scary ı cant even imagine beeing a jet pilot god bless all pilots

  30. DMNX says:

    I blackout when I get up from bed…

  31. Bohg says:

    The thumbnail and title make its sound and look like a porno

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