To Fly or Not to Fly

Hello folks, good to be on this forum as there certainly is a lot of information here. I do have a question that I cannot really get a "real" answer from anyone. Hopeful there may be a Dr. viewing these boards and can provide some insight.

Can people with brain aneurysms fly? Now I know and believe they can fly commercially in pressurized cabins, but how about general aviation airplanes, such as that of private people like me. I still do not know how if any, that air pressure at certain altitudes have an effect on brain aneurysms, since theoretically blood vessels are "sealed" or fluid filled and not hollow, as like in your ears, where you'd feel pressure discomfort whether ascending or descending altitudes.

I am itching to get some information whether it would not make any difference, so that I can resume flying with my peers and not worrying about the aneurysm rupturing because I am up aloft. Normally I do not fly higher than 5000 ft MSL, and most small aircraft are not pressurized.This is talking about Cessna's, etc.

Another interesting fact I found out, is that on commercial jet-liners, they set their ambient air-pressure at 10,000 ft MSL cabin pressure and that is what it is on when you are flying cruise altitudes above 30 - 40,000 ft MSL.

Can anyone, or a physician remark to this?

Most appreciated, and thanks to a helpful forum.



my husband was just in dr last week and found out he needs to be re-coiled soon because of impaction. He has a business trip this week so we asked dr about it and they said he will be fine since it is flying commercially in pressurized cabins. So maybe this info will help!? Good Luck!

I don't have an answer for you but we are about to move to Hawaii next month. I just found out about my aneurysm. My neurologist is aware of us flying there and did not say anything about it. I might ask though. The thing that scares me about flying is if the aneurysm were to rupture then I could not get immediate medical care. Would the airplane turn around if need be to save someones life?


As a pilot myself and my wife a suvivor of a ruptured aneruysm, I can't see how the aircraft environment could affect the aneruysm. The pressure you feel is in the ear canals and sinus as it readjust to the changing air pressure. I would not hesitate to have my wife fly at all, except for the terminal pat-downs which are a different story. Also, on a different site I was conversing with a person that had the same reservations as you. This person had absolutely no problems at all and enjoyed the flight.

Hello Ed,

Thanks for your input. I have held off flying for over 2 years now since being diagnosed, and I am very upset about the fact that I have grounded myself and those years are gone by when I could be up there enjoying every aspect of what I love and I am still fine today.

I was just hearing different rumors that you should not fly if you have an aneurysm due to the fact of rapid pressure changes of ascent and descent. But what baffles me, is the fact that and as mentioned above by Karie, that the Dr. says it is fine to fly commercially, and for fact I know that the airlines set the cabin pressure altitude to 10,000 ft MSL and that is high if you ask me. So I am just confused, because 3 -4000 ft that I usually fly is bare minimal of the high altitude of over 10,000 ft.

Think of it as a bag of chips, put it in your airplane and fly 10, 12,000 ft MSL and you will see the bag inflate, and this is what I think an aneurysm would do too, to an extent then rupture.

Anyhow, glad your wife is fine, and hope I can find some peace to all this so I can just resume my life and live it without worrying, and best part, flying.



Petra, yes they will!

As a pilot myself, we are obligated to make safety for every passenger on board on any aircraft as pilot -in-command, or as acting crew member of that flight.

Thus, if an emergency arises, we are to follow protocol and regulation as pilot-in-command, or as crew member of that flight, to take action for the safety of the passenger(s) (in your scenario case) - however, it also depends on where you are and how quick diversion can be made in such a critical nature of time, and meaning diversion and emergency protocol will be made. If you're over the Pacific somewhere, your chances are not in your favor, since Hawaii and to the mainland is a vast distance.

But again, this is just a worse case scenario and I highly doubt anything will happen and you'll be on your way just fine.

Hope this eases some worries about flying for you.



Thank you Karie,

My question is geared more towards small airplanes, not the pressurized commercial airliners.

Thanks nonetheless,



My sister suffered a ruptured PICA aneurysm and was transported via air ambulance from SC to NY with abolutely no issues. Her aneurysm had not been surgically corrected at the time and we were definitely concerned about rerupture but were advised by Drs that my sister would do just fineā€¦and thankfully she is now close to her family and going through intensive rehab and progressing nicely.

Michael, thanks that makes me feel better knowing they would do their best to get me the care I need in the fastest way possible if anything were to happen. I am guessing if flying was a problem for aneurysms the neurologist would warn me. I am originally from Sweden, my whole family is there, and thinking of that 10 hour flight over the Atlantic Ocean makes me nervous, no land in sight and no fast help : (

I hope you can assume flying again. Have you asked your neurologist about it? I hate that knowing about my aneurysm can prevent me from living life the way I would have would I not have known.