We have assessed the performance of the Dräger Oxylog ventilator at high altitude using a decompression chamber and a lung simulator set to mimic the normal and non-compliant lung. In the normal lung, tidal volume increased by 28% at 2040 metres and by 106% at 9120 metres. A lesser change, but in the opposite direction, occurred in respiratory rate. The net effect was a linear increase in minute volume with altitude. At 2040 and 9144 metres minute volume increased by 13% and by 45%, and rate decreased by 10% and 30% respectively. In the abnormal lung stimulation, similar, but slightly less marked, changes occurred in all variables. These changes are of sufficient magnitude to require frequent observation of tidal volume and respiratory rate during aircraft ascent and descent.