Let’s talk about flying and airline secrets again. We have discussed both airline facts and myths as well as airline food, how to survive airport layover and long flight. However, there is always more to this amazing topic. Airline industry is holding many secrets. While some of them are well known, others are kept secret and only seldom revealed by pilots or cabin crew members.
Here are some best kept secrets we managed to find for this post.
- You should never flush the toilet while sitting on it. The reason is quite simple actually – an aircraft toilet has enough force to suck much more, than you’d expect. Some say it may even crush your bones! No wonder there are warning signs. Good thing is that flush button is usually located behind your back, so it’s difficult to reach it without standing up.
- Airbus A320 is known to have routine cockpit power outages. The scary truth is not all of them have been fixed!
- Planes with failed engines can still glide for a really long time. One friend, who used to work as a pilot, told me if both engines fail, a plane can glide 6 nautical miles for every 5000 feet. So at 35,000 feet, a plane can glide about 42 miles without power. Makes sense, that most accidents happen during take off and landings.
- Airplanes have horns. Pilots use them to notify a ground crew in noisy environment.
- Only a certain amount of paint is allowed on an airplane. On average, not more than 2-3 coats of paint in used, as the paint adds to the weight of the aircraft. The paint on a Boeing 747 weighs 1200 pounds (544.31 kg).
- Airplanes take off and land AGAINST the wind direction. That’s surprising for most of us, as it seems logical to use the wind, not fight against it. However, flying opposite to winds ensures maximum lift on the wings thus allowing the aircraft to move quicker in air than its ground speed and take off!
- Although planes are equipped with reverse thrust, pushing themselves behind out of the terminal would create a wind strong enough to shatter all the glasses of the terminal. Therefore, tow tugs are used to push the aircraft out of terminals.
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the oldest airline still operating under the same name.
Airline Secrets – Pilots
- Sometimes pilots tend to forget about the fasten seat belt sign. You will know this, if you notice the sign has been on for the last 45 minutes in smooth air. Some captains will leave it on all the time.
- Some pilots carry guns. It should be no secret to anyone, as Federal Flight Deck Officers can carry a firearm in the cockpit by law. In order to do so, they need to go through training, so there is nothing to worry about.
- Pilots rarely use most of all the switched and buttons in the cockpit. Most of the buttons and switched are for emergency. Pilots mainly use them during the simulator training. Some of those of those “buttons” found in a cockpit are circuit breakers, mainly used by service personnel while checking certain systems.
- The most common delay is 45-minutes. Whenever there is a mechanical delay, the pilots usually tell passengers, that initially it would be 45 minutes, although they are never sure how long it would actually take. Apparently an hour is too long for an average person and 15-30 minutes would fly by too soon and passengers would start to get annoyed if it took longer.
- Flight recorders only record the last 30 minute of cockpit voice data. So all personal talk stops half an hour before landing, just in case.
- Commercial pilots are paid for the number of hours they fly and not on the monthly basis. Time on the ground (including delays) are not paid.
Air travel trivia
- Airport control tower windows are tilted out at exactly fifteen degrees from the vertical to minimize reflections from both inside and outside the control tower.
- The world’s longest flight is between Sydney and Dallas
- In case you run into problems while entering the country, it’s the airlines responsibility to fly you back.
- The good news is that 95.7 percent of people involved in plane crashes survive.
- Consider yourself lucky if you can afford to fly! Only 5% of the world’s population has ever traveled by plane.
- Flying dehydrates the body. On a three hour flight, the human body can lose up to 1.5 quarts of water.
- British princes Charles and William never fly on the same aircraft.
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