15 Aviation Facts That May Surprise Even the Most Experienced Travelers
During the warm season, we really want to travel. And it’s really easy to do so— a couple of clicks and you have the plane ticket! And while you’re watching Netflix at 30,000 feet, a special sort of magic will happen in the cockpit.
CHEERY is going to tell you what is actually happening on planes when they fly. The facts from today’s compilation will let you feel like a true aviation pro and enjoy your time on board as much as possible.
- Planes rarely fly with their tanks full. When planning the flight, the itinerary, weather conditions, and number of passengers are taken into account. A plane with a full tank is much heavier, so it can take fewer people. Obviously, aviation companies want their planes full.
- During transatlantic flights, the crew can rest in a special room. It’s right behind the cockpit. The walls are covered with a material that makes the room soundproof. There’s a comfortable bed with a pillow and blanket, and a lamp for reading. The room is used only when there are 3 pilots on the flight.
- During ordinary commercial flights, autopilot is used for up to 90% of the time. Only during take off, pilots are in full manual control. The rest of the time, they rely on technology. Some modern planes can even land automatically.
- Every plane has a George. It’s what they name autopilot. The crew can say something like, “George is flying the plane now.” It means that autopilot is on.
- It’s not a joke. There are pigs working at the airport. In Amsterdam, there is a project aimed to decrease the number of collisions with birds. They hired 20 animals. The pigs eat the leftover sugar beets that geese and other birds like so much. This way, the area around the airport becomes less attractive for birds and safer for travelers.
- Pilots eat up in the air. When the plane goes into the autopilot mode, pilots can eat. They do it in turns to make sure there’s always a pilot who can take control.
- It’s likely that pilots on a flight work together for the first time. That shouldn’t worry you. All pilots with no exception are trained according to the same standards, so they always work together like a good team even if they have never met each other before.
- Pilots usually get hotel rooms on top floors because they are quieter. For this profession, good rest is extremely important.
- American pilots are not allowed to have beards. Facial hair might look unkempt, and it’s not good for aviation. There’s another reason why pilots should be well-shaved: oxygen masks. At high altitudes, pilots often put them on, and beards might not allow it to be a snug fit. Outside the US, the rules are not that strict, so you might see pilots with mustaches and well-kept beards.
- To avoid confusion with similar sounding consonants, pilots use their own alphabet: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.
- Pilots pronounce most numbers normally with these exceptions: Zero (0) is always “zero,” not “oh.” Three becomes “tree,” five becomes “fife,” and nine becomes “niner.”
- Drinking tap water on planes is dangerous for health. Recent studies found microorganisms in the water, including the total coliform bacteria. Scientists recommend drinking bottled drinks instead of tea and coffee. Also, don’t wash your hands on the plane, but use a sanitizer instead.
- It’s better not to take off your shoes on the plane, or you might catch a fungal infection. Cleaners only have 15-20 minutes between the flights, and deep cleaning is only done once every 4-6 weeks.
- Besides, it’s not safe to take shoes off, because they might hinder evacuation. And it’s easy to leave the place if you have good shoes on your feet.
- According to statistics, lightning hits every plane more than once a year. Fortunately, modern planes can take a lightning hit. All you can see is a flash and some noise, but nothing serious will happen.
Where are you going this summer? Which part of the flight you’ll never forget and why?