10 Shocking Airplane Facts Every Frequent Flyer Needs to Know About
On average, there are about 9,728 planes with 1,270,406 people in the air at any given time. That’s more than thrice the population of Iceland! There are a lot of facts about airplanes and aviation that can be mind-blowing. For example, did you know that traveling by air is safer than traveling by car? Although people, in general, are uncomfortable with flying, planes are quite safe. We have more airplane facts for you below, which we hope will alleviate your fear of flying. Keep on reading and prepare for some unique airplane facts that might surprise you!
1. Lightning Doesn’t Cause Airplane Crashes
Seeing and hearing lightning strike the plane you’re in is terrifying. However, there’s no real reason to be afraid of it. The last lightning-related accident happened in 1967, and since then, plane makers have designed models that can withstand it. That’s not to say that lightning doesn’t strike the plane anymore, which is inevitable at times. With the design of planes today, the lightning bolt only runs through the plane then leaves. The plane is left unscathed.
2. The Cabin Crew Dims the Lights for Emergency Preparedness
Anyone who’s ever boarded a plane might wonder why it’s necessary to dim the lights for take-off and landing. As it turns out, this is for adjusting the eyes of the crew to the darkness. In the event of an accident, the crew and passengers alike won’t have to fumble around even when it’s dark. The reason why the window blinds have to be up is also in case of emergencies. This way, the crew can see outside and then assess which side is safer for evacuation.
3. Flying Is the Safest Way to Travel
While the tidbit above seems a little grim, those emergencies don’t happen that often. Flying is even safer than riding in a car. Look at it this way: in 2016, a study shows the odds of getting in a plane accident was one in 11 million. In comparison, the research shows the ratio for road crashes was at one for every 5,000.
4. Planes Can Run on One Engine
Planes are so safe that their design allows them to run even only one engine is working. Also, if an engine fails while you’re up in the sky, the plane can still take you to your destination without a sweat. It will be less fuel-efficient, but it can still do the job. Moreover, most planes can also do safe landings without both engines via gliding. A Boeing 747 in 1982, for example, had to glide from 37,000 feet down to 12,000 feet when all its engines failed after the plane passed through volcanic ash.
5. Turbulence Doesn’t Usually Drop the Plane More Than a Few Feet
Turbulence is something that every passenger would not rather experience again. It even unsettles even the most frequent fliers, but it’s not something so dangerous. Most of the time, it’s only an inconvenience to the passengers and pilots. Although it might feel like the plane is dropping, turbulence only moves the aircraft up to 20 feet. In extreme and rare cases, it can move the plane 100 feet.
6. It’s Not the Airline’s Fault if the Food Tastes Bad
Many have complained about the quality of food in airplanes, but it’s not the airline’s fault most of the time. It’s the fact that being thousands of feet up in the air inside a pressurized cabin with low humidity alters the taste buds and makes food and drinks taste different. In this environment, everything will taste bland and tasteless. You’ll find it harder to detect sweetness and saltiness, so don’t blame the crew!
7. There’s a Reason Why There’s an Ashtray in the Lavatory
Smoking in airplanes is a federal offense. You can be sure that a police escort will be waiting for you on the ground when the crew finds out you’ve been smoking. This isn’t enough to ward off some people, though, as they would rather risk the safety of the plane than not have a smoke in the bathroom. These people are the reason why there are ashtrays in there even when planes forbid smoking. They should be able to dispose of their ashes and cigarette butts the proper way at the least.
8. Flying Is Greener Than You Would Think
You’d think that a metal hundreds of pounds heavy cruising through the air would be one of the top culprits of CO2 emissions. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Airplanes consuming tons of fuel only account for 2% of the Global Greenhouse Emissions. Still, that’s a lot if you think about it, which is why airlines are taking steps to be greener. Airplanes today are about 70% more efficient than the first models. Think of how they would be more efficient decades from now.
9. The Hole in the Window is for Safety Measures
Ever got curious why there’s a tiny hole in your window? It’s the breather hole that helps regulate the cabin pressure, which is one of the most interesting facts about airplanes. This is important because this pane is a fail-safe option that will keep the elements out should the outside pane breaks. Until then, it should remain intact – this is where the hole comes in. It ensures that the pressure won’t cause it to break.
10. Flying on a Private Jet is Cheaper Than Flying Business Class
The business class provides more space, a greater incline, and other benefits. However, not all people can afford it as it comes at a steep price. In some cases, it might even be cheaper to fly on a private jet. The rent for a private jet is usually per hour, which means getting a group of people to share the costs can be a cheaper way to travel. You can also buy your jet to fly anytime, but be sure to check the website of this company first.
Liked These Airplane Facts? Read More
The airplane facts above should help you feel more at ease flying on planes. But there’s more to discover! If you need more fun facts about airplanes, don’t hesitate to check out our other guides and posts. Here’s one listing 15 must-know airport hacks!