Flying is exciting. Something about the thrill of hurtling through space really, really fast can reduce a grown man to giddiness. Flying also provokes a barrage of questions, often fired at the crew like only a five year old can do. These are all good questions and we are going to attempt to answer some of the most common ones.
Visions of people flying out of the plane while oxygen masks descend from the ceiling and the plane starts to collapse like a tin can from the pressure. These are panic inducing visions but rest assured, it is extremely unlikely. It is nearly impossible for even a really strong man to open a plane door while in flight. The pressure inside the cabin is much higher than outside of the plane, and plane doors open inward. Think of it like a drain plug, where the pressure of the water keeps the plug pressed down into the drain. So, no worries-you aren’t going be sucked out of the plane into free fall.
How do you start a plane?
Do you pump the gas and turn the key? Is there a security code you have to punch in? It turns out, there is a little bit more to it. Watch this video to see all the steps in starting a plane.
Do the pilots and crew sleep on a long flight?
Yes, they do. Longer flights have a relief pilot and really long flights can have a whole separate crew. Some planes have a separate area for the crew to rest, and some designate a section of seats either in first class or the business section for the pilot and other crew to rest.
Do airplane pilots and crew eat during a flight?
Yes, they can eat. They also take breaks to rest as well. Sometimes they are served the same, or variations of the same meal, that the passengers are served or they bring their own food. Storage space is limited on a place and there are liquid restrictions, so they have to consider that when planing their sack lunch. A little fun fact is that pilots often don’t eat the same food on a flight to avoid food poisoning. It would be a pretty difficult situation if both pilots of a plane got violently ill at the same time. Yikes!
No, airplane toilets are not emptied into the sky to rain down on the unsuspecting people below. As part of the pre-flight check, it is the ground crew’s job to ensure that the toilet tanks are empty. They are designed to hold the amount they need to for the length of flight planned. If for some really rare reason they did get full, or were inoperable, the pilot would consider that an emergency and would most likely land the plane if it was not close enough to the destination to ensure the comfort of the passengers. Whew, feel better now?
If you are on vacation and get seriously injured or sick, you may need to be transported home via a medical transport. As you can imagine, this could be very expensive. Most health insurance plans will not cover it and most travel insurance plans have significant limitations. This could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. An estimated medic trip from London to New York could cost close to $100k and New York to Los Angeles could cost $50k. So, what do you do to make sure you are covered if this happens? This is a shameless plug here, but it is very important to have a plan for these scenarios.
Don’t have a plan?…