The pandemic has made many things harder and one of it is definitely travelling. Remember the times we had to wake up at 4am for an international flight? The times where the queue to check in our luggage takes 1 hour? Or the sweet, sweet announcement that our gate is finally open? Maybe being squeezed in the middle seat or having our flight delayed for hours upon hours wasn't as fun, but it sure is missed.
So, as our vaccines start arriving in our country, and our economy is (hopefully) going up while the infection numbers go down, here are a few fun facts you probably did not know about flying and airplanes:
1. Pilots & Co-pilots Have Different Meals
It's not a must-follow rule but many airlines practice it. When flying the same flight, pilots and co-pilots are given different in-flight meals just in case one of the meals has been compromised. You probably don't want your cockpit to be empty just because both pilot are having tummy aches!
2. Please Open Your Window Shades & Keep Your Tray tables
Isn't it annoying to be woken up before landing so that you can open up the window shades? Why do we need to do it though. Not to get you scared, but most flight incidents happen during the takeoff and landing process. Opening the window shades allow passengers and crew members to keep an eye outside in case anything happens, while tray tables are stowed away so that in case of emergency, nothing is in the way when passengers need to escape.
3. Lights On Lights Off
If you pay attention, the lights of the plane will be turned to maximum brightness during takeoff and landing for a day flight, and it will be dimmed to the minimum for a night flight. This, together with the opening of window shades, are to help the people on the plane to get accustomed to the brightness or darkness. For example, if something happened during a night flight and all the lights went off, we would all be practically blind for a few seconds before our eyes get used to the dark, and those few seconds saved could mean lives being saved.
4. Red Light, Green Light
We know planes have lights on the outside, we've seen them in the night sky as they fly across us. But, did you know that there will always be a red light on the left wing and the green light on the right wing? This is to help pilots tell the direction of other planes if they encounter them in the sky. If you see a set of "red --- green" lights, that means the other plane is flying away from you, if you see a set of "green --- red" lights, you'd probably want to get on the radio.
5. Do Planes Really Need Engines
If it helps to calm some nerves about flying, planes are built with plenty of tolerance for extreme conditions and pilots are prefectly trained to handle most situations we could think of. In the case where an engine fails during or after takeoff, most commercial planes can actually continue flying with one engine. In the even more unlikely event where both engines fail, planes and pilots are capable of landing without them.
So, miss flying yet? Hopefully, you've enjoyed these fun facts about planes and flying and have learned something new. The next time you go to the airport or board a plane, do keep an eye out for these things!