Questions Every Passenger Wants To Ask A Pilot, Answered

What Happens If The Engines Stop Working?

This is what every fearful passenger wonders. If the engine stops working, it doesn’t mean that the plane will automatically crash. In such a case, the aircraft will glide until it reaches the ground.

Planes are equipped with power backups. They are designed to keep the aircraft in the air at all costs. Don’t worry if an engine fails to work; most planes have three to five spare engines that can replace the failing one.

Can Nature Cause An Accident?

Of course, it can. Birds crashing into the turbine can be a huge problem. The bird will have no chance of surviving, and the turbine will certainly be ruined, causing huge engine failure problems to the aircraft. There have been many cases of this happening.

Lightning can also cause the plane to lose its power. However, these huge machines are designed to reconnect in a matter of minutes. Pilots believe that hailstorms are the worst natural phenomenon for planes.

Can Doors Be Opened While Flying?

Absolutely not. Doors have to stay closed during the whole flight, even emergency doors. One of the main reasons is safety, and the other is that even if someone wanted to open a door, it is impossible due to the air pressure.

While airplanes are flying high in the sky, the pressure in the air keeps the doors closed. There are only two possible ways in which doors can be opened: either the airplane is flying very close to the ground, or it lands. If the door happens to open during a flight, you will pass out because of the lack of oxygen.

How Often Do Tire Blowouts Occur?

The plane’s tires hold the whole weight of the aircraft, which might be near 38 tons. But these little ones do the job just perfectly. Pilots explain that it is very rare that a plane tire blows out.

Plane tires are six times stronger than a common car tire, as they are pumped to 200 psi. Don’t be judged by the size. No matter how small they may look, they are as strong as an ox.

Is It Possible To Break A Window?

If you think about the idea of a plane crash, you have possibly thought about broken windows. The truth is that many passengers are afraid that a window may crack at any second, and the pressure of the air would pull them out of the plane.

Let’s wipe that feeling away because there’s no chance that a window would crack. All airplane windows are designed to be tougher than a common glass window. Next time, you should choose a seat next to the window, because it won’t break.

Crashing Into Land Or Water?

Our first guess is that crashing into water might have less impact than crashing into land. But pilots, the experts on this subject, think otherwise. None of the two options are riskless, but crashing into land is far safer. If the plane lands in water, it will sink very quickly.

Many of us might have guessed that landing in water is far safer because there is no hard impact, but pilots believe the water instability would create more problems.

What Are The Chances That The Airplane Crashes?

Numbers show that the probability of crashing a plane is very low. Back in the 60s and 80s, it was a different story because there were many technical defects. However, planes are now considered to be one of the safest means of transportation.

The likelihood of an airplane crashing is so low that you don’t need to worry. The same logic applies to any other means of transport, such as a car or a bus. You can board a plane with the same positive attitude that you have while catching the train.

When Do Pilots Eat?

Many people wonder when pilots actually eat, especially if they have to be alert during the whole flight. They take turns having their special meal. This meal is special because it isn’t the same food passengers are given, and both pilots also have different food.

As tragic as it might sound, the reason for giving pilots different meals is to be prepared in case of food poisoning. The normal procedure would be to give one pilot pasta or fish and the other pilot chicken or meat. Sometimes pilots bring their own food.

Are Airplanes Equipped In Case Of Medical Emergency?

Yes, every plane is equipped with a medical kit to deal with emergencies that may arise during a flight. Even the crew is trained to deal with medical emergencies to help the passenger until a doctor takes care of them.

The crew is taught basic techniques to deal with common medical emergencies, such as CPR. Just like in the movies, passengers are lucky if a doctor or nurse is on board to volunteer to help when it’s needed.

Can A Passenger Fly A Plane?

The situation of a passenger taking over the plane is typically seen in movies. The plane is falling down, the pilot is hurt, and there is no other pilot to replace him but a passenger who has little or basic knowledge. Is this scene even possible?

A passenger landing a plane is absolutely possible. Especially modern planes, which have an automatic landing system that makes it possible for anyone to fly a plane and land it safely. If instructions are followed and the fake pilot proceeds with the utmost care, they can make it happen.

Do Airplanes Have Secret Rooms?

Unfortunately, passengers can’t have a plane tour when they get on board. In fact, they just find their seats and spot the bathroom’s location, so there is always room for wondering if there are secret places that passengers don’t know about.

The answer is yes. There are secret rooms that crew members use to get some rest during long flights. These rooms are fully equipped, as they include food and drinks, beds, and toilets. Mystery solved.

Can Pilots Play Music In The Cockpit?

Music helps a lot of people work more efficiently and is also good for relaxation. Most passengers bring their headphones to enjoy some music on the airplane. The question is whether or not pilots have the lucky chance to play music in the cockpit.

The answer is no. It is forbidden to play music in the cockpit once the plane has taken off. But there are exceptions. The only two ways pilots can listen to music are if they are waiting in the cockpit for take-off or if there are no passengers on the plane. It’s a pity they don’t get to enjoy the pleasure of good and relaxing music while flying.

Is It Risky To Fly With Turbulence?

The moment the plane starts shaking, fearful passengers imagine tragic situations. The degree of turbulence depends on the air’s tension, but don’t panic; it’s completely normal. Every pilot has to deal with turbulence.

Pilots explain that turbulence is caused when the aircraft flies through strong winds. Passengers feel uncomfortable, but it’s not dangerous. The plane won’t crash because it bounces a little bit.

What Does It Take To Become A Pilot?

In order to obtain a commercial pilot license, a pilot is required a specific amount of flight hours. Most pilots join the military, a good place to get training and knowledge. Other pilots choose to enroll in pilot schools.

And there’s more to it. Completing the required flight hours isn’t enough because pilots have to study hard to pass their exams. A pilot that earned a degree is automatically seen as a valuable asset by airlines.

Are Pilots Allowed To Have Piercings Or Beards?

There is a rule that pilots have to look as clean as possible, and that includes removing all facial hair and piercings. The main reason for this measure is safety, as facial hair can make it harder for an oxygen mask to fit, and the same thing goes for piercings.

Another reason for this is that pilots have to look clean and professional, and some may consider facial hair and piercings to be the opposite of that.

Can We Get Into The Cockpit?

Pilots always close the cockpit door and even lock it from the inside. Imagine if both pilots have an accident and suddenly faint. How can we get into the cockpit if it’s always locked?

Cockpit doors have an access code that only the crew knows about. In case any out-of-the-ordinary situation happens inside the cockpit, a flight attendant knows the code and can open the door. Pilots have a camera to see who is at the door and decide if they want to open it or not.

Is It Necessary To Switch Cell-Phones Onto Airplane Mode?

Passengers always wonder what could happen if they leave their phones connected to the network. Indeed, it is highly important to have cell phones on airplane mode. It is the responsible thing to do.

All passengers should understand that they can live without their phones for a few hours and turn the airplane mode on to avoid any sort of interference. Nowadays, planes have loads of movies, music, and even games to enjoy yourself while onboard.

Where Does The Toilet Waste Go?

Airplane toilets make a loud noise when you press the flush button. This alarming sound makes people wonder if toilet waste drops into the ocean. Fortunately, and for the sake of the ocean, it doesn’t.

Believe it or not, the toilet waste runs into pipes and ends in a waste tank inside the plane. After the flight is over, all waste is dropped into a truck. Finally, the truck and the plane are sanitized.

Is It Complicated To Start A Plane?

The whole process from starting the engine of the plane to its take-off is complex. However, technology has made it a lot easier, and nowadays, everything is sorted out by just pushing a button.

Even though developments in technology have made the job simpler, pilots will always have to know when and how to use the technology at hand. Pilots have to be careful in every step of the way to achieve complete success.

How Many Pilots Board On A Plane?

Nowadays, planes do most of the work, and pilots just need to press buttons and be alert. However, one pilot in the cockpit isn’t enough, not even for short flights. A pilot may need a replacement at any time.

The number of pilots highly depends on the length of the flight. In long flights, there might be at least four pilots on board. In short flights, you can find just two pilots. The purpose of having two to four pilots is to give each other time to rest and nap.

Is It Correct To Applaud Once The Airplane Lands?

Any fearful passenger feels relieved once the airplane lands and all passengers are safe and sound. It is also a way to thank the crew for their hard work. After all, they deserve applause.

The truth is that it is not mandatory to applaud the crew. Pilots perform their jobs just as much as any ship captain and bus driver, and they don’t get any ovation for doing their work. However, applauding is a symbol of having done a great job, and pilots are thankful for it.

Are Pilots In Training Capable Of Flying?

Surprisingly, pilots who are still in training are capable of flying an airplane. In fact, they fly planes that carry both objects and passengers while in training. Of course, a pilot’s actions in training are overseen by a superior, as they have to reach certain hours of flight time.

Pilots operate planes once they have passed all exams. First, they practice in simulations. And only after completing the part of the training that gives them all the tools they need to face a real-life situation can they fly real planes.

Are Pilots Allowed To Fly Any Plane?

Once you learn how to drive a car and obtain a driver’s license, you can drive any car because they all work the same way. The same logic applies to pilots flying airplanes.

Even though pilots need special licenses to drive different kinds of planes, the general rule is that all planes have virtually the same controls. In their training, they study all types of planes and their features.

Born On A Plane: What Citizenship Do Babies Have?

Obstetricians always recommend that women who are 36 weeks pregnant do not board a plane. However, some babies decide to come early and change all plans. When this situation takes place, everyone wonders what citizenship the baby will have.

There are multiple possibilities. Parents tend to give their babies their nationality, but there’s always the chance for the baby to have the citizenship of the country the plane was flying over when they were born. Also, the baby gets the nationality of the country the airplane is landing in.

Why Does Plane Food Taste Weird?

Passengers are always looking forward to eating during the flight. As hungry as they may be, the reality is that the food on a plane doesn’t have much flavor. This is because there are no chefs on board, and the process of feeding so many people at the same time has to be simplified.

Scientifically speaking, there is another explanation for the lack of taste in the food that is served on a plane. Scientists claim that, when flying at high altitudes, the part of our tongue that deals with taste turns insensitive.

Can Pilots Bring Anything Into The Cockpit?

The concept of a sterile cockpit is a strict rule that all airlines have to follow. Therefore, pilots can’t bring any random object, like personal belongings or even a coffee mug. They must use the airplane’s headset, as they can’t bring their own.

This rule is so strict that pilots are only allowed to bring what’s necessary to perform their jobs, so it’s very limited. For example, they can’t have a cushion to give their backs some relief and support. The rule aims to ensure the flight is as safe as possible.

Do Pilots Have To Speak English?

English is a worldwide language, and many people imagine that pilots have to speak one of the most spoken languages on Earth. Although the majority of pilots speak English, it is not a requirement, and it highly depends on the airline they work for.

If they work for a Brazilian airline, they speak Portuguese. In Canada, pilots speak mostly French on board. Even though English is the international language, most pilots stick to the language of the airline, which is usually their mother tongue.

Can Pilots Sleep During Flights?

The answer is yes. Though pilots can’t sleep throughout the whole flight, they can take a nap. Otherwise, it would be impossible to stay awake during long flights. A pilot who wants to rest for a couple of hours will be replaced by another pilot, and they usually sleep in bunk beds.

Apart from bunk-bed sleeping, pilots also have controlled rest. In this way, a pilot takes a short nap that can last up to 45 minutes. They rest for a short period and then return to work with more energy. These naps are scheduled beforehand by both pilots.

What’s The Meaning Of Red And Green Lights?

The wings of airplanes have red and green lights that have a purpose, and we are going to find it out. Even though some people may have thought that these lights are merely decorative, they are extremely important because they alert other airplanes.

These lights serve the purpose of letting another pilot know the plane’s direction. Together with radar technology and constant communication with the Control Center, the green and red lights avoid possible collisions.

What Is The Real Purpose Of Having Ashtrays In Planes?

Everybody knows that it is forbidden to smoke on airplanes. Still, they have ashtrays installed. The reason is very simple: there’s always the possibility that someone might break the rules and light a cigarette. In case they do, they have a place to deposit the ashes.

Flight attendants always have to be on alert in case this situation happens and act accordingly. Before 1990, smokers were allowed to light a cigarette on the plane. Fortunately, it is now prohibited by law.