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Flying Tonight?

If you’re planning to fly anywhere in the foreseeable future, you may want to take in some of these unusual pieces of flying information. Hopefully they will make you much more knowledgeable about the air industry, and hopefully they won’t make you the most annoying person on your flight when you insist on telling everyone these true, interesting flying information facts…

Your taste buds don’t work

Most of us have sampled the delights of airline food and proclaimed; “It doesn’t taste of anything!” Well there is a good reason for this. Your taste buds are affected by the fast-changing air pressure and you are also breathing-in dry cabin air which causes the nasal mucus membranes to dry. This can lead to a 30% reduction in your ability to taste. Oh, and the food might also taste like corrugated cardboard, which doesn’t help.

Cry like you mean it

With the changes to your body and lower air-pressure affecting you in ways we don’t fully understand, the situation can change your mood, personality, behaviour and cognitive functioning. Even Ed Sheeran admitted to busting into tears on a plane while watching Forrest Gump, even though he’s not a big fan of the movie. Funnily enough, we’ve burst in to tears listening to some of Ed Sheeran’s songs, and we weren’t even ON a plane! Anyway, be prepared to let your emotions get the better of you once you get up in the air…

You can’t get locked in the toilet

Flying information fact; Even if you wanted to, you cannot get locked in the toilet on an aeroplane, as there’s a special little catch on the door to stop it happening. Have you ever seen the flight staff just before take-off flick a switch or something on the toilet door? They are just making sure they can get to you quickly if they suspect you are having a ‘thrombo’, a crafty cig, or planning an amorous get-together with a fellow passenger you’ve just met from Denmark.

Flying information
The door to adventure!

Pilots don’t eat the same food

No, it’s not because they have different tastes – although that may well be true. It’s so that if one portion of food makes a pilot ill, the other shouldn’t be affected. If both pilots ate the same food and then were both ill, don’t worry – there’s still google at hand with info on how to drive the plane!

It’s impossible to die on a plane!

No, we are not making this up. On the very rare occasion that someone keels over, the flight crew cannot declare a person dead for legal reasons. Normally, they move the body to an empty row – which is usually in first class of course. Now don’t go getting any of your silly ideas!!

Screw this

There are real guidelines for how many screws can be missing. Yes, you heard that correctly – your plane can take off with screws missing! That’s why we always pencil in a trip to B&Q before a holiday flight, just in case I have to send the wife out on to the wing to put a few screws in once we’re up in the air. A screw-driver would also be handy, but you guessed it, they usually get taken off us at security! Typical.

Flying information
Red sky at night, Shepherd’s delight, Screws missing from your plane, that’s a shame!

Fly in the morning

If you’re scared of flying, then it’s best to fly in the morning. The heating of the ground later causes bumpier air and it’s also much more likely to thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening.

Phones are not a risk on planes

Phones are no risk whatsoever on a plane. Not unless you play music really loud on one, then you’re at risk of getting a slap in the face from the irate passenger opposite who’s feeling very emotional about everything.

* Prices correct at time of posting.

4 COMMENTS

  1. The toilet doors get locked at takeoff and landing to stop them flapping about if its a rough landing or takeoff which mught just knock them oepna nd share the $#!t out of someone not actually sitting on the throne.

    I think this article woudl benefit from a citation or two, specifically about the crew not being legally allowed to pronounce you dead. Technically if tehre is a doctor on board, they could do it, but the flight crew usually are not licenced medical practitioners, so lack the training, expertise, qualification to legally pronounce death. Also, I thing it would be great if you could provide more information on why phones are supposed to be in airline mode before inciting everyone to start snapchatting at 35000 ft.

  2. It is extremely iresponsible to make the ststment that “Phones are not a risk on planes” EMC con affect electronics and altough there is no evidence that a aircraft has crashed as a result of mobile phone operation it is a risk.

    Electromagnetic interference

    Electromagnetic interference to aircraft systems is a common argument offered for banning mobile phones (and other passenger electronic devices) on planes. Theoretically, active radio transmitters such as mobile phones, walkie–talkies, portable computers or gaming devices may interfere with the aircraft. Non-transmitting electronic devices also emit electromagnetic radiation, although typically at a lower power level, and could also theoretically affect the aircraft electronics. Collectively, any of these may be referred to as portable electronic devices (PEDs).

    A NASA publication[10] details the fifty most recent reports to the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) regarding “avionics problems that may result from the influence of passenger electronic devices.” The nature of these reports varies widely. Some merely describe passengers’ interactions with flight crews when asked to stop using an electronic device. Other reports amount to crews reporting an anomaly experienced at the same time a passenger was witnessed using a mobile phone. A few reports state that interference to aircraft systems was observed to appear and disappear as that particular suspect device was turned on and off. One entry in the ASRS, designated ACN: 440557,[11] reports a clear link where a passenger’s DVD player induced a 30-degree error in the display of the aircraft’s heading, each time the player was switched on. However, this report dates back to 1999 and involves a Boeing 727, an old type of aircraft that is no longer in use by airlines today.

    A 2003 study[12] involved three months of testing with RF spectrum analyzers and other instruments aboard regular commercial flights, and one passage reads:

    …our research has found that these items can interrupt the normal operation of key cockpit instruments, especially Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, which are increasingly vital to safe landings. Two different studies by NASA further support the idea that passengers’ electronic devices dangerously produce interference in a way that reduces the safety margins for critical avionics systems.

    There is no smoking gun to this story: there is no definitive instance of an air accident known to have been caused by a passenger’s use of an electronic device. Nonetheless, although it is impossible to say that such use has contributed to air accidents in the past, the data also make it impossible to rule it out completely. More importantly, the data support a conclusion that continued use of portable RF-emitting devices such as cell phones will, in all likelihood, someday cause an accident by interfering with critical cockpit instruments such as GPS receivers. This much is certain: there exists a greater potential for problems than was previously believed.

    A 2000 study by the British Civil Aviation Authority[13] found that a mobile phone, when used near the cockpit or other avionics equipment location, will exceed safety levels for older equipment (compliant with 1984 standards). Such equipment is still in use, even in new aircraft. Therefore, the report concludes, the current policy, which restricts the use of mobile phones on all aircraft while the engines are running, should remain in force.

    Critics of the ban doubt that small battery-powered devices would have any significant influence on a commercial jetliner’s shielded electronic systems. Safety researchers Tekla S. Perry and Linda Geppert point out that shielding and other protections degrade with increasing age, cycles of use, and even some maintenance procedures, as is also true of the shielding in PEDs, including mobile phones.[12]

    Several reports argue both sides of the issue in the same article; on the one hand they highlight the lack of definite evidence of mobile phones causing significant interference, while on the other hand they point out that caution in maintaining restrictions on using mobile phones and other PEDs in flight is the safer course to take.[4][9][14]
    The debate on other issues
    Social resistance to mobile phone use on flights

    Many people may prefer a ban on mobile phone use in flight as it prevents undue amounts of noise from mobile phone chatter. AT&T has suggested that in-flight mobile phone restrictions should remain in place in the interests of reducing the nuisance to other passengers caused by someone talking on a mobile phone near them.[6]
    Competition for airlines’ in-flight phone service

    Skeptics of the ban have suggested that the airlines support the ban because they do not want passengers to have an alternative to the in-flight phone service such as GTE’s Airfone.[15] Andy Plews a spokesman for UAL’s United Airlines was quoted as saying “We don’t believe it’s a good safety issue”…”We’d like people to use the air phones.”[16]

  3. People tend to forget that you are not in a car, moving between cells . Imagine an A380, full, flying across Europe – every phone trying to log on as it hurtles from cell to cell. ‘Welcome to Hungary Roami…’’ Welcome to Budapest….’. The phones would barely have time to log in before they were on another cell – and 500+ trying to do it at the same time….
    Probably make the system crash – and that’s just one aircraft – over somewhere like London or Frankfurt, Paris etc there could be, literally thousands of passengers all trying to update their Instagram or whatever. No, won’t work.
    Finally, having flown airliners for almost 45 years, worldwide, the only experience I have had of mobile phone interference was with radio communication with ATC- noises which made it hard to hear, buzzing and clicking etc. Cabin address to ask everyone to check phones selected off, problem seemed to resolve. And the last time it happened was probably at least 10 years ago – technology has advanced – on both sides of the cockpit door.

  4. I think it’s probably safe to use them once in flight, but there’s a potential problem, you will be passing over cells faster than they can connect to you and then pass you on to the next cell, so your call may get chopped up into little short bursts interspersed with breaks as you are handed on. There’s not a lot of point keeping one on during landing as the cells nearest the airport could get jumped by a couple of hundred phones trying to connect at the instant the plane comes into range.

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