If you thought you knew all about turbulence, safety and the food on board a plane then you might be pleasantly surprised by the insider knowledge a pilot might be able to offer.Even the most frequent of fliers might not know that morning flights tend to be smoother while some bumpy landings are deliberately hard for safety reasons.And for the paranoid fliers, it’s probably best not to know that pilots sleep during flights and a plane gets struck by lightning around once a year.
As users onQuorahave revealed, some of the things that pilots won’t tell you are the very things you wish you knew.
Sometimes planes become faulty.
Although we’d like to think that planes never fail, especially when we’re on board, they actually experience asurprising number of faults.Reported technical failures have included cockpit power outages, battery failures and even planes being flown with just half of its engines working.In most cases however, the faults are fixed before the flight or manages to smooth out over the course of the flight.
The landing may be deliberately bumpy
Almost all fliers will have experienced a bumpy landing at some point, but it’s not always down to the misjudgment of the pilot.There are times when the pilot has to land particularly hard to prevent the plane skidding. In particular, when it’s raining, the plane needs to land hard enough to break the pane of the water on the runway.However, since almost half of all accidents and fatalities occurs during the landing stages of the flight, youcould be right to be worried.
Pilots sleep during the flight.
It’s alarming to think that your pilot might be asleep at the same time as you but it does happen.In 2012, a pilots’ union survey revealed that more than half of the pilots reported that they’ve fallen asleep while flying a plane.While this is worrying to hear, there are instances when pilots are permitted to take rest breaks – for example, if their co-pilot is in charge.Captain Piers Applegarth, a representative of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), told MailOnline: ‘Generally flights less than about 10 hours and 30 minutes only carry two pilots. For longer flights extra pilots are carried so that each pilot can have a chance to sleep and be rested for the landing
Flights are smoothest in the morning
If you’re worried about turbulence, a morning flight is your best bet.Most thunderstorms are reported in the afternoon and generally clear overnight, meaning there’s less windy weather to contend with.Cooler temperatures also help as hot air rising from the ground can make a flight bumpier.
Pilots eat different meals
Airline pilots will probably never complain about the food served on board because they are never served the same reheated dishes as the passengers in economy.Instead, they are either allocated meals specifically designed for the crew or whatever the business class passengers are having. Some pilots also bring their own food on board.To reduce the risk of food poisoning, the captain and the co-pilot usually choose different meals.
Just about every plane will have been struck by lightning
Earlier this year, a passenger flying on Korean Air Lines appears to have captured the moment lightning struck the wing of her plane.Despite the dramatic scene, the plane was not damaged by the lightning strike.But incidents like this happen as often as once a year – for each plane.Luckily, in most instances, there’s little damage to the plane.
There’s only 15 minutes worth of air in the oxygen mask
In an an emergency situation, at high altitudes, you only have a few seconds to pull on your mask before you pass out.Even then, you will only have 15 minutes worth of air through the oxygen mask.However, the pilot should be able to lower the plane’s altitude enough during this time so that you don’t need to use the oxygen mask.