Air travel fuels all of our fantasies. We are afraid of it, even if we know that frankly we are a thousand times more likely to crash in a car accident (unbearable this argument, let go of us with your damn good sense! Let us be irrational!). So inevitably when the pilots reveal their secrets about their fascinating profession, we are rather hanging on the visor of the cap. If they wear a cap. And that the cap has a visor.
1. The two pilots eat two different meals
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The whims and diets of each and everyone have nothing to do with this constraint, it’s just that we don’t take the risk that the two pilots are victims of food poisoning at the same time. By giving them different meals, we halve this risk. Because if the two end up puking on each other, it’s really bad luck.
2. They are not allowed much entertainment while on duty
That said, we wouldn’t necessarily be reassured if they watched the replay of reality tv angels. But no more if they read In Search of Lost Time. It’s not funny for them, but everything that is book, magazine, newspaper, electronic cigarette, even music is forbidden in the cockpit. We just ask them to be focused.
3. They are unlikely to tell you if the plane is about to crash
If at least there is nothing you can do to improve the situation (and overall there is little chance that you will be able to do anything), the pilot will not keep you informed of a serious situation. It’s nice huh it’s not to make you panic. Love these pilots.
4. … planes generally fly with the bare minimum of fuel
Yeah I know that’s very ugly. And the worst are the low-cost airlines that even manage to force their way into higher air corridors normally reserved for other airlines (the higher a flight is, the less fuel it consumes) and therefore the controllers are forced to accept the route because otherwise the planes would run out of fuel if they had to reduce their altitude.
5. Some airlines forbid beards
Apparently this prohibition is not systematic but is nevertheless justified because a full beard can constitute an obstacle in an emergency situation, in particular for wearing your oxygen mask properly for example.
6. Although the cockpit is separated from the rest of the plane by an armored door, the pilots must communicate with the crew at least once every 40 minutes during the day and 20 minutes at night
Of course the crew has the code to open the armored door which will open if ever the pilots do not react after 120 seconds (like for example if the two are passed out or died of a double stroke and that would be when even very practical for the crew to access the cockpit). Phew.
7. They are not allowed to speak to each other below 10,000 feet (about 3000 meters)
What is meant by this prohibition is that the altitude being very low, they are prohibited from talking about anything that is not directly related to the flight. Their exchanges are strictly limited to the take-off or landing operation and no other subject can be discussed.
8. When it floats, pilots can induce a harder landing
It’s not because they don’t like you, nor because they want to play ultra baddass drivers with stylish controlled skidding. It just allows them to avoid the risk of aquaplaning (when the wheels slip on the water and you can’t control the speed anymore and you’re crying about your race while praying not to take a plane tree).
9. Half of the pilots pawn midair
Yes it’s not reassuring but it’s the truth, be strong. It’s actually normal and not serious. It is for this reason that they are two. On the other hand, they must take turns so as not to pioncer at the same time. Even if in fact, it also happens that… sometimes… well… when one wakes up, the other is already pionce. Long live autopilot, YAY!
10. Pilots never fly in a straight line
Nothing surprising. In fact, planes should always be close enough to an airport in case of an emergency landing. As a result, it slightly modifies their trajectory. Nothing crazy. Stay steady.
11. Concretely, oxygen masks will only allow you to breathe for a quarter of an hour
No need to panic, it’s completely normal, it’s the maximum time the pilot needs for the plane to reach a breathable altitude.
12. It’s not impossible to fly the plane next to a dead person.
However, as travelers do not necessarily like it, the crew must then camouflage the death of the passenger, for example by sticking a hat and sunglasses on him. Yes. Ultra weird. So you will know now if the passenger next to you is not very active during the flight. It’s that he may be dead.