It’s always a grueling day on my email server when I post something about ChemTrails, because there is a never ending stream of know it all pilots telling me they don’t exist, despite numerous government agencies coming out and admitting they do. It will be interesting to see how my inbox fares today. To my dear friend who is a pilot, I appreciate you never taking my posts as a direct attack on you, the way so many do!
Even if you're a frequent flyer, there are a lot of secrets that only the pilots and flight staff know. Finally, via Ask Reddit, a few have chosen to step forward and confess what really takes place behind the scenes. This might make you think twice before flying again.
The inflight headphones:
"Even the headphones that come wrapped up aren’t new. I used to work for warehouse that supplied a certain airline with items. The headsets that are given to you are not new, despite being wrapped up. They are taken off the flight, 'cleaned', and then packaged again."
The truth about pilots sleeping mid-flight:
Most of the time during your flight, the pilots are sleeping. It's been found that 1/2 of pilots sleep while flying and 1/3 of the time one has woken up to find that their partner is also asleep.
The truth about oxygen masks:
The truth of oxygen masks is that once they drop down, you only have about 15 minutes of oxygen supply. Luckily, 15 minutes is more than enough time for the pilot to take the plane to a lower altitude with breathable air. However, at the typical flying altitude, you only have about 15-20 seconds before you pass out.
Why planes dim the lights when landing:
When a plane is landing at night, they dim the lights just in case there needs to be an emergency evacuation upon landing. This helps your eyes adjust to the darkness, so that you can find your way once outside of the plane.
Regarding the food that is served on the plane:
"My dad works for a large airline, he told me a few little things. 1) 2 pilots are served different meals and cannot share, this is done in case of food poisoning. 2) Stealing food, even if they are going to throw it out can get you fired instantly."
Flying your pets:
"I am an aircraft fueler…While your airline will take the best possible actions, some things cannot be avoided, like the noise on the ramp. I cannot stand out there without ear protection, and imagine your pet sitting out there on the ramp waiting to be loaded onto the plane being exposed to the same amount of noise…"
The truth about turning off your electronic devices:
"What flight attendants really do after telling the plane to turn off their electronics. My sister is a flight attendant, she says after she tells everyone to turn off all electronics, she goes to the back and pulls out her phone and starts texting."
"Pilot here. Having to turn off electronics on a plane is totally useless.Mobile electronic devices won’t really bring an airplane down but they can be really annoying to pilots. Just imagine sitting in the flightdeck descending to your destination and hearing the interference of a 100+ cellphones picking up a signal. I have missed a clearance or 2 that way."
Lightning and the power of the pilot:
"My dad’s been an airline pilot for almost 20 years, and apparently planes get struck by lightning all the time. Also if a passenger is causing a scene in the jetway he can refuse to let them on and take off without them. The captain has almost limitless authority when the doors are closed. He is allowed to arrest people, write fines and even take the will of a dying passenger."
Drinking water on the plane:
"Don’t drink water on a plane that didn’t come from a bottle. Former Lufthansa cargo agent here. Do not EVER drink water on an aircraft that did not come from a bottle. Don’t even TOUCH IT. The reason being the ports to purge lavatory shit and refill the aircraft with potable water are within feet from each other and sometimes serviced all at once by the same guy."
Beware even if you're drinking coffee or tea:
"The drinking water used for coffee and tea is filthy. The drinking water, that used for making coffee, tea, etc., should NEVER be consumed. The holding tanks in these sometimes 60 year old planes are never cleaned. They have accumulated so much greenish grime on the walls that in some places it can be inches thick."
About the lavatory locks:
"Those lavatories unlock from the outside. You are able to unlock airplane lavatories from the outside. There is usually a lock mechanism concealed behind the no smoking badge on the door. Just lift the flap up and slide the bolt to unlock."
How pilots approach a landing:
"When you experience a hard landing in bad weather it wasn’t because of a lack of pilot skills but it is in fact intentional. If the runway is covered in water the airplane has to touch down hard in order to puncture the water layer and prevent aqua planing. "
Alcoholic beverages aboard a plane:
"Tipping could go a long way. My girlfriend is a flight attendant. NO ONE tips flight attendants. If you give your FA a fiver with your first drink you’ll probably drink for free the rest of the flight."
More pilot secrets:
"Just because you’re flying with a big airline, doesn’t mean the pilots are experienced. Regional airline pilot here. You may have bought a ticket on Delta, United, or American, but chances are you’ll be flying on a subcontractor. That means the pilots have a fraction of the experience, training, and pay of the big mainline carrier."
Concerning the overall cleanliness on planes:
"I worked for Southwest as a flight attendant. Those blankets and pillows? Yeah, those just get refolded and stuffed back in the bins between flights. Only fresh ones I ever saw were on an originating first flight in the morning in a provisioning city."
Other things aboard the plane when you are:
Human organs! Most domestic flights have either human remains or organs aboard.
"Planes without engines can still glide for a really long time. A pilot told me if both engines fail, a plane can glide 6 nautical miles for every 5000 feet. So at 35,000 feet, a plane can glide about 42 miles without power. It’s why most accidents happen landing or taking off."
The reason that there are still ashtrays in the lavatories:
"Ashtrays in the lavatories are mandatory equipment even though the FAA banned smoking on flights years ago. The reasoning is that if people do decide to smoke, they want them to have a place other than the trash can to throw the butt."
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