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Strange Facts About Flying


-Somebody has probably changed a diaper on your tray table. After all, why bother going all the way to the bathroom to remove your child's sodden diaper when you could just do it on the small table people eat their food on?

-In the event of a crash, depending on the speed of impact, it is likely your body (which is 70 percent water) will explode.

-What would happen if that tiny door somehow unlatched itself while we're up above the clouds? It's pretty much what you would imagine - the sudden decompression would cause the door to violently break off and anyone standing nearby would be sucked out of the plane. Meanwhile, the air would quickly turn to a frost-biting chill and the plane would slowly begin to break apart.

-If the oxygen masks drop down, you only have about 15 minutes of oxygen from the point of pulling them down. However, that is more than enough time for the pilot to take the plane to a lower altitude where you can breathe normally. More important - at altitude, you have 15-20 seconds before you pass out. Put yours on first, then do the kids. Passing out for a few seconds won't harm anyone.

-Airplane seat belts really should have shoulder straps. During a crash at a slower speed, shoulder straps can save lives, leaving the victims only with light bruising on the chest.

-We've all thought about it - what would happen if that tiny door somehow unlatched itself while we're up above the clouds? It's pretty much what you would imagine - the sudden decompression would cause the door to violently break off and anyone standing nearby would be sucked out of the plane. Meanwhile, the air would quickly turn to a frost-biting chill and the plane would slowly begin to break apart. Next time you're on a flight, try to think of something else. Thankfully, a person doesn't have the strength to open door whilst the cabin is pressurized and at altitude.

-Ashtrays in the lavatories are still mandatory equipment even though smoking has been banned on flights for years. 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.

-Without a shoulder harness, the jolt of the impact may cause your 10-pound head to snap your neck. It's possible that it may even fall off. There have been reports of waist belts severing plane crash victims in half.

-The air you breathe on an airplane is actually compressed air taken from the engines. A large portion (25% to 50%) is blown in the flight deck, the rest is for the passengers. The air leaves the airplane via a small hole in the back of the fuselage.

-Just because the headphones you are using come in a plastic bag doesn't mean they're new, or clean. The headphones are given a quick once over for anything obvious after use and stuck back inside a plastic bag for reuse.

-Do not drink the water in the lav. It is bad enough to "wash" your hands in it. Storage tanks are sanitized at selected maintenance intervals, however parasites build tolerances to these cleaners.

-Seats should really be faced the other way around. Surgeons say the back can absorb much more shock than the chest. Rear-facing seats installed in Navy transport planes have saved lives by tenfold.

-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 life jackets are mainly there to help rescue crews find the bodies in the event of a crash.

-Check the outside of the aircraft when walking in. If the paint is crappy shape, the plane is in crappy shape. Hydraulic fluid is a nasty fluid and will dissolve everything. So if the paint is missing, it's probably from a hydraulic fluid leak and no one wants one of those at 35,000 feet.

-In the Air Force, they take foot prints because in severe crashes, the feet inside boots are the only thing left to identify soldiers with.

-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 aquaplaning.

-Each of the parts of the plane is manufactured by the lowest bidder to reduce cost.

-Guidelines exist for the amount of screws a plane is allowed to fly without.

-During the descent, the high wind speed can cause the clothes of plane crash victims to come right off.

-Food service on night flights can be delayed until more people fall asleep. Less work for the flight attendants.

-If your plane hits the water and you survive, there's a chance you may succumb to hypothermia, which, in cool waters, can set in in seconds. If you submerge your head completely under water, it could affect your brain functionality.

-On most modern planes the small electronics we're forbidden to use during the flight are quite harmless, but if you could check your email on your phone, what's going to compel you to pay for the $20 for in-flight internet?

-Due to increasing carbon dioxide levels in the ozone, scientists say turbulence on flights is also increasing. By mid-century, it may be up 40% worse than it is now.

-One of the deadliest accidents in airplane history actually occurred prior to take-off. A deadly combination of fog and mixed radio signals from the flight deck caused two planes, carrying over 600 passengers between them, to collide head-on in the middle of a runway in the infamous Tenerife Accident. Over 500 individuals died as a result of this crash.

-Eighty percent of all plane crashes occur either during take-off or landing.

-Airplane technology is so advanced that planes could literally fly themselves. Even though a computer-generated landing would result in a much softer and precise return to earth, airlines don't believe passengers will be happy placing landing in the hands of a computer so pilots, for the time being, are here to stay.

-In the event of a fire, you have approximately 90 seconds to exit the plane before the whole thing is toast. Also, if you sit more than 5 rows away from an exit, statistically you will more than likely not survive.

-When a plane is landing at night, interior lights are dimmed in case you need to evacuate rapidly in the case of an emergency. Your eyes are already adjusted to the darkness so you'll be able to see better as you navigate out.

-Up to 50% of pilots admitted to having fallen asleep at the controls. A third of them have had the experience of waking up only to find their partner had also fallen asleep.

-Airplanes get struck by lightning frequently. On average more than once per year. Fortunately, there are with shields over crucial elements and designs that incorporate ways for currents to stay on the outside of plane, and not on the fry the electronics.

-During a high speed descent, more than likely there will be rapid decompression in the cabin, causing most of the passengers to pass out before the crash.

-You know those life jackets you're supposed to use in the event of an emergency? The ones that are there to save your life? People take them as souvenirs. It's a punishable offense, and while airlines do check each seat at the start of every day, a plane could make several trips, during any one of which a passenger could steal a life vest.

-Sometimes, airlines cut costs by skimping on fuel, forcing planes to take off with less than the recommended amount.

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