5 Questions We’ve All Had on an Airplane

Answers to common questions we've asked ourselves during a flight.

5 Questions We’ve All Had on an Airplane

What happens if there’s an accident and I’m sitting on the emergency exit row?

Sitting on the emergency exit row comes with its advantages and responsibilities. You will have more leg room to travel comfortably, but you will also be responsible for opening the emergency exits if needed. Some people don’t take this responsibility seriously, if they fail to open the exits on time, they risk their own lives and others on the plane. Airplane accident attorneys, Panish, Shea & Boyle, explain that if a lawsuit is filed after a plane accident, and you are found to be negligent of your duties as an emergency exit seat occupant, then you may be liable for the injuries your negligence caused others. Be mindful of the responsibility of seating in the emergency exit, if you feel like you aren’t able act in case of an emergency, ask the flight attendant if you can change your seat. Consider these responsibilities before booking a flight on the emergency exit row.

What happens if I don’t set my phone and other electronic devices to airplane mode?

Every time a plane is about to take off we are all instructed by flight attendants to either turn off our cellphones or set them to airplane mode. Have you ever wondered what actually happens if you don’t set your phone to airplane mode? Is it really dangerous? Flight attendants ask every passenger to set their phones to airplane mode because there is a risk of electromagnetic interference. This means that an electronic device’s frequency can interfere with a pilot’s VFR radio and other electronic communication devices. This interference won’t cause an airplane to crash, but it can distract the pilot and make his job more difficult, and none of us want a stressed pilot when he’s flying us thousands of feet up in the air. The next time you’re on an airplane, make the pilot’s job easier and set your phones and laptops to airplane mode.

How dangerous is turbulence?

Turbulence during a flight can make anyone nervous, you’re up in the air and suddenly you feel as if the plane went over a bump. These movements tend to make people nervous and scared, but turbulence is a very normal part of flying. Turbulence is the uneven movement of air, think of it as waves hitting a boat on choppy seas. Uneven movements of air hit an airplane which makes it move up and down or to the sides. Pilots are trained to fly during turbulence and experience it very often. Pilot Joe Shelton stated on an interview with Forbes that normal turbulence will not cause an airplane accident, so there is nothing to be afraid of during turbulence.

If the airplane hits a bird, can it cause an accident?

When we’re flying on an airplane we share the sky with birds, and just like bugs hitting our car’s windshields, birds can strike the airplane. Birds usually crash on the plane’s windshields and only cause physical damage to the aircraft. The few instances when birds can cause an accident or put the flight at risk is when they get sucked into the engines. When a bird is sucked into the airplane’s engines they can cause serious damage and make flying harder, when this happens pilots will make an emergency landing to prevent an accident.

Why do window shades have to be up during take-off and landing?

Flight attendants will ask you to do several things before take-off or landing, these include putting your tray table up, placing your seat upright and pulling the shades up. They ask us to pull the window shades up so that our eyes adjust to the light outside the plane. In the case of an emergency where we have to get off the plane, this prevents people taking too long to get off the plane because they’re trying to adjust their eyes to the natural light.

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Mariela Corella
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