In case you’re one of those passengers who gets the jitters every time the ‘fasten your seatbelt’ signs come on, rest assured, flying is one of the safest ways to travel. That’s why air disasters make headline news, while the thousands of road accidents that occur every day go unreported. Here are some truths about flying that may relax your grip on the armrest.
1. The oxygen mask has enough air to sustain you. From the instant it drops down, it will give you about 15 minutes of oxygen supply. This time is more than enough for the captain to descend to an altitude that will allow you to breathe normally.
2. The reason for dimming the lights during a night-time landing is not an emergency; it’s to prepare you for one. The lights in the interior of the aircraft are dimmed as a safety procedure to ensure that your eyes are already adjusted to darkness in case you need to evacuate, and the emergency lights in the aisles are leading to the exits.
3. Most accidents happen during take-off and landing, not mid-air. So sit back and enjoy your flight once you’re airborne. Also, there are dozens of checks that are part of take-off and landing procedures, besides maintenance drills on ground, that make sure the plane is airworthy before you board it.
4. There’s little danger of the pilot passing out. That’s why there are always two pilots on the controls, a captain and a first officer, and both are equally proficient. Also both pilots are served different meals as per aviation law, so both can’t fall sick at the same time. You’re in safe hands.
5. Toilets can be unlocked from outside. In case you’re claustrophobic and worry about passing out, the crew knows how to get to you. There’s a concealed mechanism for the lock which can open the door from outside if needed.
6. Active mobile devices won’t bring a plane down. However, they would create a high level of irritation for the pilots. Imagine sitting at the controls and hearing interfering signals from over 200 cellphones! It makes more sense to switch them off.
Bon voyage and have a safe flight!