Something that just popped into my head: I've been on a few easyJet and Ryanair flights where a lot of passengers clap and cheer on touchdown. Would the pilots be able to hear this?

Here's an example I found by searching YouTube:

It seems pretty commonplace... but can the pilots hear them? I guess it would be distracting.

Just something I was wondering!

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    $\begingroup$ i can testify that i've heard the 'reverse' happening- the sound of the master warning of the autopilot turning off in the first few rows :) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 8:22
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    $\begingroup$ It's idiotic. Do I start clapping for my doctor when he's done? $\endgroup$
    – user1886
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, but the question is "Can pilots hear clapping?" $\endgroup$
    – Steve V.
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 15:40
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    $\begingroup$ I cannot understand how the chatterboxes in that plane even noticed that the plane has landed. $\endgroup$
    – Farhan
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 1:08

2 Answers 2


In my 10 years of flying 747s on international flights, there was no way we would know of passenger reactions upon landing unless one of the cabin staff told us, and that was rare.

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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, I would imagine that to be the case in a 747 due to where the cockpit is. I suppose that the answer to this question is really "it depends on the aircraft". $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 12:27

We can in my airplane:

Falcon 50

Quite frankly, I'm usually a little insulted when it happens.

Were they actually so fearful for their lives and are now so happy to be alive that they need to applaud the heroic pilots? Sorry, but unless it's a true emergency and we did actually just save their lives, I'm not putting them in a situation where they are actually at risk. In this case, I was just doing my job. Do you applaud the waiter or waitress who gets your order right?? :-)

As far as airliners, I'm pretty sure that the pilots can hear you too if everyone is clapping but someone with experience on that should confirm whether or not this is true.

Disclaimer: This isn't the actual airplane that I fly, but it is the same kind. Notice also that we don't have a door to our cockpit so this makes it much easier to hear what is going on in back.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know, most people thank the bus driver when they get off in the UK :) ...I don't understand it either though! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 2:45
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    $\begingroup$ @DannyBeckett Thanking is one thing, applauding is another! :) $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 2:48
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    $\begingroup$ I also love the way passengers clap as soon as the wheels touch the tarmac. I'd love to know if the passengers on this flight were applauding the pilot as the plane ran off the runway onto a highway. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ I never clap myself but: 1. Flying is perceived by some to be a dangerous and unnatural activity, people clap due to relief at still being alive. 2. Lots of people on Ryanair flights probably only fly a couple of times a year so it's not a regular event and they are likely to be in high spirits as they are going on holiday. 3. Re spirits, they are likely to have consumed a few of those too. 4. Ryanair encourage this type of behaviour by playing a fanfare when they arrive "on time" and this is probably perceived by some passengers as being a fanfare to say "hey, we didn't die!". $\endgroup$
    – davidjwest
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 15:08
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    $\begingroup$ Musicians or actors who get applauded are also “just doing their job”. If I applaud you, it doesn’t mean I thought you might fail or have difficulty, it just means you have done something that I find impressive, usually because I would find it very difficult. Isn’t it OK to see flying that way? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 0:31

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