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91

wouldnt that work for keeping a majority of passenger jets from crashing? The majority of passenger jets don't crash. Designing an aircraft like that would incur very substantial weight penalties. The Space Shuttle booster rocket parachutes weight 990kg, each (it needs 3) plus 550 kg for the drogue chute needed to pull out the main canopies. Plus another ...


68

I guess this is a secret dream of many of you here: You sit on a scheduled flight, and hear in the PA system: "Both our pilots just passed out. Any volunteers to take over their duties?" Won't happen. Think of what would happen next: Panic! The volunteers won't even make it to the cockpit. All cabin crew are focussed to keep the cabin calm, so this ...


62

Turbulence is reported on a scale of light, moderate, severe, and extreme. The full definitions are available in the FAA Aeronautical Information Manual. As experienced in the cabin, For Light Turbulence, "Occupants may feel a slight strain against belts or shoulder straps. Unsecured objects may be displaced slightly. Food service may be conducted and ...


58

Actually, this theory has been tested a few times in simulators and small aircrafts with little twists here and there. Take a look at this video: Amateur Trying to Land Airbus A320 from 2500 Altitude Assuming you can get to the controls: This may be possible, but I believe it is very unlikely to be successful. Based on all the videos I see online, people ...


57

As soon as there's a fire on board, the absolute top priority is getting everybody out as soon as possible. Aircraft are designed in such a way that, even after a crash landing (or other serious malfunction), the passengers will have a minute or two to evacuate before conditions in the cabin become toxic (fire, smoke, etc); this is done by using flame-...


56

A few notes of update. Evidence from other operators that there is no hard age limit There is no upper or lower age limit for pleasure flight however we recommend that children under 12 are accompanied by an adult. Central Helicopters T&C Generally anyone can be a passenger on a pleasure flight. Young children should be accompanied by an adult....


54

I did high altitude training about three months ago, up to 30,000 feet simulated altitude. Here's the timeline: Within 30 seconds (oximeter 100-95): noticed physical symptoms beginning. I could tell that something was wrong, but felt functional. Within 60 seconds (oximeter ~90): mild headache. Still able to write my name. Not feeling good, but ...


51

Generally speaking, pilots don't like it when a computer interprets or limits their actions. They want final control. They don't always get their way on this but that's their preference. If I recall correctly, Boeing tends to stick with the philosophy that "the pilot is the final arbiter." Airbus is more likely to preempt pilot inputs and modify them. ...


49

Mythbusters tested this. They each tried once without guidance and failed miserably. Then they had a veteran ATC assist them and they both landed successfully. So the experiment was tainted just a bit since they got a practice run, but it doesn't seem like they really learned anything from that practice run (they didn't even know what all of the controls ...


46

The use of a jet bridge has several major advantages over loading passengers from the ramp via portable staircases or built-in "air stairs", among them: Boarding of handicapped passengers Not all passengers can use stairs: a jet bridge allows passengers with limited mobility, particularly those confined to wheelchairs, to board and disembark from the same ...


45

Cargo cannot block the aisle - FAR Part 121.285, governing U.S. Air Carrier Operations, states in pertinent part: FAR 121.285- (emphasis mine) (c) Cargo may be carried aft of a bulkhead or divider in any passenger compartment provided the cargo is restrained to the load factors in §25.561(b)(3) and is loaded as follows: (4) Its location does not ...


44

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was the flight that resulted in this addition to the safety briefing. After being hijacked, the plane eventually crash-landed in the ocean. Many passengers died because they inflated their life jackets in the cabin, causing them to be trapped inside by the rising water. Mayday/Air Crash Investigation S03E13 (Ocean Landing) ...


44

What happens during a flight cycle is the humidity is high during departure, from ambient air and the moisture from the pax, but over time the air dries out because the bleed being supplied to keep the pressure hull "inflated" is coming from the engine compressors, which at 35000 ft has almost no humidity, and what humidity there is is being extracted by the ...


43

Honestly, as a passenger, you're not really qualified to look for problems. If you're a pilot qualified and with experience in that type then you might see something. I've had passengers tell my flight attendants that they saw flames coming out of a seam in the engine cowling. It was actually a section of orange rubbery material that was sticking out and ...


43

Why do passenger embark on the left side of an aircraft? Because the cavewoman who invented the log-canoe was right-handed? Note: I arrived at this answer by looking at a kind of etymology of the terms starboard & port but that's incidental. The answer to this question happened to be contained in an answer to a rather different question. Some groups of ...


42

The aviation industry is already running at near-peak efficiency, performing crucial tasks simultaneously to ensure quick turn-around. Trying to speed up the boarding process by allowing entrance from both ends would be doable with a large amount of changes to the existing process, in both operations and infrastructure. However, the result would be ...


41

This headline made the news this week: Passenger Snaps Photo of Fuel Pouring Out of a Dreamliner's Wing: The passenger, Ann Kristin Balto from Tromsø, noticed the highly disconcerting leak as the plane was taxiing to the runway—before it actually took off. After alerting the stewardess, the flight was immediately cancelled. So fuel leaks are one thing ...


41

No, the gear doesn't actively extend, and any passive change to the strut extension during takeoff is likely to be imperceptible. What you are perceiving during takeoff is the somatogravic illusion. It is a physiological sensation, not a physical change. Rapid acceleration, as during a takeoff roll, causes the inner ear to report what your brain assumes is ...


41

Boarding takes a long time, true. There are more efficient strategies (.pdf) which have been proven to speed up boarding by between 20% and 50%, still they are not adopted. Why? You need to load the baggage, too. Also the catering. And fuel. You need to inspect the aircraft, run through checklists and brief the new crew. This all takes up time, too. ...


39

The short answer is to sit down, shut up, and stay the heck out of the way. That's what I would do. If you can quietly help the one or two people sitting next to you do the same, you're doing your part. Seriously, the last thing the flight crew needs in a flight emergency is extra distractions from passengers - especially those without directly relevant ...


37

It happens when the airplane levels off after takeoff, usually either at the first assigned altitude or at a safe altitude where it will be accelerated in order to retract the flaps. The feeling is a result of negative vertical acceleration. It can also happen at other times during the flight, such as during turbulence or when starting a descent. ...


36

theoretically? GPS IS receive only. There's no way to talk to the GPS satellite network except using the big antennas of the network owners (the US DoD) and the communications are no doubt heavily encrypted. Now, does that mean it's "safe" for aircraft electronics. Any receiving antenna does have an EM field around it, so if you believe the myth that those ...


35

It is much more difficult to load a plane so that the center of gravity ends up being too far forward than too far aft. Excessive weight forward can almost always be counteracted by increased trim on the stabilizer. When small GA planes crash due to Balance, its almost always too much rear-weight, not too much forward-weight. Especially in the case you ...


33

According to Ask the Pilot: Almost every frequent flyer has encountered this sound at one time or another. [...] It happens on twin-engine Airbus models: the A320 series (includes the subvariants A319 and A321) and the larger A330. [...] What you hear is a device called the power transfer unit, or PTU, which is designed to ensure adequate ...


33

Just off the top of my head, It would take up space that could be used for three or four paying passengers. This would result in increased ticket prices for everybody and the non-smoking majority have no incentive to subsidise a smoking cubicle. It would require a ventilation system that would prevent smoky air from getting into the rest of the cabin, which ...


31

For a non-commercial flight under Part 91 rules there are no issues I'm aware of with letting a non-rated passenger handle the controls - and it's done quite frequently (I can't think of any pilots I know offhand who haven't had someone else take the controls for one reason or another). The rated pilot is still pilot-in-command of the flight and ...


31

I find that virtually all the passengers I've let fly for the first time were already so scared of the controls that no "safety briefing" of that sort was necessary. Don't fight me on the controls. If I say let go, let go immediately. If you suspect there's even a remote chance of either of these problems, maybe you shouldn't be letting this person ...


31

Wheel wells are deceptively large spaces when the gear is down. It is fully possible to climb up and hide inside one. It's a very different story when the gear is retracted. On many aircraft, the gear doors are closed when the gear is not in motion, making the space look bigger. They are fairly easy to access through the landing gear with a little bit of ...


31

The problem with a severe peanut allergy is that you don't have to eat a peanut to be affected. With a severe enough allergy, inhaling peanut "dust" can trigger a life-threatening emergency. In a confined space, any number of events could cause an issue: people dumping peanuts into their hands, dusting their hands off, accidentally sneezing while chewing ...


30

Most of the items you can bring with you to maximize your chances of surviving an in-flight emergency are items you're not going to be allowed to bring with you. About the only things I could recommend bringing along on a commercial flight are your cellphone and a personal locator beacon (PLB) of some kind, but frankly if your airliner goes down ATC is going ...


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