10 Terrifying Flying Facts That You Need To Know

5 min read
Scary facts about flying

Are you afraid of flying? Then, maybe, this article isn’t for you. In fact, you are better off not knowing unless, of course, you’d like to have your fears validated. That said, knowledge is power after all! Therefore, see for yourself if any of these terrifying facts about flying can help you prepare for your next trip.

1. Turbulence Is Actually Getting Worse Over Time

Yes, you read that right. The amount of turbulence is actually increasing and getting worse. Are your plane rides getting bumpier? Well, scientists say that the amount of moderate to extreme turbulence experienced in transatlantic flights can increase between 10 to 40% by 2050. Why? Mainly due to the increasing carbon dioxide levels.

So what can you do? Buckle up! Wearing your seat belt is a good place to start because, as a matter of fact, most non fatal injuries that occur when flying are a result of not having your seat belts on during turbulence!

2. Traveling with a Child on Your Lap

On some airlines, if your child is less than two years of age, you have the option to let the child sit on your lap. Now why can this be “terrifying”? If there is major turbulence, no amount of ‘daddy strength’ is going to be enough to keep your child safe. According to the FAA, “The safest place for your child on an airplane is in a government-approved, child safety restraint system (CRS), not on your lap! Your arms aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence.”

Also, your child can fly out of your arms which can result in severe injuries during major turbulence. So play it safe and pay for an extra seat, please.

3. The Scariest 11 Minutes During a Flight

The scariest 11 minutes during a flight are three minutes after take off and last eight minutes before landing. You must be wondering why these 11 minutes are so scary, right? Well, research has shown that around 80% of most plane crashes occur during these minutes. On that account, do not freeze in fear during these times. Rather, be more alert and extra vigilant if you want to up your chances of survival. Furthermore, don’t ignore the flight crew’s instructions. After all, the instructions are for your own safety.

Just remember, three minutes after takeoff and 8 minutes before landing.

4. Pilots Falling Asleep

That’s right, pilots apparently sleep at their controls. What!

Statistics show that between 43% to 54% of pilots who were surveyed in the U.K, Norway and Sweden admitted to having dozed off while flying a passenger plane. And we thought turbulence was bad enough. Well, the eye opening statistic does not stop just there. A third of these pilots have stated that they woke up to find that their co pilots sleeping as well. Seriously! Could it get any worse?

5. There is Only 90 Seconds to Escape a Burning Plane

Well, this article is getting scarier and scarier, isn’t it? Only 90 Seconds? Let’s take some time to think about what we can do in 90 seconds. Well, honestly, nothing that matters, and definitely nothing that involves escaping a burning plane.

So why 90 seconds? That’s the figure investigators came up with which suggests the amount of time it will take for the fire to spread across the plane. Now, what can you do? Investigators suggest that you should know where the emergency exits are on your flight and wear cotton or non synthetic clothes. Synthetics are flammable and may melt the skin. Furthermore, the FAA requires all aircrafts to be capable of evacuating its passengers within one and half minutes.

6. Sit in the First Five Rows Closest to an Exit

In the wake of a crash, let’s hope that we are sitting within five rows of an exit. Statistics from plane crashes also shows that the likelihood of passengers successfully evacuating are greatly reduced if they are not sitting within the first five rows, even if there are multiple doors along the sides of the plane!

7. Lightning Strikes on Planes

Yes, lightning does strike planes. Reports show, that on average, a passenger flight gets struck by lightning once a year. This might be obvious, but it’s mainly due to traveling through storm clouds. However, lightning strikes on smaller planes are less likely to happen, strictly due to their size and ability to avoid poor weather. If lightning strikes your airplane, a flash throughout the cabin and a loud noise are clear indicators. Nevertheless, it might help to know that almost all lightning strikes on airplanes are harmless and the last known plane crash due to lightning dates as far back as 1967.

8. Airlines Are Cheap with Fuel

It’s true! As a result of cost cutting measures, some airlines skimp on fuel. Moreover, cost cutting measures are getting extreme. Spanish safety investigators issued a report that indicated some airlines are flying dangerously, with much less than the recommended fuel levels. This report focused on a budget airlines called Ryanair, so maybe just avoid them at all costs, OK?

9. Planes Can Be Extremely Dirty

With so many people looking to air transportation, planes are flying on tighter schedules than ever before. Because of this fact, things like cleaning before the next group of passengers board is often overlooked, and we now know that cold and influenza viruses can survive for days on surfaces.

So, what exactly should you look for on your next flight abroad? For one, the seat pockets might harbor a multitude of germs as passengers may keep their used tissues and wipes in it. The tray tables where you eat your food is another thing to be on the lookout for. A study found 60% of the tray tables tested positive for MRSA. Then there’s the blankets. Who wouldn’t want a blanket to keep yourself warm on the often, very cold, airplanes. The next time you reach for a blanket on a flight, know that those blankets go through a cleaning process every five to 30 thirty days based on an investigation by the Wall Street Journal.

10. Turbulence Can Cause Injury and Pain

Yes, turbulence can cause significant pain. One of the main reasons for non fatal injuries during flying is turbulence. Therefore, it is best to fasten your seatbelts as these non fatal injuries are often reported by passengers who weren’t strapped in! Consequently, it will be good for you and your family to stay put when asked to not walk around the airplane. Also, keep your seat belt fastened when sitting even when the sign does not indicate to fasten it. Safety first, right?

Have you ever had a terrifying flying experience? Most of us have. Just keep these 10 facts in mind the next time you fly on an airplane.