Are you afraid of flying? Then, maybe, this article isn't for you, in fact, you are better off not knowing unless you want to have your fears validated. Having mentioned that, knowledge is power after all. Therefore, see for yourself if any of these scary facts about flying can help you prepare for your next trip.
1. Turbulence is increasing
Yes, you read that right. Turbulence is 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. This is owing to the fact that most non fatal injuries that occur when flying is a result of not having your seat belts on during turbulence.
2. Traveling with a child on your lap
When the 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 deadly? 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) or device, 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.
3. The scariest 11 minutes
The scariest 11 minutes- three minutes after take off and last eight minutes before landing. You must be wondering why these 11 minutes are the scariest, right? Well, research has shown that around 80% of most plane crashes occur during this time. 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. Remember, three minutes after takeoff and 8 minutes before landing. Furthermore, don't ignore the flight crew's instructions. After all, the instructions are for your own safety.
4. Pilots falling asleep
That's right, pilots apparently sleep at their controls. What more? There is statistics to back up that statement. 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. 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 what we can do in 90 seconds in our day to day lives. Well, nothing that matters, and definitely not one that involves escaping a burning plane. That is quite a misleading statement, it could just say when the plane catches fire you are going to die, period!
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 from an exit
In the wake of a crash, let's hope that we are sitting within five rows of an exit. Statistics of plane crashes also shows that the likelihood of passengers successfully evacuating are greatly reduced if they are not sitting within the said five rows.
7. Lightning strikes planes
Yes, lightning do strike planes. Reports show that on average, a passenger flight gets struck by lightning once a year. This is mainly due to traveling through storm clouds. However, lightning strikes on smaller planes are less known due to their size and its ability to avoid poor weather. If lightning strikes, a flash and a loud noise are the indicatives of it. Nevertheless, you must know that almost all lightning strikes are harmless and the last known plane crash due to lightning dates as far back as 1967.
8. Airlines are stingy 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 that some airlines are dangerously flying with less than the recommended fuel levels. Why? In order to cut costs. This report focused on a budget airlines called Ryanair.
9. Planes are dirty
With everyone looking to air transport, planes are flying on tighter schedules than before. Due to this fact, things like cleaning before the next group of passengers board is often overlooked. We now know that cold and influenza viruses can survive for days on surfaces.
So, what exactly are you going to face on your next flight aboard? 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 the blankets. Who wouldn't want a blanket to keep yourself warm. Planes are often very cold. The next time you reach out for a blanket 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 for your family to stay put when asked to and not walk around at that time. Also, to keep it fastened when sitting even when the sign does not indicate to fasten it. Safety first, right?
In the comments section below, tell us about the scary experiences you might have had flying.