The things that pilots don't tell you about flying...

Publish Date
Thursday, 25 October 2018, 4:54PM
Getty Images

Getty Images

If you've ever thought that it must be tricky for a pilot to spot the airport, you're not wrong.

A pilot has admitted on a startling new internet thread that he sometimes gets confused because there are 'a lot of lights down there', MailOnline Travel reports.

But he would never admit that to his passengers, of course.

He was contributing to a discussion that was started on Quora by someone asking: 'As a pilot, what do you know about flying that you would not tell your passengers?' 

And several pilots were quick to answer saying they would never reveal just how dangerous turbulence can be.

Pilot Ron Wagner revealed just how quickly clear air turbulence can affect an aircraft and that passengers should always wear a seatbelt.

He said: "Keep the belt loosely fastened at all times!

"That is unless you want to check out the interesting view while pressed against the ceiling.

"Going up to the ceiling is not a real problem - it's when you come back down on top of armrests, seat backs, and food carts that you break arms, ribs, or a vertebrae that gives you a medical retirement."

While Dan Larsen added: 'It is a true statement that turbulence can occur at any moment without warning, even if it seems like it never does. But if the pilots tell the FAs (flight attendants) to be seated and buckle up? They're serious.'

Meanwhile, Verix Lin, a first officer for Air China, commented on the thread saying he would never tell passengers if a terror threat was made alleging there is a bomb on board.

He explained: 'You really wouldn't want a bunch of passengers freaking out sh**ting the seats, while the other bunch think themselves really smart that they would try finding the bomb and defuse it by themselves, and possibly one or two passengers get so scared that they'd try to open the emergency exits in flight.'

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When it comes to landing Steve Wysocki revealed that he never tells passengers that he sometimes finds it hard to spot his landing.

He said: 'I'd also like to throw out just how hard it is to find the damn airport sometimes. You'd think that rotating beacons would help, but there are a LOT of lights down there. Sometimes it's like you're right on top of the field, and you just can't see it.'

While new pilot Andy Kerr rarely lets on just how old the aircraft is.

He said: "I generally don't mention that the plane we're flying in was built in 1968.

"There are plenty of people that recall the reliability of '60s and '70s cars, and make assumptions that the plane would have a similar build quality. It doesn't inspire confidence in nervous flyers!"

For Paul Shaw, a little-known fact about the emergency oxygen masks is something he never tells passengers.

He added: "Those oxygen masks that drop down only last ten minutes and that the reason you have to pull them is to start a combustion reaction that produces the oxygen: you're starting a fire."

Unsanitised cabins are what Randall Cummings avoids telling passengers about as he explains they are rarely cleaned thoroughly.

He wrote on the thread: "There is so little time between flights that the cleaners go through like a swarm of locusts, give a quick vacuum and pick up rubbish, remove headphones, etc., and out they go.

"This process usually takes 10 to 15 minutes. Tray tables are not lowered and wiped. Overhead surfaces and buttons are not wiped. That wonderful touch screen entertainment system — not wiped. The drinking fountain is not sanitised. The lavatory is given a quick once over and a spray."

And fellow pilot Randy Jones added that most of the passenger he flies have no idea how much a pilot earns.

He explained: "The men and women who sit in that cockpit may be making a lot less money than you think. It's really that simple.

"Most people think airline pilots make an easy six figure income. While that's partially true, that usually happens after you achieve a certain level of seniority and depends on the type of aircraft you're flying, and a few other factors. Brand new first officers frequently make much less."

But for Stuart Landau, saying very little is how he avoids having awkward conversations with those on board his aircraft.

He said: "If I had done something stupid, that the passengers didn't need to know, I wouldn't share it with them. There are some things better left unsaid."

This article was originally published by and is republished here with permission