11 Important Details Pilots Notice While Flying As Passengers

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Hey, why’s the plane shaking?! Relax, it’s just an air pocket! You’re lucky — there’s a pilot next to you, flying as a passenger. They know much more about flights than you do, so a bit of turbulence won’t make them move a muscle. But if they start worrying about ice on the windows or sniffing the air for some reason, well, that’s when you should pay attention!

The thing is that no doors can prevent odors from traveling around. Some smells, such as superheated bleed air, fuel, or hydraulic fluid, are easily recognizable for a professional. And pilots know all too well that such scents can hint that there are some problems with the fuel-storage systems or the engine.

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The Angle of Light 0:27
Weird Smells 1:07
Landing Routine 1:49
The Nearest Exit Location 2:27
Icing 3:11
In-Flight Announcements 3:57
Delay Messages 5:17
The Number of Other Passengers and Their Distribution 6:00
“Ding” Sounds 6:39
The Dirtiest Places on the Plane 7:23
Bathroom Location 8:01

– If the flight is during the day, an experienced pilot always pays attention to the angle between the plane window and the light coming through. They know that any difference in this angle means that the aircraft has suddenly changed direction.
– When a pilot is flying a plane, they can understand that everything’s going as it should just by listening to the sounds the plane’s making. A bizarre, unfamiliar sound is an obvious sign that something’s gone wrong.
– When a plane is about to descend below 10,000 ft, the cockpit crew levels the plane. The pilot in a passenger seat can’t but imagine this procedure and go through the checklist as well.
– Most frequent flyers don’t pay attention to the safety information presented by flight attendants, including the location of emergency exits. Pilots fly way more than any regular traveler, but they always check where those exits are.
– Some passengers get paralyzed with fear at the first signs of turbulence, but pilots don’t care about some bumpy road: turbulence is unlikely to cause an accident.
– When a pilot hears the cockpit crew announcing, “We’re now flying through an air pocket,” they immediately realize that the plane is about to be jostled up and down due to some turbulence.
– Pilots are well aware of how important the passengers’ combined weight and their distribution are for the plane’s balance.
– The sounds you hear in the cabin during the flight have their own meaning. Flight attendants know each “ding’s” interpretation by heart.
– Flight attendants know that you should be particularly careful with headrests, seat pockets, tray tables, and seat belts! Experiments showed that one-third of all seat belts had yeast and mold on them.
– Unlike the average passenger, flight attendants always know where the nearest bathroom is.

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