30 Pilots And Flight Attendants Confess Their Best Kept Secrets

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  1. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    30 Pilots And Flight Attendants Confess Their Best Kept Secrets

    This article contains 30 secrets about flying from pilots and flight attendants that will likely amaze even the most weary road warriors.

    For the entire article, see:

    http://viralquake.com/2014/03/24/30...best-kept-secrets-you-dont-know-about-flying/

    This list includes:
    1) The true story behind the oxygen mask
    2) The water in the lavatory is very dirty
    3) The real reason the lights on the aircraft dim when you are landing
    4) Lightning
    5) Those lavatories unlock from the outside
    6) A true story of cats on planes
    7) In plane food
    8) Flying with pets
    9) What flight attendants really do after telling the plane to turn off their electronics
    10) A trick for making more space for yourself
    11) Don't drink water on a plane that didn't come from a bottle
    12) On the importance of locking your bags
    13) How a pilot approaches landing
    14) Tipping could go a long way
    15) Pilots are sleeping most of the time
    16) Just because your flying with a big airline, doesn't mean the pilots are experienced
    17) The truth behind turning off electronics
    18) Sky Mall is one big rip-off
    19) How your checked bags are really treated
    20) A flight attendant reveals just how dirty everything truly is
    21) A loophole so big you never have to pay baggage fees
    22) Most flights are also carrying human organs
    23) Airports haven't covered all of their security bases yet
    24) Planes without engines can still glide for a really long time
    25) The drinking water used for coffee and tea are filthy
    26) Why its always easier to just take the batteries out
    27) Planes have a hard time flying on hot days
    28) Even the headphones that come wrapped aren't new
    29) How to tell from the ground if the plane is being hijacked
    30) The real reason there ae still ashtrays in the lavatories
     
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  2. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Fun list! My favorite excerpts:

    How #4, lightning, all of a sudden becomes 'the authority of the pilot" and #29.....those "wing flaps" are spoilers, not flaps.
     
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  3. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    #25...."sometimes 60 year old planes"......! While I know a few C-47's are still flying, not too many airlines keep their fleet unchanged for quite that long.

    And they don't always just take off cargo or luggage on a very hot day. On an AC B727 from LAS to YYZ one very hot July afternoon, the last five late boarding pax caused the crew to recalculate the takeoff weight and decide to drain some fuel from the tanks. This took 45 minutes and even with that we still lifted off almost at the hash marks at the far end of the runway and had to circle a few times within the mountain bowl that surrounds LAS to gain enough altitude to get over the mountains and on our flightpath.

    Also the list of items on the web page somehow forgot the number 26, instead going from #25 to two number 27's.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
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  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    O.K., but does that invalidate the rest of this list? I suspect that there is a lot of ground truth revealed in this article, much more than the average airline "fluff piece".
     
  5. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Still a fun read!
     
  6. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    No argument there, it is entertainingly written!
     
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  7. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    18. Sky Mall is one big rip-off. Secret: All of the stuff in Sky Mall can be purchased on the internet for much less money.

    Funny and true.
     
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  8. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Hi, Vickers, You are right, of course! But, I'd suggest that the SkyMall catalog is also a great way to learn about new products.
    Newscience
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
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  9. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    NNNnnnoooo, no invalidations inferred or intended. I found much of it funny and agreed with the many inferences that were referenced, albeit inconclusively, and definately grounded.

    It was extremely gratifying to learn that those 60 year old planes that I flew aboard in the late '50's and early '60's may still contain my contaminents in their holding tanks. And those wonderful at the time new DC-6's and DC-7's (sorry, I wasn't on the DC-4's), if they're still in the air, still have not been properly flushed out and decaminatified for all those ensuing years. Knowing that gem, I will never again knowingly fly on one of those aircraft, ever again. I'm now even more disappointed to learn that while I had the chance as a youngster to add my contamination to the brand new C-47 that my dad brought me to at some muddy airfield on Long Island, I only remember the long walk up the slanted fuselage to the cockpit, where I was allowed to sit in the left seat but not touch any instruments or start the engines for the taxi to takeoff, nor stop to add my contamination to the holding tank of that amazing aircraft as we got off. But then, that was shortly after WW II, and I would've been only about five or six at the time.

    So yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the article, although after reading it and thoroughly searching for a number 26, I realized that it was hastily written by someone without too many flight experiences of their own, and then never proofread for accuracy, and probably meant for those who haven't flown much in the past, or even in the future and beyond.

    You see, I'm someone from the OLDscience, who learned without calculators, cellphones, iPads and Iphones (my two cellphones are definately not smartphones, but they're dumb enough to let me make calls from most places, which is all I really need them for), and who learned to read and write and do math the hard way, with a pencil and a piece of paper and a book, rather then a computer, or any other method now relied upon by those who need them, but I do confess to using a simple, unscientific calculator to do long percentages and the like from time to time.

    And yes, while I may refer to the 'flightdeck" and "FA's" in proper, currently acceptable terms so as not to embarrass myself or those to whom the terms may apply, still I'll admit to thinking of them as cockpits (even though there's now many ladies also enjoying the delights of piloting those wonderful birds), and stewardesses and stewards.

    But I did find the mention of those SkyMall items to be 100% correct about being amazed at the uniqueness of some of the products shown in the brochures, but much too expensive to even consider purchasing at the time, until they appear later at the dollar stores.
     
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  10. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    I was going to quit reading after a few falsehoods but decided to be fair and read
    through to the end. Yep, the majority are partially false or obviousnesses, and a few
    are completely bogus. Worthless article, and it's clear that almost nobody quoted
    actually is a pilot or flight attendant.
     
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  11. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Yes, those mystery proofreaders were again sleeping! I had also noticed, but corrected in the listing provided. FWIW, I also learned to use a slide rule in high school calculus class, but, let's face it, we're all OBE insofar as technology is concerned. And the computing power of my cell phone alone is likely more than existed in all the world's computers a couple of decades ago. It's a brave new world out there! And Milepoint is a great venue to learn about developments in air travel! :cool:
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
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  12. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Let's see a few of these falsehoods at random:
    Falsehood #1- The water in the lavatory is very dirty. Hmm, go ahead and drink up! I'll pass on it, however.
    Falsehood #2 - Flying with pets. Putting a pet in the cargo section of the airplane is very stressful to the animal. Seems like common sense, and I sure wouldn't put Fluffy or Fido in the cargo section of the plane.
    Falsehood #3 - Bring a TSA-approved lock in case you have to gate-check your carry-on bag. Since this is where most folks keep their valuables, it sounds like good advice, don't you think so?
    Falsehood #4 - Tipping the FAs could go a long way. I agree. Always be nice to your FAs. If you have a legitimate occasion to tip (let's say on a long-haul flight), why not? This has been the subject of other Milepoint strings, and one Milepointer in particular brings a "King cake" with her for the flight crew on a long-haul trip, when those cakes are in season. It's a bad idea?
    Falsehood #5 - Pilots are sleeping most of the time. Never happen? See: http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/26/travel/airline-pilots-asleep-cockpit/
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/20/travel/faa-sleep-disorder-testing/
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/photos/inside-secret-world-tired-pilots-12868682
    Falsehood #6 - Sky Mall is one big rip-off. Heck, why not buy everything you need from Sky Mall? There's not much mark-up there! ;)
    Falsehood #7 - How your checked bags are really treated. Just like they belonged to Donald Trump! At least, that's what I told myself when my Hartmann suit bag was returned to me from a UA long haul flight, looking like it had been first dropped from 10 stories and then run over by a tractor trailer! :(
    Falsehood #8 - Airports haven't covered all of their security bases yet. Well, if they have, how did that 15 year old get into the wheel well of that Maui-bound airplane at San Jose airport? Hmm, couldn't someone just as easily put something else in that wheel well, since the security was so tight?

    Yup, it's all obviously false, and not worth reading! :eek:
     
  13. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    ;)
    Not to confuse the numbers, but:

    #3- I usually leave my flight bag unlocked when putting it through the xray machines at security in case it has to be opened up and checked while I'm there. No need to lock it until after that point, IMO, as if someone is going to steal it at the xray point before I can reach it, they'll open it later regardless, locked or not. And after the TSA scanners and that check, why does someone need a TSA openable lock to secure their carryon, as any lock will do, for either gatechecking or bringing your case on board. A TSA openable lock is a good idea if you're going to check a suitcase as they'll break open any other type of lock if they need to look inside.

    Flying back from Belfast to YYZ through LHR on Y2K Day (remember that one!), I had four large bars of Imperial Leather soap in my flightbag, that my wife had asked me to bring back as they weren't available in NA. Prior to boarding the short flight to LHR, when I went through the scanners at Belfast, I was pulled aside and told to open my flightbag as two security people and two more dark suited men came over to table. The bag was unlocked and easily opened and they reached in and very gingerly pulled out all four bars of soap, examining them closely and opening one of the wrappers for a closer look and sniff test. After a smile and laugh, they all thanked me and I was on my way but I guess the soap bars looked like another menacing item to the xray scanners, which they could have been of course.

    #4- I thought tipping the flight crew is frowned upon by most airlines and it is forbid in some cases for them to accept same. But to me, a tip implies cash, not a small box of candy or tootsy rolls or a King Cake, as someone does frequently to thank the FA's for good, friendly service, and I don't think of that as a tip per se, just a friendly thank you. So without going into details of what a tip can or cannot be originally, it wouldn't be a good idea to hold out a hand with cash to a FA as that might cause their dismissal if it's reported to the company. Of course, being friendly with a smile and thank you also goes a long way to achieving something that money can't always buy.

    If the original article had clearly clarified that which needed to be explained further and beyond, there wouldn't have been a need to verify that it wasn't indeed suited for the once upon a time flyer, as they would only misconstrue the intended information and use it incorrectly.

    FWIW, calculus wasn't one of my bestest courses in school, which may explain why my slide rule usually got stuck between the same numbers at the time. Forgot to oil it often enough! But I did learn to work out other things with it .;)

    Glad to help out with your defalsifacationing the original article.
     
  14. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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  15. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Thanks, but I don't wear white socks with my shoes. Grey socks only with sneakers .:rolleyes:

    And the above picture is all wrong. My wife and I always sit much closer together. ;)
     
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  16. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    1.

    > at altitude, you have 15-20 seconds before you pass out.

    Hold your breath for 20 seconds. Did you pass out?

    > Passing out for a few seconds won’t harm the kids.

    Actually, hypoxia is worse for kids than it is for you.
    Still the point is well made - it's better for a competent
    adult to be around to do whatever needs to be done.

    2.

    > Whatever you do, do not drink the water in the lav.

    Fair enough ... although I sometimes do, when I'm in coach.
    Nothing ever has happened.

    By the way, do you know that one of the first, if not the
    first, national coverages of dirty water aloft came from
    a study done by the son of a moderator on TOBB.

    > It is bad enough to “wash” your hands in it.

    This just plain doesn't follow. People who think this way
    appear to me to be sort of cleanliness Chicken Littles.

    > We sanitize the water tank at selected maintenance intervals,
    > however parasites build tolerances to these cleaners.

    This statement is in fairly direct contradiction to another
    one later in the article. Anyhow, the likelihood of parasites
    being in the hand-washing water is slim.

    > Check the outside of the aircrafts when walking in. If the
    > paint is crappy shape, the plane is in crappy shape. Skydrol
    > (hydraulic fluid) is a nasty fluid and will dissolve everything.

    Total nonsense. Skydrol is no walk in the park, but neither
    is it particularly corrosive. In fact, closely related chemicals
    are used to protect against corrosion.

    It was at this point when I pretty nearly said basta to the
    article (which I saved to the computer in anticipation that
    you'd take issue with my post! not wanting to give the original
    site the satisfaction of another hit).

    3.

    True.

    4.

    > The captain has almost limitless authority when the doors are closed.

    Captains may think so, but they are answerable to a set of
    higher authorities, and whatever they do is subject to
    scrutiny on the ground.

    > He is allowed to arrest people, write fines and

    Write fines? What planet is the author on?

    > even take the will of a dying passenger

    But you or I (assuming we are of legal age) can arrest people
    (in a provisional sort of way) and have as much right to take
    the will of a dying passenger as the captain does.

    5.

    > Just lift the flap up and slide the bolt to unlock.

    Almost true. There are a variety of designs, but for most
    of them you need a tool to unlock the lav. The one I used
    most recently was a BIC pen.

    And so on. You might think that the above are nitpicky, and
    I admit to having been a professional nitpicker for 40 or more
    years, but many of the later ones are real whoppers.
     
  17. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Holding your breath is not the same as being in air with less than 21% O2 at sea level. Holding your breath both depletes O2 and prohibits the elimination of CO2. Actually, if you were in a cabin pressure loss situation and held your breath for 20 seconds, you would have 20 seconds extra before breathing and then feeling the effects of lack of O2. If you're not breathing, you're not subject to the contents, or lack of, the surrounding air.

    Children, not infants, are actually more resilient when 'challenged' by a less than perfect oxygenation scenario. There is a point on the oxygen dissociation curve where it becomes more difficult to re-oxygenate, but no more for children (excluding infants) than adults.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
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  18. violist
    Original Member

    violist Gold Member

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    I didn't see what you're telling me; so I did the obvious experiment, which I kept up
    for a minute and a quarter, until it became uncomfortable. I'm not sure what the
    cognitive effects were, but I was capable of immediately walking down a flight
    of stairs and composing this post.
     
  19. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    What I'm explaining is that holding your breath for any length of time vs. breathing air in an unpressurised aircraft cabin are not the same thing and do not have the same effects.
     
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