So, the flight attendants know about some safety features on commercial airplanes, and the passengers should too.
Even if you're not flying due to the coronavirus pandemic, you should be well informed when you do start flying again. It's always good to know about the little known features so you could save your life in an emergency (and maybe even the lives of the other passengers around you).
Reuters reported that the number of commercial airplane fatalities fell by more than 50% in 2019. There were 86 accidents, including eight fatal accidents (most notably, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302), which added up to 257 fatalities.
But, even though there's a sharp decrease in accidents, you should educate yourself on how to stay safe on commercial flights because the flight attendants can only do so much.
10 Gas Masks And Handcuff Tie Wraps Are On Board
Aside from the portable oxygen masks, gas masks and handcuff tie wraps are also onboard the commercial aircraft. No, they're not your cops and robbers type of masks and handcuffs, but they're used as restraining tools when there's an unruly passenger who takes things way too far. Moreover, the sky marshals are undercover armed escorts, so the unruly passenger will be a secret from everyone else — including the cabin crew — on the commercial flight.
9 There Are Cameras On The Flight Deck To Watch Passengers
This might seem like a security breach, but rest assured, it's not. There are cameras in the flight deck in some commercial airplanes for the cabin crew to watch the passengers. This, my friends, is nothing more than a safety measure. They want to ensure the safety of both the customers and crew members onboard a commercial flight. And, if there's a disturbance, they'll be able to monitor and land as soon as possible.
8 Both Flight Deck Door And Wall Are Bulletproof
Yes, the flight deck doors and walls are bulletproof. The cockpit doors are also bulletproof. This is a reality, and it's a great reality, as the first focal point of a commercial flight is safety. Safety is key, and if a passenger is carrying a firearm or if an outsider tries to aim at a commercial airplane, everyone that's onboard would feel more at ease as opposed to running around like chickens and roosters.
7 The Aircraft Can Fly On Only One Engine
We're willing to bet you didn't know that a commercial aircraft could fly on only one engine. In a Flight Deck Friend article, a twin-engine aircraft (i.e. Boeing 737) can fly "perfectly well" on one engine and can even continue a take-off and then land with one engine. Why's that? A loss of an engine during a commercial flight is usually not an issue because the pilots have undergone extensive training to deal with such situations.
6 Landing Gear Can Be Dropped Without Hydraulic Power
Contrary to popular belief, a commercial aircraft's landing can be dropped without hydraulic power, thanks to gravity and airspeed. Most modern aircraft use gravity and airspeed to drop the gears. That being said, hydraulics are often used to trigger unlocking, use the downlock actuator to halt accidental unlocking, and trigger unlocking so you can get the gears and doors up. Who knew that hydraulics could serve more than just one purpose on a commercial flight?
5 Seat Cushions Are Enclosed With Approved Fire-Blocking Material
If you've ever wondered if your commercial airline seat is safe, the answer is a definite "yes." On every commercial aircraft, the seat cushions are enclosed with approved fire-blocking material. As a result, the flammability of the seats has decreased, and the passengers' chances of survival in commercial aircraft accidents have increased. This novel encapsulation technology was a win-win situation as it has saved lives on domestic and international aircraft carriers since it was implemented.
4 Defibrillators And Full Medical Kits Are Available
Have you ever been on a flight when a fellow passenger fell ill? I have, and I was thankful for the defibrillators and full medical kits available for flight attendants to quickly access on the aircraft. They never know when a medical emergency will arise, so it's important to be prepared for the worst. They're most definitely prepared for emergencies, as they also know how to administer CPR to save a passenger's life if needed.
3 Flight Attendants Can Open Locked Lavatory Doors
Yes, flight attendants can open locked lavatory doors in the event of an emergency that occurs in flight. No, the mile-high club that forms a long line of angry passengers who need to use the loo isn't the only reason. There might be a potential fire sparked by a passenger lighting up or a basic welfare check on a passenger. They just want to make sure the aircraft and its passengers are in one piece.
2 Automatic Fire Extinguishers Are In Lavatory Garbage Cans
There are automatic fire extinguishers in the lavatory garbage cans in case of a fire. This was mandated as a result of two incidents — a fire in an Air Canada flight and an evacuation at Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Florida — that both happened in 1983. These automatic fire extinguishers can be activated immediately as soon as they detect heat inside the aircraft, which means more time for the flight crew to put out the fire.
1 The Indicators On Aircraft Wings Can Detect Icing
Icing — an atmospheric condition that can lead to water ice — can affect the external surface of a commercial aircraft and maybe even cause a fatal accident. Thus, it's important for pilots to pay attention to icing levels, and they can do so by checking out the indicators of the aircraft's wings. That's a really good thing considering the fact that pilots don't have a lot of time on their hands while high up in the sky.