Trivia

Some Common Misconceptions about Flying

Despite the ever-increasing number of people flying and stringent air travel safety norms, many people are still freaked out at the very thought of boarding a plane and flying. There are several myths and plain misunderstandings about commercial air travel. We bring to you some of the most common ones circulating around the world. 

We know how planes actually fly

Surprisingly, there is no clear explanation on how planes stay aloft in the air. Even today, scientists have incomplete theories on how planes lift and stay upward. Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli suggested that the air roving across the curved top wing is faster than air near the bottom which results in lower air pressure and subsequent lift. Applying Newton’s third law of motion means airplanes stay in the air by pushing the air down. But all of these are imperfect and flawed explanations.

 Turbulence means danger

Every now and then, one experiences air turbulence. No one likes it as it is associated with a threat to one’s safety. Debunking any myths, a plane can never be flipped or thrown into a tailspin or, for that matter, flung from the sky by the strongest of the air turbulence. When turbulence occurs, which will always happen, pilots and attendants are never worried about it but are rather concerned about the nervous passengers.

 Airplane cabin can be depressurized by a bullet shot

A deadly bullet hole in the air cabin is nothing but a Hollywood invention. If accidentally someone fires bullet mid-air on the cabin wall, most likely it will pierce through the aluminum siding of the aircraft. However, the hole will be so small that the aircraft’s pressurization system will be able to override its effect. So, it’s more of a movie gimmick than an actual fatal eventuality.

 Oxygen masks will provide regular oxygen

If oxygen canisters are stored in the aircraft to deliver regular oxygen to the passengers in case of an emergency, it will add weight and could also present a fire hazard. Alternatively, a chemical combination that is less hazardous is used. The overhead hanging masks, if needed, releases chemicals like barium peroxide, sodium chlorate, and potassium chlorate that produces breathable oxygen for 10-20 minutes till the time the aircrew can figure out a resolution for whatever has gone wrong.

Often also doubted for germs and other airborne microbes, Boeing 787 offers the cleanest air inside any commercial place with 99.97 percent air filtration. Another myth debunked.

Priyadarshini Kaul

Priyadarshini Kaul Mishra has two Master’s Degrees in English Literature and History. She is actively following her passion for the language by being a content creator since many years now. Besides this, Priyadarshini is a true bookworm at heart and tries to be an avid reader despite being a full-time mother now. She is also a professionally certified baker and puts on the oven mitts every now and then.
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