9 secrets pilots wish their passengers knew

Jessica Brown@Jessica_E_Brown
Saturday 08 April 2017 11:30
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We all have secrets. You might know that Sheila from accounts only pretends to like her boyfriend's kids - fortunately, keeping that to yourself isn't really going to do much damage.

Pilots, on the other hand, have secrets, too - and we can all benefit from hearing about them.

Some pilots took to Whisper to share their secrets, and here’s what you can learn.

1. Pilots get as excited as we do

I’m a pilot and I still think to myself every take-off: WHEEEEE!! It never gets old.

2. And as scared

I’m a pilot and I have an intense fear of heights. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

3. They’re not always what they say they are

I’m a pilot for a major Canadian airline. I’ll occasionally announce to passengers that this is my first flight since getting my license to with me luck.

Pilots have also confessed to Reader’s Digest, and revealed a few interesting titbits.

4. Lightening isn’t that big of a deal

I’ve been struck by lightening twice. Most pilots have. Airplanes are built to take it. You hear a big boom and see a big flash and that's it. You're not going to fall out of the sky.

5. Regional airlines aren’t quite the same

The regionals aren't held to the same safety standards as the majors: Their pilots aren't required to have as much training and experience, and the public doesn't know that.

6. Sometimes, planes don’t have enough fuel

I'm constantly under pressure to carry less fuel than I'm comfortable with. Airlines are always looking at the bottom line, and you burn fuel carrying fuel. Sometimes if you carry just enough fuel and you hit thunderstorms or delays, then suddenly you're running out of gas and you have to go to an alternate airport.

7. There’s only one type of landing

There's no such thing as a water landing. It's called crashing into the ocean.

And some other pilots took to Quora to spill the beans.

8. Pilots sleep a lot. On the job.

Pilots are sleeping most of the time. What I can say for sure is that on longer flights pilots are often required to sleep. There will be a relief crew onboard and when one crew is asleep in the rest area, the other is flying.

9. Oxygen masks don't last very long

There's only about 15 minutes of oxygen per passenger. (Newer planes have more.) An emergency descent to a breathable altitude should only take about 5 minutes, though.

More: Why planes dim their lights at landing

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