Although the wonder of human flight has become commonplace, misinformation and rumors abound about airplanes and air travel. Do you, dear frequent flyer, think you can tackle our quiz?
Back in the day, you would be required to have 20/20 vision without the aid of glasses in order to be an airline pilot, but that isn't so anymore. As long as you can see with 20/20 vision with our without glasses or contact lenses, you should be in the clear.
Turbulence, which is the biggest cause of in-flight injuries, can actually happen in clear, cloudless weather as well as bad weather. Aircraft radars can't detect it.
Several phenomena cause turbulence, including jet streams and masses of hot air rising. Other causes include air passing over mountains and disturbances of air currents from storms or planes nearer to the ground.
A pilot might decide to dump fuel, ejecting it from the wings, if the plane needs to make an unplanned landing soon after takeoff. It's not very common, and it's done to avoid an overweight landing that can damage the plane. It is, however, a safe procedure, and fuel usually evaporates before it hits the ground.
A Boeing 747 can carry around 60,000 gallons (about 227,0000 liters) of jet fuel. At about 6.7 lbs per gallon (about 0.8 kg per liter), the fuel in a full 747 weighs about 400,000 lbs (about 181,000 kg).
A Boeing 747 gets only 0.2 miles per gallon (about 0.8 km per liter). But considering that a 747 can carry more than 550 passengers, that can translate to great mileage per passenger.
Used only rarely during takeoff and landing, autopilot systems are often engaged throughout most of the flight. They can make more precise adjustments and, except in turbulence, can be more fuel efficient.
Contrails are chiefly made up of water vapor that has frozen and crystalized, forming clouds. But they also contain carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfate particles and soot. Conspiracy theorists argue that contrails consist of other, more harmful substances planted by the government and military.
It's true that an open door could cause people and other objects to get sucked out, and this has happened before. But it will only happen when the cabin is pressurized and the plane is flying at high altitude.
A plug-type door means the door is basically bigger than the opening, making it hard to open. It takes a specific motion, like rotating a special handle and pulling inward, to get it open. Pressurization in the cabin also makes it near-impossible for multiple people (let alone one person) to open a door during mid-flight.