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Technology & Innovation

Five Things to Consider Before Your Next Flight

The missing Malaysian jet may have ignited a fear of flying in many. Statistically, a missing plane is an extremely rare occurrence. What we should all be terrified of when it comes to flying is the water that comes out of the sinks in plane bathrooms. That warning comes from a lively conversation on Reddit picked up by meme-driven site ViralQuake. Flight attendants, commercial pilots, and other airline professionals answered Redditors’ questions, spilling secrets about what really goes on in-flight.

Here are five of the most troubling revelations:

1) The water in the lavatories is filthy.

“Whatever you do, do not drink the water in the lav. It is bad enough to “wash” your hands in it. We sanitize the water tank at selected maintenance intervals, however parasites build tolerances to these cleaners.

Check the outside of the aircraft 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. So if the paint is missing, it’s probably from a Skydrol leak. No one wants a hydraulic leak at 35,000 ft in the air. As you can’t just pull over and top the reservoir off.”

2) Flying is dangerous and extremely uncomfortable for pets.

“I am an aircraft fueler. One thing I cannot stress enough is how your pets are treated. While your airline will take the best possible actions, some things cannot be avoided, like the noise on the ramp. I cannot stand out there without ear protection, and imagine your pet sitting out there on the ramp waiting to be loaded onto the plane being exposed to the same amount of noise I am.Please people, think twice before flying your pets.”

3) Again, don’t drink the water, unless it came from a bottle.

“Former Lufthansa cargo agent here. Do not EVER drink water on an aircraft that did not come from a bottle. Don’t even TOUCH IT. The reason being the ports to purge lavatory shit and refill the aircraft with potable water are within feet from each other and sometimes serviced all at once by the same guy. Not always, but if you’re not on the ramp watching, you’ll never know.”

4) You will never look at landings the same way again after reading this.

“Landings are nothing more than controlled crashes.” and “When you experience a hard landing in bad weather it wasn’t because of a lack of pilot skills but it is in fact intentional. If the runway is covered in water the airplane has to touch down hard in order to puncture the water layer and prevent aqua planing.”

5) Who’s in the cockpit?

“Regional airline pilot here. You may have bought a ticket on Delta, United, or American, but chances are you’ll be flying on a subcontractor. That means the pilots have a fraction of the experience, training, and pay of the big mainline carrier. Also, I don’t get paid enough to care if you make your connection. Most of the time we fly slower than normal to make more money. The only time we fly fast is if ATC tells us to or if it’s the go home leg.”


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