With more countries added to the Green List and international travel becoming more plausible, the fear of flying will return for many people.
Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway were added to the green list starting today (Sunday), which means visitors won’t have to self-quarantine on their return if they test negative.
Relaxation means there will be more preparations to take off tastes Leeds-Bradford Airport or Doncaster Airport for a well-deserved stay.
But while you might be anxious to wake up by the pool, the thought of traveling to your destination might already send your shivers down your spine.
One in six people are afraid of flying and are terrified of all the strange noises they hear in the air.
For some, the phobia can manifest itself as the need for tablets before the flight, deep breathing during take-off and the pressure of your traveling companion’s hand at the slightest noise or shock.
EasyJet pilot Chris Foster spoke to our partner newspaper on Echo of Liverpool to explain everything you ever wanted to know about being in the air.
What if you accidentally left a mobile or iPad on while taking off?
In reality, nothing to worry about. Aircraft control systems are now so sophisticated that they would not cause interference. The regulations go back many years to when we didn’t even have things like iPads. The laws are starting to loosen – you can now use your devices in aviation safety mode – and I think we’ll see more changes over the next few years.
Is it possible for someone to open the door in the air?
Absolutely not. The plane is pressurized and the doors are what we call “plug-in doors”, which prevents them from opening until the pressure is released.
Can turbulence crash a plane?
The risk of turbulence causing an aircraft to fall is incredibly low. Turbulence causes discomfort, much like driving on a road with a lot of potholes, but it is neither dangerous nor dangerous. An airplane is designed to withstand many times the force of turbulence that you are likely to encounter.
Is it possible that the engine of an airplane “stalls” in the air?
An airplane engine can fail, but that is an extremely remote possibility, as the care and attention that goes into maintaining an engine is incredible.
Most pilots are unlikely to experience a technical problem with their aircraft during their flying career, let alone an engine failure.
Why do you have to set up your platform during take off and landing?
We anticipate all eventualities and if we were to abandon take-off for some reason – which, again, is highly unlikely – a tray table could injure a passenger if left open.
And why do you have to open your window shutter?
If we were to evacuate the plane, it is important that the cabin crew can ensure that there is no danger outside. Keeping the shutters open gives them that visibility.
Why do the lights sometimes go out just before takeoff?
We do this when we take off in the dark and it is so that our eyes can adapt quickly to the outside light, if we have to interrupt the take off. This is extremely unlikely, but we have to be prepared for all eventualities and having the lights dimmed means that our vision will adapt more quickly to the light outside.
When the plane begins to climb, it may suddenly seem like the engine is off – what is it?
We reduce the thrust of the plane, because it doesn’t need as much power at this point, and the nose is lowered and the shape of the wings changes, to make the plane more aerodynamic for the next part of the trip. – that all reduce the noise level.
Some people feel their stomachs tighten when this happens – much like driving up a steep hill – and may find it disturbing, but it’s a perfectly normal thing to happen.
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What would happen if the pilot fell ill during the flight?
There are two pilots at all times, so the first officer would be promoted to captain very quickly and that’s something we practice regularly in the flight simulator.
There is a false myth that co-pilots are not as well trained as pilots, but we train to exactly the same standards. It’s just that in general, the co-pilots are not as experienced.
The cabin crew are also trained in first aid so if I got sick they would take me away from the controls first and then start treating me.
What happens if an airplane is struck by lightning?
Aircraft are built to withstand lightning strikes and other weather interference. But we also use tools and instruments like weather radar to avoid inclement weather so that the risk of being struck by lightning is low.
Is it safer to fly during the day or at night?
There is absolutely no difference.
How far can we get close to another plane without it being dangerous?
About 1,000 feet is the closest, which is still a huge distance. But when you are on an airplane, it’s misleading – another airplane can look much closer than it actually is.
Are pilots allowed to eat and play music during the flight?
During take off and landing, it is a very sterile environment with no non-essential conversations. You are fully focused on piloting the aircraft.
If you are on a longer flight, maybe to the Canaries, it gets a bit more relaxed once in the air but there is still a lot of surveillance to do and various checks, plus you have traffic control. aerial speaks to you, so you’re never sitting there with your iPod on.
Sometimes the seat belt warning light comes on when there doesn’t seem to be a reason – why?
It’s just that we are careful – we may have been told that another plane has experienced turbulence ahead, for example. Our main concern is everyone’s safety, so if there is a risk we will turn on the light, but sometimes by the time we get there the turbulence is gone.
Are you already scared?
I have been asked this many times and the answer is no – hand over heart. I have been flying since I was 16 and there has never been a time when I have been scared in the air.
To find out about Easyjet’s Fearless Flyer course, visit their site here.
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