15 Aviation Facts That May Surprise Even the Most Experienced Travelers

During the warm season, we really want to travel. And it’s really easy to do so— a couple of clicks and you have the plane ticket! And while you’re watching Netflix at 30,000 feet, a special sort of magic will happen in the cockpit.

  • Planes rarely fly with their tanks full. When planning the flight, the itinerary, weather conditions, and number of passengers are taken into account. A plane with a full tank is much heavier, so it can take fewer people. Obviously, aviation companies want their planes full.
  • During transatlantic flights, the crew can rest in a special room. It’s right behind the cockpit. The walls are covered with a material that makes the room soundproof. There’s a comfortable bed with a pillow and blanket, and a lamp for reading. The room is used only when there are 3 pilots on the flight.
  • During ordinary commercial flights, autopilot is used for up to 90% of the time. Only during take off, pilots are in full manual control. The rest of the time, they rely on technology. Some modern planes can even land automatically.
  • Every plane has a George. It’s what they name autopilot. The crew can say something like, “George is flying the plane now.” It means that autopilot is on.
  • It’s not a joke. There are pigs working at the airport. In Amsterdam, there is a project aimed to decrease the number of collisions with birds. They hired 20 animals. The pigs eat the leftover sugar beets that geese and other birds like so much. This way, the area around the airport becomes less attractive for birds and safer for travelers.
  • Pilots eat up in the air. When the plane goes into the autopilot mode, pilots can eat. They do it in turns to make sure there’s always a pilot who can take control.
  • It’s likely that pilots on a flight work together for the first time. That shouldn’t worry you. All pilots with no exception are trained according to the same standards, so they always work together like a good team even if they have never met each other before.


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