Airline Pilots and Flight Attendants Share The Secrets Of The Sky

Airplane pilots and flight attendants spill the beans about airline secrets.

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Ever wonder what goes on in the cockpit while you sit there eating airplane peanuts? Pilots and flight attendants recently shared some industry secrets about what goes on behind the scenes during flights. I am now afraid of dead bodies in sunglasses and airplane coffee.

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Pilots are on their phones or reading the newspaper all the time.

—AirspeedIsLife

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There’s a chance your flight could be a pilot’s very first flight in an actual jet. They could be fresh out of training, out of the simulator, and actually flying that jet aircraft.

Scary, right? Well, that pilot could probably explain every single system of that aircraft in-depth. Pilots that have been flying the line for years? Maybe not quite as in-depth.

—Rob9159

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There’s a special frequency called ‘Guard’ that all aircraft are supposed to monitor. It’s for emergencies, or for when an aircraft ends up on a wrong frequency and the controllers need to get contact with them to change them to the right frequency.

It’s full of pilots meowing at each other, and people accidentally asking for gate assignments and making other radio calls.

—dog_in_the_vent

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Don’t take off your shoes to go to the bathroom. People pee on the floor all the time.

-purcerh

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We will not only transport dead bodies, but also live transplants, like hearts and lungs. I particularly like the live transplants because we get to cut to the front of the line for takeoff and we get all the shortcuts to our destination.

—purcerh

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As an Air Traffic Controller, we are constantly swearing and yelling at pilots when we’re not on the frequency, and then when we key up we use our nice guy voices.

—ryanlikespoop

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Pilot here: pilots only get paid when the doors are closed and the push back has commenced. If we’re delayed or sitting with the plane door open, we’re just as annoyed as you are.

—cornbreadcasserole

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I was learning to be cabin crew at college and in the event that someone dies onboard, the CC (Cabin Crew) make it less obvious that they have passed. Put glasses on them, maybe a hat. Essentially dress them up as subtle as possible to not alert and or panic the other passengers.

-cMindge

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Sometimes, pilots will fly faster to get to their destinations earlier if a crew member has a commute to catch home.

—Rob9159

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Most of the time, passengers are not given the full answer on why a flight is delayed or cancelled. Airlines will typically blame cancellations on unrelated events, like weather, instead of mechanical issues so they don’t have to pay for hotel rooms/meals etc.

—darbel

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Flight attendants don’t get paid on the ground. Only flying hours are paid. So, please be kind when you are boarding the plane and getting all pissy about your bags etc. The flight attendant is a volunteer while they help you on the ground, they are essentially doing you a favor.

—abicus4343

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Planes often have broken equipment onboard, it’s just the nature of the business and things break. Can’t always fix it, so there is an approved list of things that may be broken, and how long they may be broken before they must be fixed.

Not stuff that makes the flight unsafe, just maybe more work for the pilots. Also, the Captain can always reject an aircraft if he feels it is unsafe.

—Rob9159

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Former flight attendant here. Never drink the coffee, I have never seen those machines cleaned.

-nosayingbagpipe

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My uncle was a pilot. He says that most people don’t understand how much of the airplane is run by computers. The pilots are necessary, but a lot of the elements of flying are automated nowadays.

—AnnPoltergeist

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Sometimes, prisoners are transported on commercial airline flights — law enforcement officers are escorting them.

—Rob9159

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Both pilots may not eat the same meal — in case a meal causes food poisoning — but they might be eating at the same time while the plane flies itself.

—llfee

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A smooth landing is not necessarily a good landing. One can make a smooth landing and it will feel good for passengers but it could be a risky landing if the pilot decides to use extra runway.

Never shout at your pilot for a bad landing unless he crash lands. And if he crash lands and you can shout at him, understand that you are alive because of him.

—GrandMasterRobo

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Lavatory doors can be opened from the outside by lifting the metal plate saying “lavatory” and pulling the pin under it.

-Frietmetstoofvlees

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Ex airline employee here. Often we’d have someone on board with terrible body odor. You can set the temperature in one end of the cabin hotter and it localized the smell to one part of the plane. If you see coffee filter bags hanging anywhere its because someone smells like open ass somewhere on the plane.

-Subrookie

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There’s a 600 page book in the cockpit with every. Single. Thing. that can possibly go wrong, from a bulb going out to an engine falling off, a biohazard or a bomb threat.

-Exos9

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Tip for those who get motion sickness: try not to move your head around. Pilots move their eyes instead of their heads to look at the instruments in the flight deck. Also, try to sit in a seat over the wing. This area of the plane doesn’t rotate as much during climbs and descents.

—purcerh

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The view from the cockpit is amazing. Sunsets, Sunrises, lightning storms at night, flying over mountains and landscapes…Never gets old.

—Rob9159

Courtesy of The Chive

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