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  • Suppose that an aircraft is in an exigency or emergency solely related to aviation (ie not a medical situation). Moreover, suppose that some airline passenger believes that he/she can help in the cockpit. Since the cockpit door is locked for security, how can he/she volunteer their services and enter the cockpit to try to help? In these possibly final moments, it's conceivable that someone... critical time surveying the control panel, but didn't apprehend the problem in time. I am dejected to imagine that a passenger might've straightaway discerned the discrepancy between their yoke

  • When flying in an Airbus, I often (if not always) hear a weird sound before the aircraft starts to accelerate for taking off. From where exactly does this sound come from? Why doesn't it appear on oth...

  • So Justin Bieber was in the news again a couple of days ago: Pilots on Justin Bieber’s Plane Had to Wear Masks Because of Pot Smoke What are pilots legally obligated to do in a situation like this...

  • Every time I travel on an airplane, the stewardess forces me to shut down my iPad. I just lock it, and start using it again 5 minutes later. I wonder why this is? Is it because I have to have my hand...

  • One thing I guess a lot of people wonder is: what happens you flush the toilet in an aeroplane? Does it fall out the belly of the plane and disintegrate? :)

  • Recently I was checking in to a flight and was asked if I'd like a window or aisle seat as usual and choose a window seat. I was then told that there are no more window seats available but I could get...

  • Right after take off 1-2 minutes into flight I get this stomach drop "roller coaster" feeling for split second. It freaks people out thinking they are about to crash! Why is that??

  • As a thought experiment, imagine a plane with minimal fuel/appliances on board with hundreds of heavy passengers that make up say 10% of the weight of the plane. Now imagine that they have a way to s...

  • I know the usual scenario is where an airliner suffers from an explosive decompression and the oxygen masks drop and the plane descends to a safer altitude but..... This is a purely hypothetical situation but if a passenger plane was cruising at 39000ft+ and it suffered a cabin leak that somehow went unnoticed by the crew and passengers and the oxygen masks didn't drop, how long roughly would it be before the passengers were incapacitated, and how long before the lack of oxygen became fatal.

  • Following up on this question about pilots letting passengers fly the plane, suppose you’re in a Cessna 172 with passengers and you have your PPL. If you want to let a friend try flying the plane, you...

  • As a passenger with a keen interest in aviation, I'd like to think I'd be eagle-eyed enough to spot a problem that the pilots mightn't be able to see, from where they're sitting (for example, an engine sputtering or ice on the wings). What things can we look out for, sat in the cabin, that might ultimately save a plane?

  • A question on Travel (Are parachutes allowed on airplanes as cabin baggage?) got me to wondering: hypothetically, what items could the "über-paranoid" passenger or pilot bring on-board to potentially save their life in an emergency? I.e. a parachute, oxygen, a portable smoke hood? What are the technicalities? I.e. would a parachute be of any use above a certain altitude? What about with oxygen?

  • Reading this page, a retired American Airlines pilot quotes: We tell passengers what they need to know. We don’t tell them things that are going to scare the pants off them. So you’ll never hear me say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we just had an engine failure,’ even if that’s true. Given this, how can an observant passenger sitting over wing (seeing most likely very little of the engine), determine if a flameout or shutdown has occurred from observation? This is applicable to an aircraft not unlike the Boeing 737 (which I fly on often).

  • What problems do cell phones cause? How is using a cell phone in the air different than using it from the ground?

  • I was trying to explain to someone why the cabin is pressurized (no one wants hypoxia) and that led to discussion about the emergency oxygen masks available on airliners. If a person didn't put on th...

  • How does an airline facilitate in-flight calls for mobile phones? I would guess that over open water in flight calls are relayed by an on board link to a communications satellite. Such a system woul...

  • I'd imagine there are probably reasons behind the choice of food that airlines serve, and I'm wondering what those reasons are? I guess that Air India probably serves more curries than American Airli...

  • There've been a lot of questions lately about tracking aircraft, and after a conversation with a friend of a friend I started wondering: Could a PLB or EPIRB carried by a passenger or crew member aid in locating a downed or missing airliner? There are a dozen or so brands out there, most using similar technology, like this ACR ARTEX unit: Now, I'm well aware of the FAA and FCC regulations about electronic devices in flight, and that's not what I'm interested in. I also realize that airliners already carry an ELT. If a paranoid passenger brought one on board, would these devices function

  • Assuming Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 ditched in the ocean, and surviving passengers and crew were floating around in their inflatable vests, how long could they survive? Is there data about the long...

  • This question shows a couple of air hostesses dancing during mid-flight and the co-pilot came out of the cabin to record it. This made me wonder: Can flight crew or passengers moving around in fli...