Do you notice every little detail about your surroundings right away? If yes, then you didn’t miss the fact that all planes have a green light on the end of one wing, and a red one on the other. So why different colorful light.
Why do they have different colorful lights? Well, let’s find out!
These high-intensity red and green lights, together with a white light located on the tail, are the plane’s navigation lights. The red light is always on the left wingtip, and the green one is always on the right. These navigation lights are on at all times. Their primary purpose is to signal a plane’s precise position to all other aircraft in the sky.
Let’s say, a helicopter’s pilot sees red and white lights in front of them at night this lets them know there’s a plane passing from right to left.
Green and white means the plane is flying from left to right.
Seeing both red and green is a warning sign that a plane is moving toward the helicopter.
And spotting only white light means a plane is going the same way as the helicopter or pointing away. All these light combinations help pilots to avoid any chance of collision with another aircraft.
Apart from navigation lights, planes have red rotating beacon lights installed on the upper and lower fuselage. When the red blinking light is on, it’s a warning for the ground crew and other planes that the engines are about to start, and it’s dangerous to come near. But pilots keep them on even after take-off because they increase a plane’s visibility in the sky. And just like a car, a plane has headlights that help the pilot see the runway during landing and take off.
Taxi lights are located on the nose, and they illuminate the runway. Landing lights are under the wings near the fuselage. They’re used for the same purpose, but give the pilot a bit wider angle of view for making turns. During take-off, landing lights are switched off when a plane reaches 10,000 ft altitude. When descending, pilots turn them on again at the same altitude.
But what lights do you see when you notice a plane high in the sky?
These are the white strobe lights fitted at the wingtips. They’re super bright, and pulsate to make a plane visible from miles away. Ok, now all those blinking lights make perfect sense. But a flight has a lot of other not-so-obvious things that have some hidden purpose and spark questions, even for the most experienced travellers.
Why are there white spiral marks on airplane engines?
These spirals come in different sizes and shapes, depending on the plane, and protect the ground crew. You might think that deafening noises are enough to warn them that the pilots have started the engines and it’s not safe to approach the area. But they wear hearing protection. Also, if there are several planes on the ground, it gets tough to tell which one is about to take off by merely relying on your ears. Seeing the hypnotizing swirl on jet engines prompts the ground staff to stay away.
Why are there holes in airplane windows?
Take a closer look at any window on a plane – it consists of 3 panes, and the middle one has this tiny hole. When a plane is up in the sky, there’s a massive difference between the pressure inside and outside the cabin. The outer pane bears the most pressure, and the hole in the middle one helps regulate the pressure difference to make sure passengers don’t experience a lack of oxygen. And since there’s also a big difference in temperature inside and outside, the hole keeps the windows from fogging up.
Why are there hooks on the wings?
Some of the emergency exits on a plane are over the wings, and this means that passengers will have to step on the wings to get to an escape slide. But if it’s an emergency landing on water, the wing surface will be slippery, and this is when those yellow hooks come in handy. Crew members secure one end of a rope in the door frame, and the other one gets attached to the wing through the hook. Another rope is secured in the second hole. Passengers can hold on to these ropes while making their way to the inflatable slide.
Is it possible to get extra space on a plane?
Yes, but only if you’re lucky enough to take an aisle seat. There’s a magic button near the hinge under the armrest closest to the aisle that will make your trip instantly much more comfortable. After pressing it, you can freely move that armrest up, making it parallel to the back of your seat. However, the main purpose of this button is to allow you quick and easy escape in case of emergency. Did you know about this secret feature?
Why are the lights dimmed during take-off and landing?
When a plane takes off or lands at night or dusk, the cabin crew wants your eyes to get adjusted to the darkness. Usually, it takes up to 30 minutes to fully adjust to a dark setting. So, dimming the lights in the cabin works to shorten that period. In case of any emergency or sudden evacuation, your vision will already be adjusted, and the illuminated pathways will be more visible. However, dimming the lights happen in the daytime as well to conserve some engine power.
Why do planes leave white trails in the sky?
These white trails look a lot like smoke, but in reality, they’re mostly water and carbon dioxide, which are released into the atmosphere when the engine burns fuel. The cold air at high altitudes condenses and possibly freezes, the hot exhaust, creating those white “tails”. Basically, it works the same as when you can see your breath on a chilly day.
Can a plane door open mid-flight?
If, for some reason, this question worries you when your plane is about to take off, then let me put your fears to rest – it’s impossible. The force of the cabin pressure won’t allow it. If someone tried, they’d have to overcome more than 24,000 lbs of pressure. To give you an idea, that’s the weight of 20 polar bears or six cars. (You wanna weigh a polar bear! Be my guest!) In addition to the pressure force, there are lock bolts located deep inside the structure of the airplane that holds the door together.
Is it safe to fly in lightning?
Generally, yes, because standard commercial airplanes are designed to withstand lightning strikes. Their lightning protection systems serve to prevent electrical build-up. However, statistics say that lightning still hits every commercial plane once a year. But in most cases, this leaves a plane with only minor damage, like a scorch mark on its surface.
Why are seats and windows not lined up on some planes?
Actually, all commercial airplanes are designed with seats and windows perfectly aligned. But when a specific airline buys a plane, it’s up to them to decide how many seats it’ll have. Quite often, airlines choose to add extra seats because more seats mean more people, and more people mean snacks – no, more money. And that’s how you end up in a cramped space without the possibility to fully enjoy the sky views.
What’s the safest seat on an airplane?
Most airlines insist that there is no safest seat. But the statistics of airplane crashes supports the idea that it’s at the back. Passengers near the tail of a plane were about 40% more likely to survive a crash than those in the front. If you want an even more specific answer, then it’s the middle seats in the rear section.
Why do flight attendants touch the overhead compartment so often?
You might think they just check if it’s tightly closed. But nope. They use a hidden handrail for the balance! It’s located at the bottom of the overhead compartment. Next time you’re making your way to the bathroom, tuck your fingers into it for a steadier walk down the aisle instead of grabbing the seats of other passengers.
Where do flight attendants nap on a plane?
Many airliners have a secret, windowless bedrooms for the cabin crew that includes from 6 to 10 bunks. Their location may vary depending on the plane, but they’re usually right above first class, behind the cockpit. To get there, the crew uses stairs hidden behind a door near the cocktip. But on some planes, a special hatch that looks like a typical overhead bin allows the cabin crew to enter the rest area. Depending on the airliner, some pilots have their own private overhead area to rest.