Three safety facts about planes that will calm nervous flyers

Sep 07, 2018

Flying can be the most nerve-wracking part of a holiday for many people and let’s face it, a fear of flying is fairly justified considering you’re floating in the air in a metal box.

However, there are a few things that might help to ease those nerves when it comes to stepping on your next flight.

You’re in safe hands

Airlines don’t hire just anyone for the tough job of controlling a cabin full of passengers. The path to becoming a member of the cabin crew is actually a gruelling process that is solely made to wean out the weak.

Workers have to pass a number of tests on their physical, mental and emotional health to ensure they are in tip-top shape to serve in the sky.

Almost all crew members need to be a certain height, no taller than 197cm for Virgin Australia or 183cm for Qantas.  They must have their CPR certificate, Responsible Service of Alcohol and First Aid, all while being proficient swimmers that can travel 50 metres fully clothed in the ocean and tread water for 3 minutes.

Qantas seems to have one of the strictest requirement lists, including the ability to lift a 28kg exit door, fight fires wearing a full face mask, descend a nine-metre-tall escape slide and deal with emergencies in a smoke filled simulator. So no, the cabin crew aren’t just good at serving drinks.

Oxygen masks aren’t just for show

There have been several rumours floating around over the years, claiming oxygen masks are useless and only there to calm down panicked passengers. Luckily, the claims are 100 per cent false. 

If the cabin loses air pressure, the masks will definitely save your life. However, what most travellers don’t know is that the masks only hold enough oxygen to keep you breathing for about 15 minutes. 

While this might not seem like nearly enough, it’s actually ample time for the pilot to land safely so the masks are no longer required.

Cabin doors cannot be opened during the flight

This might seem like an obvious one, but one too many action movies have shown cabin doors open mid-flight – so it needs to be reiterated. Cabin doors are sealed shut. 

Not only would it be near impossible to get near a cabin door without being spotted by an eagle-eyed flight attendant, but the doors work like a plug. Once they are shut and the plane is in full flight, the pressure inside the cabin forms a tight seal which makes it physically impossible for anyone to open them.

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