Fear of Flying
But before you do fly, you probably want to know this.
This is from the Economist :
Remember the in-flight announcements you hear when you are about to fly? Apparently, they are not entirely truthful.
Like this one:
'Your life-jacket is under your seat, and you need to wear it in the event of a landing on water'.
In the history of aviation the number of wide-bodied aircraft that have made successful landings on water is zero.
Hmm. So it's not really a life-jacket. It's just a jacket really. In loud color. Clash with your armani, but hey.
And this one:
'Mobile phones must be switched off because they interfere with the aircraft's navigation systems'.
Not true, because:
the real reason to switch them off is because they interfere with mobile networks on the ground.
On most flights a few mobile phones are left on by mistake, so if they were really dangerous....
Hmm. But of course. If they were really dangerous, the pilots won't risk their own life by letting the plane off the ground...
So the next time a stewardess ask you firmly to switch off your phone on board the plane, you know it's bull.
But not all of them are. Like when the crew points out the emergency exits? You better pay attention. To know in advance where they are may save your life.
And the seatbelts. Turbulance can be ugly, and yes, it can happen even when the 'fasten your seatbelt' light is off.
So buckle up at all times.
Oh, back to the life-jacket. A letter from a reader on the following week's edition of the Economist said :
The bright-yellow life-jackets are not intended to act as flotation devices. They are there to make it easier for the recovery services to spot the bodies strewn accross rough terrain.
And remember the emergency-landing position that we are told to do? The sitting with your head down low and hands behind your head?
the advice to adopt a head-down fetal position in the event of a crash landing does nothing to preserve life.
However, the position does tend to preserve dental data, useful for identifying dilapidated corpses.
Geez. That is one detail we don't mind not knowing...
Have a nice flight home !
(Check out the articles yourself. There is more fun info in there. The source is listed below.)
 The Economist Sept 9th - 15th 2006, page 13
 The Economist Sept 23rd - 29th 2006, page 16