For as long as we can remember, airplane passengers have been told to turn their cellphones off so that they don’t interfere with the plane’s navigation systems and cause a crash. Qantas and Virgin Australia airlines now allow their passengers to to use electronics during their flight, debunking the myth about navigation interference after all these years. This makes us wonder what other airplane facts aren’t true.
Myth: Human waste is dumped mid-flight.
If you haven’t heard this one, it’s probably for good reason, as it’s simply not true. For some reason, rumors have spread that pilots somehow empty the sewage tanks of airplanes mid flight. Since airplane sewage tanks are emptied using levers on the outside of the plane, it’s physically impossible for the pilot to empty the tank and fly the plane. Reports of falling human waste are always investigated and are almost always proven to be bird droppings.
Myth: You will get stuck on plane toilets if you flush while still sitting.
No. This will not happen. Although it’s possible to get stuck on a toilet, being on an airplane doesn’t increase your chances of getting stuck. Mythbusters tested this theory and found that the suction seal was strong, it was not strong enough to hold a human on the toilet when they tried to get up.
Myth: Airplane air is full of germs.
Many travelers have fallen victim to the belief that the air inside of airplanes is riddled with germs. IN actuality, though, the air on airplanes is less germ-infested than the air in a crowded space. This is because the air on airplanes is heavily filtered by underfloor filters that, according to Boeing, are “hospital quality”.
Myth: The opening of a plane door mid-flight will result in passengers being sucked out.
Plane cabins re highly pressurized meaning that if the emergency doors were opened mid flight, many passengers would actually be sucked out. However, this is made a myth by the fact that when a plane is at altitude, the emergency door is virtually impossible to open. This is because of the internal pressure of the cabin being so high.
Myth: It’s easier to get drunk on a plane.
It’s been said that the altitude of a plane has something to do with the way alcohol soaks into the system. This, however, has been tried and tested, and debunked as a myth. There has been no evidence to support the theory, which leaves us to think that perhaps the large supply of free alcohol is to blame for the intoxication and not the altitude.
Myth: Being struck by lightning will cause the plane to crash.
An airplane has not been downed by lightning since 1967 despite at least one plane being struck by lightning each year, proving that this fact is only a myth. Modern planes are required to pass numerous safety tests and have been designed to direct electricity from lightning from the plane’s exterior to another point.