8 Flying Myths, Debunked

flying myths

Even if you’re a frequent flyer, we’re sure there are at least a few myths you’ve heard (and may believe) about flying. Our Newark Airport parking company is here to help. We’ve gathered up eight common myths about flying and debunked them.

You must stay on a delayed plane

If your plane is delayed on the Tarmac, you don’t need to stay on the plane – as long as it’s been three hours. According to the Department of Transport, airlines can’t keep passengers on a plane for more than three hours (on a domestic flight) or four hours (on an international flight). Also, after two hours, they must provide you with an update every 30 minutes.

Helicopters don’t have “blades”

We’re sure you’ve seen a movie where a helicopter crashes and its rotating “blades” slice through everything in sight. The truth is that the blades on a helicopter are actually wings and are made to slice through the air, not people, buildings, or shrubbery. Instead of being made of dense metal (as they’re often made out to be), they’re made of mainly foam and honeycomb with a carbon fiber wrap.

You can open a plane door while in flight

There’s a common myth that if you open a plane door while it’s in mid-flight, everyone and everything will be sucked out. The truth is, it’s physically impossible to open a plane door while it’s in flight. Since the plane’s cabin is pressurized, it creates a seal that can’t be broken by human strength.

Flying is dangerous

Last year’s unfortunate events involving the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight 17, and the crash of AirAsia flight QZ8501 have left many of us thinking that flying is dangerous. However, flying is actually safer than driving. The odds of you dying in a plane crash are around one in 11 million while the odds of dying in a car crash are one in 5,000.

Airplane air is full of germs

If you’ve ever heard that the air you breathe on airplanes is full of germs, it’s time to stop worrying. Airplane passengers breathe in a mix of fresh and recirculated air, and the recirculated air travels through hospital-grade filters that trap the majority of airborne particles and contaminants. Unfortunately, the same clean quality doesn’t go for surfaces like door handles, trays, armrests, and seat belts; those are the things you should be worrying about.

Lightning causes plane crashes

The truth is that lightning strikes planes on a regular basis, but because planes are constructed to deflect lightning, they don’t absorb the strike. The lightning simply follows the surface of the plane and bounces back into the air.

A lock on your zippered suitcase means it’s safe

When people fly, many of them invest in small “padlocks” for their zippered suitcases in order to keep them from being opened and rifled through. However, even with a lock on your zipper, it’s still possible to get inside your suitcase. All someone has to do is jam the tip of a pen in between the zipper teeth and then pull the teeth apart. After they’re done looking through (and/or stealing things), they can simply zipper it back up. You’re better off with luggage that locks with buckles or keys.

Electronic devices will crash a plane

Many people think that the reason airlines ask them to turn off their electronic devices is because they’ll interfere with radio signals and cause the plane to crash. In reality, there’s no real need to turn off electronic devices. It’s simply just a courtesy to the pilot so that he/she doesn’t hear the interference of cell phone signals.