8 Secret Things on an Airplane That Only Pilots Can Use
Flying a big commercial jet must have its perks, so pilots are definitely privileged. Even though you probably think you know what a pilot does, you might not know everything about the things that they are allowed to use. For example, did you know that in the ceiling of the cockpit there are a pair of ropes that could help them escape in case of emergency?
Bright Side enjoys aviation as much as you do, so we dug a little bit deeper, and we made a list of 8 things hidden from the passengers but used by pilots. And don’t forget to check our bonus at the end.
1. A bedroom where they can rest
When they are doing long-haul flights — that means a flight that is more than 6 hours long — the flight crew needs to rest as well, just like the flight attendants. So there are usually 2 hidden bedrooms where the crew can take a nap when they are exhausted.
One sleeping area is located in the front of the aircraft, and the other one is in the back. They have some stairs going up toward them, and they are often disguised as a storage room.
2. A shower and a bathroom they can use when resting
On bigger commercial planes, there are also showers located together with these bedrooms where the crew can refresh after they’ve just taken a nap. You can even find equipment there in case there is an emergency.
Imagine if you need to fly for 14-16 hours, you might not look that great or smell that good at the end of that flight. So, during these long flights, there is always an extra crew onboard to replace the ones that are resting and rest periods are mandatory for all flight crew.
3. A pair of handcuffs to restrain unruly passengers
Pilots do have certain rights up in the air since they are in charge of the plane. The captain has the most power, and they can also restrain a passenger if they deem it necessary. If somebody is a troublemaker during a flight, and after repeated warnings, they still continue to act aggressively, the captain has the right to call the police on the ground and also ask the crew to restrain them with handcuffs.
4. Oxygen masks for emergencies
Flying high might come with its perks, but it also has its disadvantages. In some emergencies, for example, when the plane is not well-pressurized, everybody needs oxygen from somewhere. The passengers have their own oxygen masks, so the pilots should have their own hoods, right? Correct.
In the cockpit, there are special donning masks located at each pilot’s left side. They are a little bit more complex than the ones from the cabin and they also last longer because the pilots need to be able to solve the problem and land safely.
5. A crash axe to use for emergencies
Although it is hidden from the passengers, pilots have a crash axe at their disposal that they can use either for opening panels to fight a fire, or to break a window, if it is necessary. It could also come in handy when they need to survive in an unfriendly environment, like a jungle.
6. A video camera
Pilots are communicating all the time with the air tower controller in order to verify all the flight details, but some cockpits have also video cameras that are recording the pilots. The flight crew knows about this, and it also records all the flight data. It could be checked later for various reasons.
7. Escape ropes to evacuate the aircraft
In each cockpit, there are 2 ropes that can be used to evacuate the airplane through the windows. The ropes are a few meters long and they are also knotted. This helps the pilots to slide down more easily.
8. Sliding windows to evacuate
In order to use those ropes we talked about above, they have to evacuate the aircraft through other means if the door is not an option. Well, the other option is the 2 sliding windows on each pilot’s side which open inward. They are used as a means of evacuation in case of an emergency.
BONUS: Selfie up in the air? Not possible!
If you see this kind of picture somewhere, then you can go ahead and assume that it has been photoshopped. It would be physically impossible for a pilot to take a selfie like this because of the differential cabin pressure. If a pilot tried to open the window while airborne, then they would be immediately sucked out of the plane. Together with their phone, of course.
Do you know any real pilots in real life? Do you know any other “secrets” about aviation? Please share them with us.