Little "secrets" airline pilots have revealed in TInd today:
Flight durations are inflated so that they're “on time” even if they're late.
If a flight is only supposed to take an hour, it will be scheduled as an hour and 15 minutes so that it will still be officially “on time” even if it runs late.
Pilots don't eat the same food as passengers.
“Flight attendants give us special meals, so that if the airline food shipment was contaminated, we won't get sick,” wrote Quora user Hari Sanil.
Tap water on planes can be filthy.
An EPA study found that one in every eight planes fails the agency’s standards for water safety. According to one Quora user, this is because the ports to empty the toilets and refill drinking water are near each other and can cross-contaminate when serviced at the same time.
This is why flight attendants would never drink coffee or tea on a plane.
Oxygen masks only last 15 minutes.
Fifteen minutes is just enough time for pilots to get to a lower altitude where people can breathe normally.
They often forget to turn the “fasten seatbelt” sign off.
Pilots are human too, and sometimes they'll simply forget to turn off the “fasten seatbelt” sign. That doesn't mean you should ignore it entirely, but it's probably alright to move about the cabin if it's been on for a while without there being any major bumps.
Pilots will downplay any problems.
They'd never say that there's “zero visibility,” they'd just say there's some fog. A delay for “technical reasons” probably means something is broken. They're not lying, necessarily — they just want to keep passengers calm.
Planes get struck by lightning all the time.
Apparently, every airplane is struck by lightning at least once a year, but they're built to withstand it.
Some pilots carry guns.
“Federal Flight Deck Officers can carry a firearm in the cockpit,” wrote an anonymous Quora contributor. “Lots of protocol exists to ensure that the training, concealment, and utilization is standardized.”
They've been known to sleep in the cockpit.
Many functions are automated these days, so pilots can take it easy between takeoff and landing.