Aviation Myths & Misconceptions

When the time came for me to leave high school & further my education, I chose to go into aviation – more specifically, the field of avionics. Avionics is defined as electronics as applied to aviation. What does the mean? It means I spent years in classrooms listening to old people speak, I read a pile of textbooks, I spent a lot of time around & in airplanes, I studied for tests & exams & I finally got a piece of paper which proves I know something… apparently. Take that & combine it with my interest in the airline industry, you get a nerd with an aviation obsession. I have kept DanVenture Travels exclusively about travel because that is fun & relatable to a bigger audience, but I believe the time is right for a bit of variety of topics.

The general public is largely misinformed about flying & airplanes. In preparing for this post, I read a number of articles on various websites about aviation myths. I’ve never searched for or read articles like these before since one doesn’t generally believe myths about something they’ve studied & I was concerned. Reading aviation answers & explanations online is frustrating because while they do contain truth, they are simplified to get the average person to understand. This is mostly done incorrectly & to the point of the explanations becoming misleading & ambiguous in many cases.

Lightning & aircraft

There is a popular belief that if the airplane you are on gets struck by lightning it is a truly terrible & unfortunate occurrence & that you will plummet down in a blazing inferno. If you have this concern & do an internet search, you will most probably read the phrases “Planes get struck by lightning all the time.” & “Lightning simply has no effect on an aircraft.” Both of these phrases are not 100% accurate. Planes do get struck by lightning. Don’t go believing that every time an aircraft performs a flight or flies through some kind of weather that it will be hit by a bolt of lightning because it isn’t that common, but it does happen from time to time. No one will be electrocuted & the plane won’t crash. Sometimes the flight crew will notice slight effects & other times the aircraft sustains some damage which will require some maintenance.

Pilot parachute

You would be surprised at the things that can be found in a civilian aircraft, but a parachute for the pilot is not one of those things. I’d be interested to learn the origins of this myth. People who think this is true are thinking in terms of an airline pilot & the idea of this happening in real life actually baffles my brain more than it amuses me.

Follow this blog & keep an eye out for the next post on this subject.

Keep traveling, keep safe.

DanVenture Travels

27 thoughts on “Aviation Myths & Misconceptions

Add yours

  1. I never thought about airline pilots having parachutes. My Dad was a combat pilot and had one he never used. His plane got hit once, but he had his crew bail out and still managed to get the plane back to safety.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “You would be surprised at the things that can be found in an aircraft, but a parachute for the pilot is not one of those things.”

    Hi Dan!

    I am not aware of that myth about commercial airline pilots having parachute; but, I am so glad to learn this piece of information from you that they do not keep one at all!

    Second reason why I am writing you: I have seen many documentaries about air crash investigations but I always wonder why can’t planes have some sort of side view mirror like in the car or cameras so pilots would see if which engine is on fire or whatever. I may sound funny even crazy but, I am so curious about that so that pilots do not have to ask around things he could not see from the cockpit.

    Thank you and hoping that yo travel again.

    Fr. Nick (Philippines)

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Great idea to make a change in theme Dan and many are the myths and misconceptions surrounding aviation. Those who pilot or are part of a crew in an airplane are a surprisingly small percentage of the world population; less than 1 percent I believe. I always regarded My pilot’s license as a great privilege and something that gave me a wonderful adventure really. I loved every moment of my flying experience, so much so that what I could not get actually flying, I spent ‘armchair flying.’ I devoured books and magazines, enjoying the experiences of other pilots. In the course of indulging in my vociferous appetite for aviation books I learned about many myths and misconceptions. It was worth every moment of my time. I will follow your new genre and look forward to the next publication. Keep up the interesting work Dan.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh my God! My brother is currently on his last year in college and he’s taking Aircraft Maintenance Technology. I used to love the idea of becoming a pilot but I just let my brother make it come true for mw. Haha. I know I’m meant to do other things and I’m happy about it.

    Nice post, by the way. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I dated a pilot back in the day and learned quite a bit just from tagging along on some of his flights. I think one of the main points is that it takes a lot for a plane to just fall out of the sky. Even if you lose engine power, the plane will still glide through the air.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Hey Dan, maybe you could address the myth of the “perfectly good airplane”
    as in “why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?”
    I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “perfectly good airplane”.
    My greatest fear in flying is; not being at a high enough altitude to safely exit the said moving aircraft.
    As for a parachute, I never get on a plane with one.
    Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I liked this post, but must admit to having no desire to travel by air. This is primarily due to American airports (and all?) being buried in security regulation, exasperated and gruff security and checkin folks, and are basically a tension factory. The last 2 times I flew within the states were very aggravating experiences I will no longer put up with. I’ll rely on cruise ships for my off continent trips. I’m in no hurry.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was actually in a commercial airliner that got hit by lightning once. It was a sudden flash, not unlike that from a strobe, and a bang, as if someone’s luggage fell out of an overhead compartment. We kept on flying to our destination, as if nothing had happened.

    I understand commercial airliners are built with a metallic mesh around the hull (for those that use composite hulls to save weight.) This acts as a Faraday cage, protecting the passengers from shock if lightning strikes.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. While I don’t enjoy flying my hubby does. He volunteers at an air museum when he isn’t working his day job (which is nothing but high-tech gibberish I don’t understand). I do learn about aviation through him. Thanks for the article. It was a nice change of pace.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. While being wholly fascinated by planes, I have a fear of flying in them since I’m claustraphobic. I’d love to fly to Japan to visit my son (currently USAF and he works on the C-17’s) but the thought of being in the air that long just kind of scares me….wonder if I could get over that 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I attended Avionics school while in the military. When I got to my first duty station, the avionics team told me to forget everything I learned in school. Work with Cpl So-and-So, follow his troubleshooting sheet,and you’ll do just fine — which did work, except I never applied any of the electronic math, circuit tracing, etc that I studied weeks for.
    Art

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am terrified of flying. I’ve done it a handful of times and even across the US twice, but I have no idea how to combat this feat other than read as much as I can. Thanks for your posts!!

    Like

  13. I didn’t expect what I ended up getting in your post. It was well written, and informative. Not sure why I expected worse? Anyway, I particularly liked how you described your college experience, good entertainment!

    Like

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