It’s time to wrap up this aviation mini-series & have a look at some more myths & misconceptions. These misconceptions are probably not believed by the average person, but rather by some people who have a little bit of information on the topic.
“A little bit of knowledge can be worse than none at all.”
That ‘duct tape’
You might have seen pictures such as these circulating social media.
It looks like these aircraft are being repaired with duct tape. This is not the case at all. Airplanes have to go through stringent checks to become airworthy – safe to transport people. A lot of people work hard to ensure an aircraft is safe for a flight. The tape you see is an aluminum tape which is used as a temporary fix. It looks like duct tape but isn’t. It is aircraft-grade & would only be used if it was perfectly safe for everyone involved.
Why isn’t the entire plane made out of the same material as the black box?
This is a question I have been asked multiple times & it makes me giggle every time. Let me explain. The ‘black boxes’ are recording devices. They record the aircraft’s data such as speed or altitude as well as any sounds made in the cockpit; called the flight data recorder & the cockpit voice recorder respectively. ‘Black boxes’ help investigators determine the cause of an accident. They also contain transmitters which enable them to be found as soon as possible. Interestingly enough, they aren’t black – they’re bright orange & this colour makes them easily identifiable in a wreckage. Having said all of this, these boxes are pretty important & need to survive a crash. They are designed to withstand high-speed impact as well as fire & deep sea pressure. This brings us back to the initial question – why can’t we make the how aircraft like this? There are a few reasons, but listing all of them would turn this post into a boring physics paper so I’ll give the simplest reason. The aircraft would become too heavy to fly.
Switching off the cabin lights.
Perhaps not a myth, but definitely something many people wonder. If you have ever been on a flight that takes off or lands when the sun is not up, you’ll notice the lights in the cabin will be dimmed. This is because if there is any incident & you need to evacuate, your eyes are already adjusted to the outside light.
Keep traveling, keep safe.