The usual counter when a person expresses a fear of airplanes is that flying is the safest way to travel. After all, you’re more likely to die driving to the airport than you are flying to your destination. While that may be true, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be afraid of when you hop in a metal tube and rocket through the sky.
Here are 9 facts about flying that might unnerve you:
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1. Being on the Ground Does Not Equal Safety
One of the deadliest accidents in airplane history actually occurred prior to takeoff. A deadly combination of fog and mixed radio signals from the flight deck caused two planes, carrying over 600 passengers between them, to collide head-on in the middle of a runway in the infamous Tenerife Accident. Over 500 individuals died as a result of this crash.
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2. Germfest 2015
The seats, the tray table, the seat pocket and even the little safety booklet with the fun cartoons – all covered in germs! Airplanes receive so much traffic with travelers constantly coming and going, these tricky areas receive less of a thorough cleaning than you may have thought. But if you really think about it, you just watched the other passengers exit the plane you’re about to get on – the flight attendants can’t possibly have had time to do a thorough cleanse.
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3. They Don’t Technically Need the Pilots
Airplane technology is so advanced that planes could literally fly themselves. Even though a computer-generated landing would result in a much softer and precise return to earth, airlines continue to allow the pilots the control just to make them feel important… and for other reasons I’m sure. Not sure which is scarier — being in the hands of a human who could potentially fall asleep, or being in the hands of a computer that does everything perfectly.