Professional pilots and flight attendants are trained almost as much as special agents are. They can notice the smallest details, malfunctions, and other things even when they are sitting in a regular passenger seat.

Bright Side has studied these pilots’ stories and can now tell you about six flight nuances that usual passengers don’t notice. And at the end of the article, check out the bonus that will help make your flights more comfortable.

1. Icing

In very cold weather, the surfaces of planes are covered with special chemicals that prevent icing during the flight. If this is not necessary, the cover is not put on. But the chances of icing are still pretty high.

Associate Professor and pilot, Tanya Gatlin says, “During landing, the power of engines drop significantly and they don’t produce enough heat, so the chance that the plane will get covered with ice is very high”.

Pilots often pay attention to how fast the ice is formed on the window glass when the power of the engines falls (and so does the noise), and how thick the ice is.

2. Suspicious smells

A strange sound is the clearest sign that something is going wrong. But the passenger area of the plane is soundproof, so pilots often pay attention to the second best sign of danger — smell.

According to Tom Farrier, the Former Director of Safety Air Transport Association, smells travel around quite freely and some (e.g., fuel, hydraulic fluid, superheated bleed air) are pretty distinctive.

3. The angle of the light coming through the window

If you are traveling during the day, pay attention to the angle between the light and the plane window. Experienced pilots know that the change of a light’s angle is the first sign that the plane has changed its direction.

Sometimes, the route can change due to weather conditions or a malfunction but passengers are not informed of this in order to avoid panic. Also, it’s easy to predict a delay by watching light angles.

4. Delay messages

Many passengers don’t know that if their flight is being delayed, they have the right to know why it happened and whose fault it is. Patrick Smith, the pilot and author of Ask the Pilot says that you can ask the flight attendant about a problem if the plane is on the runway for 20 minutes or longer.

The problem is never something technical that passengers can’t understand. It’s always something that everyone can easily grasp. If you want a clear explanation, all you have to do is ask a flight attendant or an airport employee politely.

5. Where exits are

People who travel by plane a lot don’t pay much attention to the information given about the location of fire exits.

John Chesire, an ex-pilot says that he always pays attention to the fire exits, how far away they are and how much time it will take him to get to them. “I always think about how many steps there are between me and the fire exit. I do this in case the place is smoked, dark, or even upside down, so I will be able to find the exit, open the door, and get out,” says John.

6. Announcements during the flight

Professional pilots always pay attention to the announcements even when they are not working. For example, the announcement, “Flight attendants, please come into the cockpit” is almost always a sign that there is a problem.

However, sometimes this announcement could mean that the pilot just wants a cup of tea or cappuccino.

Bonus: Aisle and window seat armrests can also be raised.

Many people get irritated that the aisle and window seat armrests are fixed in place. However, it’s not quite so. To raise them, push the small button hidden near the base of the armrest. Still, you should be prepared for flight attendants to ask you to return them to their initial position during takeoff and landing.

Which of these secrets surprised you the most? Tell us in the comment section below!

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