Can air turbulence cause travel risks?

- A Monitor Report 01 Aug, 2018  |    -      +
Liverpool : Safety is a concern for everyone who flies, from the novice traveller to the holiday junkie.

Many passengers are afraid of flying and some people will avoid air travel altogether, despite statistics proving it is actually the safest way to travel.

One of the main reasons people are so scared of planes - aside from the fact you're travelling at 650mph 37,000 ft up in the air - is a lack of understanding.

Why is the plane making those noises? What would happen if the engine cut out? Will the plane crash if I forget to change my phone to flight mode?

Speaking to The Liverpool Echo, EasyJet pilot Chris Foster, 50, answered some of the most common concerns.

1. Can turbulence make a plane crash?

The chance of turbulence bringing down an aircraft is incredibly remote.

Turbulence causes discomfort, much like driving down a road with lots of potholes does, but it's not dangerous or unsafe.

An aircraft is built to withstand several times the force of turbulence you're ever likely to experience.

2. Is it possible for a plane's engine to 'stall' mid air?

A plane's engine could fail, but that's an extremely remote possibility because the amount of care and attention that goes into maintaining an engine is incredible.

Most pilots are unlikely to ever experience a technical fault with their aircraft in their entire flying career, let alone an engine failure.

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3. When the plane is starting to climb, suddenly it can sound like the engine's cut out - what's that all about?

We reduce the thrust of the aircraft, because it doesn't need as much power at that point, and the nose is lowered and the shape of the wings changes, to make the aircraft more streamline for the next part of the journey - that all reduces the noise level.

Some people feel their stomach drop when that happens - a bit like when you drive over the brow of a steep hill - and can find that worrying, but it's a perfectly normal thing to happen

4. What would happen if you accidentally left a mobile or iPad on during take off?

In reality it's nothing to be concerned about. Aircraft control systems are so sophisticated now that they wouldn't cause any interference

The regulations date back many years to when we didn't even have things like ipads. The laws are starting to be relaxed - you can now use your devices in flight safety mode - and I think we'll see more changes over the next few years.

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