I chose to write about this topic because, despite my main method of travel between my hometown and Boston being the train, I have always loved planes. When I was younger I wanted to be a pilot (a Naval Aviator in particular), long story short it didn’t pan out, I have Astigmatism and as far as I am aware this condition disqualifies me from being a pilot. I have since settled for just learning random fun facts about planes to satiate my love. I present to you the five facts I learned through my internet searches that I was most surprised to learn about.

Number 1 – The airline determines the layout of seats inside the plane.

Each plane company has a layout that they deem “most optimal” for each plane they sell. The airline that purchases the plane is able to rearrange, and even add additional seats within the aircraft. This is the main reason why seats don’t always line up with the windows on the plane.

Number 2 – At cruising altitude in the event of full decompression you have only around 4 seconds of consciousness before passing out.

This is the reason why people are always warned to put on their masks before helping others. It’s extremely difficult to assist a child when you’re passed out on the floor.

Number 3 – Sitting in the tail of the plane improves chances of surviving a plane crash by around 40%.

This was found in a study done by widely-known magazine Popular Mechanics. It may seat you closer to the lavatory on smaller aircraft, but the increase in chances of survival definitely makes the chemical toilet smell a bit more manageable!

Number 4 – But even that 40% can’t diminish the fact that 95.7% of people involved in plane crashes survive.

The chances of dying in a car crash for the average American is 1 in 5,000. The chances of the same American dying in a plane crash is approximately 1 in 11 million. Especially with longer flights since 80% of crashes happen 3 minutes after take-off and 8 minutes before landing.

Number 5 – Conspiracy theorists believe that the government puts harmful chemicals into the contrails of planes, in reality the majority of contrails are crystallized water vapor.

Aside from water vapor the contrails also include: carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfate particles, and soot. While many of these chemicals are considered harmful, none of them are being planted by the government. They’re being planted by the burning of jet fuel.

Bonus fact!

Despite the photo appearing to feature a crazy love child of helicopter and airplane, the airplane in the photo (a Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey) is still considered solely an airplane. It features a tiltrotor that allows both vertical and short take-off and landing capabilities and was developed for the US military in the 1980’s.