A Guide to Recognizing Airplane Noises
One of the most intriguing features of air travel is that each flight is composed by a nice array of passengers on board. Identifying such passengers is not too hard. Seasoned travelers typically appear relaxed, maybe a bit sleepy. Flying is an integral part of their life. Anxious fliers can be detected quite easily: they will look around a lot, hold tightly to their arm rests, and over react to a bit of turbulence. Curious fliers are some where in between, they do not travel heavily as seasoned travelers, but are quite relaxed and look forward to their trips. They are curious about their surroundings and like to chit chat with others. All three categories of fliers react differently to airplane noises.
How Passengers React to Airplane Noises
Seasoned travelers commonly appear totally disinterested to all the hustle and bustle going on around them. They eventually nod off while reading a newspaper. To them, airplane noises are just a nuisance, something bothersome that wakes them up every now and then from their precious sleep. They see the flight as a great opportunity to recuperate their energy and get back to business once landed. Nervous fliers are always on the alert mode, wondering about odd noises. To them, airplane noises may be a signal of something being really wrong which gets their heart pumping and adrenaline rushing. They have a hard time coming to terms with flying, and if they had the chance, they would avoid flying as much as possible.
Finally curious fliers are basically just curious about how these heavy jets get to fly so gracefully in the air. Airplane noises inspire their insatiable curiosity, you can almost hear them explaining all the noises to a six year old child sitting next to them.
Of course, interpreting aircraft noises may help fearful or curious travelers relax, or at least, expand their knowledge. Seasoned travelers however may benefit as well, so they can expect when there are less noises and go back to recuperating some zzz’s.
Causes of Some Common Airplane Noises
- Right before the engine is started, the air conditioning system may make wind-like noises as the crew checks the system and fan enhancements.
- You will likely hear the engine as it winds up to an idle power setting.
- As you taxi out, very likely you will hear the wing flaps extend, especially if you are sitting nearby the wings.
- Upon departure, when the aircraft is rolling on the runway, you may likely feel bumps due to imperfections in the runway. This is totally normal and it does not mean your plane has a flat tire!
- The rattling noise you hear upon taking off is due to carry-on luggage, tables, seats, and furnishings shifting slightly. If everything was secured correctly and the over head storage bins were locked, there is nothing to fear.
- A slight ”bump” may be felt as the landing gear is retracted.
- Beeps are often heard throughout the flight when the seat belt light is turned on or when passengers need assistance from flight attendants.
- Once the plane reaches altitude, noises significantly reduce. However, every now and then engine noise may increase as the plane climbs to reach its optimum height.
- During descent, the flight becomes quite quiet as the engine’s power is reduced to an idle position and the airplane glides.
- Upon approach, you may hear the wing flaps extend again and the landing gear come out.
- As the landing gear makes contact with the runway, a slight to more evident bump will be felt at times accompanied by the plane’s tires screeching .
- A loud whooshing sound may be heard when the engine thrust is reversed for the purpose of slowing down the plane.
As seen, planes do make several noises. Nervous travelers should rest assured that if some noise is out of the norm, the flight attendants or seasoned passengers will likely notice. If they go on their business as normal, very likely there is nothing to fear. Curious passengers can now better understand how planes function and spread their newly acquired knowledge, and last but not least, seasoned travelers can plan their naps accordingly!