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Flying facts

Straighten up and fly right if there’s an impact you don’t go flying all over the place. If we tell you to remove your tie, dentures and spectacles, then it’s serious.’’ Stow your tray table, seat backs upright. ‘‘It’s a drag I know, but there are two reasons. One, to give you clear access if you have to move quickly and, two, to remove hazards in the event of a sudden stop. Also, if your chair is reclined, you could slide under your belt.’’ Lifejackets are under your seat. ‘‘Seriously, make sure you know where it is and how to put it on – and whatever you do, don’t inflate it until after you exit the aircraft. Remember

Roderick Eime ALL the rules and procedures about flying on planes can make the journey a real drag. Buckle this, stow that, turn that off. Are all these regulations just to intimidate passengers and make aircrew feel important? Paul (not his real name) flew as cabin crew with a major Australian carrier for more than a decade. I asked him about some of the rigmarole that most of us ignore. Brace. ‘‘Always good for a giggle, but if things get messy, you should know how to do it properly. The idea is to get you sitting as far forward as possible so


IL Red Centre to A Kangaroo Island R




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Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961.’’ (Scores of passengers drowned when the cockpit filled with water and they couldn’t swim out.) Greg is a captain with a major Asian airline, with 15,000 hours’ total flying time, and has held a commercial pilot’s licence for 30 years. What’s the secret to a silky smooth landing? ‘‘The best landings are really

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in the hands of the pilot and 99 per cent of landings are done that way – good and bad. The best landings are when all the ducks are lined up (approach speed, no crosswind, glide slope etc) and you just nail it.’’ And the rough ones? ‘‘Well, you’ll expect me to say this, but it’s most likely a computer system mistake where the ‘autoland’ feature has not

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BRACE YOURSELF: Airline safety procedures have a purpose.

properly selected the flare point for any number of reasons. If there’s a bad crosswind, storm or it’s gusty, a pilot will want to get the plane down ASAP and that can be indelicate.’’ Ray (not his real name) is a senior certifying engineer with 20 years’ experience and signs off the big Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Turn off your mobile phone. ‘‘That’s a myth, but most airlines, I reckon, keep mobile phones off for passenger comfort and it’s still against the law in most places. Thankfully, most phones won’t work at altitude anyway.’’ (Airlines are trialling in-flight equipment and ‘picocells’ – mini mobile phone towers inside the aircraft that communicate with land or satellite systems.) Where is the safest section of a plane? ‘‘Most survivors seem to be in the back.’’ True. Despite claims by many authorities suggesting no ‘‘safe zone’’ existed, Popular Mechanics magazine analysed 20 accidents in the US and found passengers sitting rear of the wing had a noticeably improved survival rate.

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Conditions Apply: Limited availability and subject change and seasonal surcharges. From prices are based on Pensioner pricing, per person twin share. FREE Gold service Upgrade aboard both the Indian Pacific & The Ghan is applicable when paying for Red Sleeper Service. Sales period ends 31 March 2010 travel period ends 31st August 2010. TTA204866. PA0383

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Straighten Up and Fly Right  

clipping from Sunday Telegraph Escape

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