Monthly Archives: January 2015

Can commercial planes fly on just one engine?

Well, it depends on the plane but, yes – the majority of them can. If we look at twin-engined commercial aircraft (which account for most of the commercial aircraft in the world) they are designed to be able to keep flying in the event of an engine failure. Thankfully aircraft engines rarely fail but if […]

Video – amazing 5 minute reconstruction of Hudson River landing

On January 15th, 2009, US Airways flight 1549 made a miracle landing on the Hudson River in New York after hitting a flock of Canadian geese and losing thrust on both its engines. This video recreates the 5 minute flight with actual ATC audio overlaid. You will also see written transcript of conversation inside the flight deck […]

How do jet engines work?

A fully laden Boeing 777-300 can weigh over 300 tons as it takes off and just one of its engines alone is capable of lifting it safely into the air.  So how do they work? (Check out the video above courtesy of CFM International) Well it helps to start by explaining how the first type of […]

Why do they dim the cabin lights for take-off and landing at night?

Just before take-off or before coming into land during the hours of darkness, the cabin crew will usually dim the lights in the cabin. The reason for this, is that in case of any problems that might involve an evacuation, your eyes will have pre-adjusted to the dark and allow you to see a lot […]

How much of my flight is on autopilot?

So do the pilots actually do any flying or does the autopilot do all the work? Well it depends on the day and it depends on your definition of work – and it helps firstly by explaining how things worked before modern automation in aircraft was established. Until the late 1960’s large commercial aircraft had up […]