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FYI: Get clued up on these weird airplane secrets

You'll never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

By Amber Elias
Flying is statistically the safest form of travel, but it doesn't stop us from taking a few deep breaths every time we fasten out seat belts for take off and landing.
"Flying has become so reliable that a traveller could fly every day for an average of 123,000 years before being in a fatal crash," Arnold Barnett, a professor of statistics at M.I.T, told the *New York Times in 2013.
Turbulence, plane crash movies and a spate of recent concerning incidents have brought aviation safety back into the spotlight - but fear not! We separate fact from fiction, and reveal the airplane secrets that will have you ready and relaxed for your next trip.
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Why do I have to raise my window shade when landing?

Opening your shade seems like a hassle when you're fast asleep and raise it only to be faced with blinding daylight, but it actually serves two important (if unlikely) reasons.
1. It enables cabin crew and passengers to see outside of the plane so any problems can be relayed to the captain quickly.
2. Emergency services can also see inside of the cabin to address situations more easily.

Can the plane door be opened mid-flight?

Contrary to what action movies would have you believe, it's nearly impossible to open a plane door during a flight. After the cabin crew 'arm doors and cross check' (lingo for: the crew locking the doors with a lever and pin and checking each other's handiwork) before take off, the doors remain electronically sealed until 24,000ft, when the air pressure alone is enough to stop the doors opening.
In fact, it's physically impossible to open the doors above 5000ft even if they are disarmed because of the difference in air pressure inside the cabin and outside in the atmosphere.
“Once the plane gets above about 5000ft, the air pressure would make the door too heavy for a person to open,” a current QANTAS pilot told The Daily Telegraph.
“There is also a flight lock that operates when the plane takes off. That stays in operation until about 24,000 feet. It is then de-powered because it's not required because of the air pressure.”

How do cabin crews ensure the toilets don't smell?

An airplane bathroom is not somewhere anyone wants to spend a lot of their time, but unfortunately it's the job of the cabin crew to clean and maintain the cubicle during the flight.
Back-to-back visits from passengers over 16 hours (you do the math) means the few bathrooms within the cabin can get a real workout, and can become very unpleasant very quickly.
But the crew from Norwegian Airlines have come up with an ingenious and simple solution to a pungent smell, reports The Sun. The crew pour a strongly brewed pot of coffee down the toilet, which neutralises the odor.
You know when you're shopping for perfume and there's a pot of coffee beans to sniff in-between whiffs? The same principle applies.
According to experts, the reason coffee is so effective is because it neutralises the bacteria, which kills the smell. It also replaces the old, bad smell with a new one.
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What is turbulence? How much is too much?

Turbulence is a normal part of flying, but rough turbulence is enough to give even a seasoned flyer a fright. However isn't something to worry about as the plane is designed to withstand a lot more than you've probably experienced.
There are three main causes of turbulence are:
1. "The most common is a sudden change in the wind direction and speed," QANTAS explained in a blog post on its website. When the plane in climbing through the atmosphere it encounters more wind disturbance, but when it reaches the cruising altitude way above the clouds things typically settle down as the air is smoother up there.
2. Fluffy clouds can cause a sudden change in air temperature, which can also lead to turbulence.
3. Wake turbulence is caused when large aircraft such as the A380 (which travel at close to the speed of sound) disturb the surrounding air as they fly through it - similar to cruise ships stirring up the ocean water. It's uncommon for wake turbulence to occur, but it does happen.