Q) What are strobe lights and why do they flash twice on an Airbus while on the Boeing they blink only once ?
A) While the aircraft is quite noticeable on the ground, however, it can still be hard to spot the plane’s wings and fuselage from a distance. Therefore, we need the flashing lights. These lights are known as “anti-collision lights”, and the conspicuous blinking of the lights are easily perceived by the eye from afar. There are two different sets of anti-collision lights implemented on modern airliners. The first one is the white strobe lights. These high-intensity, glaring lights are the brightest lights on the airplane. They are located at each end of the wings and flash at specific intervals. If you are observant enough, you’ll notice that on Boeing airliners, these strobe lights will blink and on Airbuses, they will flash twice in rapid succession. That is because there is one strobe light on each wing of a Boeing plane, and two on every wingtip of an Airbus aircraft. The strobes are intended to attract the attention of pilots on other aircraft, so they’ll know to keep a safe distance. The lights are powerful enough to shine through fog or thick clouds in bad weather. So chances are, the “flashing” you see in the night sky could be an aircraft’s strobe lights.
Q) Opening a plane door while in flight is a real safety risk ?
A) When the plane is at cruising altitude, it’s pressurised. That pressure means that getting a door open would require superhuman strength. To quote Patrick Smith, an airline pilot, blogger, and author of Cockpit Confidential: “You cannot – repeat, cannot – open the doors or emergency hatches of an airplane in flight. You can’t open them for the simple reason that cabin pressure won’t allow it.” So don’t worry about the occasional passenger going nuts and everyone flying out of the plane as the result of an opened door, it isn’t going to happen.
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