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An Aviation Expert Explains the "Scary Sounds" That Planes Make During Take-off to Help Calm People Afraid of Flying

If you find yourself biting your fingernails on the way to the airport or sweating through TSA, you’re not the only one — millions of people around the world deal with a fear of flying. Studies show that over 40% of Americans experience anxiety while flying, ensuring that someone on your next flight is likely facing their worst nightmare. 


Despite numerous studies proving aeroplane safety and aviation experts suggesting it is “the safest way” to travel, these fears persist. For nervous fliers, Riyadh Khalaf, a “aviation nerd,” aims to provide some comfort by demystifying the “scary noises” during take-off. 


The various noises an aeroplane makes to calm nervous passengers are explained by Khalaf. There's usually a mix of buzzing, pounding, and dinging noises that passengers hear when the engines start up and the plane rolls along the runway. These noises are typical on all flights, according to Khalaf and other aviation experts, and they signify safety procedures and crew communication. 


In preparation for take-off, pilots use ‘dinging’ noises to communicate with flight attendants. Khalaf explains that these chimes signal the cabin crew that take-off is imminent, and they need to be seated. During the flight, these noises continue as the crew communicates. 


The consistent ‘banging’ noises during take-off are just the nose gear going over runway lights, indicating the pilots are centred on the runway. Window seat passengers might also notice movement on the wings as sections move in and out to control the “lift” during take-off and landing, creating noticeable noises. 


The ‘scariest’ part of take-off is the sudden ‘dip’ once airborne, essential for preserving engine integrity. Khalaf explains, “That little dip preserves the engines, as they can’t run at full take-off power for more than a few minutes. It also reduces noise for residents around the airport.” While it might feel like the plane is falling, rest assured it’s not. 


Flying can be nerve-wracking, especially with media often highlighting malfunctions or “horror stories.” However, these fears shouldn’t stop you from traveling, visiting loved ones, or taking a vacation.  

Brookfield Aviation International is always happy to share insider knowledge on how to make flying more comfortable for people. We think that by doing this, a lot of people's fears will be allayed, and we are always appreciative of the aviation experts who are willing to educate passengers and support the industry's continuous efforts to improve safety and passenger comfort, guaranteeing a smooth and stress-free flying experience for everyone. 


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